Who I am and why I'm running...
Updated: Sep 18, 2020
(It really is all about Franklin)
My name is Alan Earls and I am planning to be a candidate for Town Council in the special election scheduled for December 5th. In seeking this position, my focus is exclusively on Franklin and what is best for the town in the near-term and the long-term.
I have lived in Franklin for nearly 30 years and have served in a number of appointed positions in the town government and beyond including:
· Industrial Development Commission (member), helped design and develop material to promote Franklin nationally and regionally, helping to build our tax base to keep residential taxes low.
· Open Space Committee (member), where I began Franklin’s Earth Day cleanup tradition and lay the groundwork for the acquisition of the DelCarte property.
· Starting in the early 2000s, organized the first inter-town meetings to advocate for development of SNETT rail trail and lobbied state legislators including Jim Vallee and Scott Brown, state agencies, the National Guard, and civic groups to gain funding and construction help.
· Public Land Use Committee (member, interim chair) – proposed and established the committee to better manage the town’s existing open space and rec properties.
· Organized “Bencentennial” in 2006 to honor the 300th birthday of Benjamin Franklin. (And Ben Franklin Readathon annually since 2017)
· Historical Commission (former member, currently associate member): Helped move town museum to its current location, began process of archiving collections, and have presented frequently on historical topics.
· Established Charles River Meadowlands Initiative to support better stewardship of hundreds of acres of federal flood control lands in Franklin, Bellingham, and Medway.
As a parent in town, I was active in the affairs of the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School and launched the school’s Lego League team, which is still going strong 15 years later. I also homeschooled children for two years, both at the elementary and high school level, which gives me some insights into the problems and opportunities parents, educators, and school age children face in our town this year due to COVID.
My son, Eamon McCarthy Earls, has also been active in town and was elected to the Town Council in 2017 and again 2019. He stood for openness and a careful, deliberative approach to governance that did not favor any one interest group but sought fairness and a pursuit of best practices. I share his values and priorities. Due to an educational opportunity taking him out of state, he had to resign his post before the completion of his term.
Professionally, my career, which began as a reporter for the Milford Daily News, has focused on writing and communication, as editor at several magazines, as a senior writer/account executive at Hill & Knowlton Public Relations, and as a freelance writer and consultant for the past 25 years.
Other relevant professional and personal experiences include:
· Massachusetts Energy & Environment Council (former member)
· Massachusetts Commission on Packaged Sewage Treatment Technology (former member)
· Long-time president (2005 to 2017) of New England Chapter of American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE)
· Member, Massachusetts Grand Lodge, Sons and Daughters of Italy
Additionally, I have authored a number of books about the region’s high-tech industries as well as two books on the Blizzard of `78 and Franklin Then and Now, published in 2009. I co-wrote, with Dr. Bob Krim at Framingham State University, Boston Made: From Revolution to Robotics, Innovations that changed the World, which is due out in February from Imagine Publishing.
One further attribute that I believe makes me particularly qualified to serve on the council is my personality. I am good at listening to others and willing to consider multiple points of view. When a group has trouble coming to agreement or when tempers flare, I am often able to provide a calm voice and provide suggestions that lead to results everyone can agree to.
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