Much has been reported decrying the polarization of Readfield residents and their governance. Across the spectrum, feelings and opinions run deep.

I began attending Select Board meetings to learn what the issues are and where the obstacles lie to bridging differences. Unfortunately, with every meeting I attend I become more dismayed and downhearted by the persistent contentious atmosphere.

My conclusion? We need leaders who recognize that both sides bring legitimate concerns and ideas to the table. We need leaders who listen, question, seek common ground and balance competing interests. We need leaders who facilitate win/win approaches to charting a steady and reasonable course — a town government that is fiscally prudent yet provides decent levels of service for its residents and a supportive work environment for staff.

For these reasons, I will vote for Bruce Bourgoine and Chris Grover Sammons for Select Board on June 9. Every vote is important.

Holly Dominie

Readfield