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I’m Emily Antul and I’m running for the Board of Selectmen. I’m a 40 year old mother of two little girls who will turn 5 and 1 this spring. I taught Spanish and French for over a decade and did project management for a small textbook translation and publishing company for two years. I’ve seen a few things that can be done better and I hope to put my project management and course design (short- and long-term planning) experience to work as a member of the Board of Selectmen.
As a member of the younger half of Gen X, I believe that we need to participate fully in government. I believe that it is time to make some real changes. I believe in strong public schools with good oversight and sensible regulation that hold schools to high standards while giving teachers the freedom to teach. I believe in community and society building, including using our resources wisely to maintain and upgrade things like roads, sewers, power lines, sidewalks, and other essential infrastructure. I believe in sensible planning and development. I believe in community parks and playspaces, and I believe that to maintain green space, you must have correctly planned density. I believe that those who can should pay more. I believe that clean air and water are essential and they require a buildup of renewable energy resources. I believe in science. I believe in giving children opportunities to learn from their mistakes and experiments, to play freely, to ask questions, to do developmentally appropriate research, to be exposed to a wide variety of music, arts, crafts, trades and professions, to take reasonable and appropriate risks in supportive environments, and to move about our communities safely without fear or smothering.
To these ends I will support sensible taxes. I will look where our current revenue streams are and how they compare to similar towns’ revenue streams. I will support our schools. I would like to be the BoS liaison to the school committee. I would like to see where the spending is. I would like to look at policies. I would like to make sure that our schools are tackling problems like bullying and drinking/drug use by teaching empathy and leading by example from the top down. I would like to get a better understanding of how the BoS determines which housing projects are acceptable and not acceptable. I would like to develop and hone a mission/vision statement and see if Chelmsford can actually come to terms with what is going to happen to the population in the area and what is and is not realistic with regards to maintaining culture and growing the economy.
I have set up several meetings with several important people in town and am learning a lot. I’m a quick learner and I am good at sorting information. I like research and asking questions. I think the fact that I am something of a blank slate is actually an advantage because I am hearing from a variety of viewpoints and don’t have a host of preconceived notions and opinions about things because I don’t know the histories. I hope I can count on your vote on April 3. Please get your friends and families registered to vote!