Editor, Townsman:

I will be voting for Annie Gilbert on March 27 and encourage you to do the same.

Annie has given much to the town of Andover over the years. From her service on the school committee, PTOs and the Andover Coalition for Education to her work with AVIS, the Shawsheen River Greenway and the Historic Mill District, Annie brings vast experience and a wealth of knowledge to the board. She is smart, articulate, a good listener and a collaborative leader.

Residents who are concerned about recent development projects should feel comfortable knowing that Annie will represent their interests. As the Bancroft PTO's liaison to the Bancroft School Building Committee, I spent hundreds of hours watching Annie as she listened to and partnered with the community. The building committee worked with three distinct groups of neighbors, balancing their concerns and requests with the educational needs of the district and the Bancroft school community. Annie listened intently, asked lots of questions, and sought workable solutions. As a result of that dialogue with all stakeholders, the Bancroft School became a better project and is a building the entire community can be proud of.

Equally important, Annie also worked on the redistricting committee as the new building opened. Often referred to as the "third rail" of school district policy, the redistricting process could have been very contentious. Because of Annie's leadership and a transparent and open process, families knew that the redistricting effort was fair. The fact that very few, if any, chose to follow the appeal procedure created by the committee is a strong testament to a fair, transparent and inclusive process!

We need a leader like Annie on the Board of Selectmen. It is time for leaders Andover can be proud of; leaders who will work together for the good of the community. Vote for collaborative, positive leadership. Vote for Annie Gilbert on March 27.

Christa DiNapoli

95 Summer St.

Andover

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