To Essex Voters:
My name is Shelly Bradbury. Over the last year I have come to know my town government and its inner workings. It’s become clear to me that there is a critical need for a new perspective and genuine engagement in our community’s needs. That is why I am running for a seat on the Essex planning board.
Essex is a beautiful town, and it is important to protect our natural resources, including the Great Marsh. Getting people involved and participating in the community led me to this journey in taking a more active role. I have been spearheading efforts to raise awareness in Essex regarding cell tower issues, including the fact that our town's bylaw for cell towers is severely outdated. Given the ever-evolving nature of wireless technology, a fulsome update to this 24-year-old bylaw is overdue. I have addressed this issue head-on by helping to enlist the help of a lawyer to write a new bylaw that creates a set of lawful and effective standards. This new bylaw will come to our annual town meeting for a vote on May 15.
Throughout this process, my knowledge of town administration has increased, and I see a significant void in our current planning board. I aim to fill that deficit with my commitment to listening fully to our residents’ concerns. Furthermore, it is crucial for our town to create comprehensive and sensible zoning that will eliminate the frequent vulnerability we now see. The planning board’s role is very important to this mission, but there needs to be a strong vision for smart change that will reflect not only short-term, but long-term planning for Essex.
New people need to be elected to serve on our town boards. We need to shift the stagnation and lack of foresight that creep in when a board does not have a healthy turnover of members. However, several members of this board have served multiple terms. It is time for a fresh perspective. In addition, there is a demonstrated lack of collaboration when only a few members ask questions or try to generate solutions to thorny issues such as zoning. If elected, I will not only ask questions to be informed on local issues, but will be committed to working towards positive, sensible change.
Lastly, I believe my work as a sculptor will be an asset to the planning board. I receive many public commissions, and my projects are varied and comprehensive in scope and budget. To bring these projects to fruition, I must be open to collaboration and others’ input, but also patient with the process. As a visual and creative person, I will share a level of collectivity and insight that are needed on today’s planning board.
I am willing and ready for a new challenge and am excited to take on this civic responsibility. As a board member, it will be my priority to learn the procedures of serving on the board, but also—perhaps most importantly—to listen to each issue with the depth and sensitivity that are required.
Thank you for your consideration. I appreciate your vote on May 10th at the old fire station in Essex. YOUR VOICE WILL BE HEARD.