Soon after I moved to Harvard, I met Lucy Wallace at a Harvard Family Association playgroup, where in the midst of many squirmy toddlers, Lucy had dropped in to introduce herself to the younger parents and elicit their feedback and concerns regarding town affairs.
Lucy was then, and remains, actively interested in reaching out to all Harvard residents.
For a mere five months, I had the pleasure of serving on the Board of Selectmen with Lucy. During that time, although we didn’t always vote the same, I knew her votes were driven by her in-depth knowledge of the town’s issues, and by her clear resolve to do what’s right for all residents, young families to senior citizens. No other agenda than that.
There was something else Lucy brought to the board, a sense of decency and graciousness that affected every meeting, virtually every interaction. She was never dismissive of our colleagues’ positions, and yet always made constructive progress on decisions and meeting agendas.
As the BOS is inclined to take opposing positions, she reinforced to me the importance of the Policies and Procedures — our rule-book, in effect — which sets parameters around how to disagree without undermining each other or being derogatory.
During the past year, the board has been rife with disagreement, yet I’ve never strayed from that guidance. I agree that deviating from what we’ve publicly pledged to uphold is incorrect, as Lucy stated at the LWV debate. If you’re not going to live up to your commitments and beliefs, why state them in the first place?
I miss Lucy’s guidance, her in-depth knowledge, her pragmatic approach, her sense of humor. She states her stands clearly, never belittles others, and understands both the importance of planning and consensus-building and the importance of action, not studies upon studies. She would never refer to the residents of Devens as “those people,” and she remains invested in the best future for this quirky town we call home.
Simply put, Lucy is my go-to person for all things Harvard. I hope you’ll join me in voting for her on May 1.