By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 4/2007

For many years, one of my personal, unwritten rules for this column was that I would not endorse candidates for political office.

I did this for several reasons. First, even as a 16 year resident of Foxboro, I would never endorse someone I didn’t know. I’ve never even met many of our town officials. Second, much of the inner workings of town politics and the who’s who, are still somewhat unknown to me. Third, I try to make this piece not just my opinion, but an informed opinion. Finally, I would never want the LACK of an endorsement in this space to imply anything negative or hurt anyone’s feelings.

With those caveats in mind, recent events have caused me to rethink this endorsement policy. For example, I wish I’d written about Bob Hickey during either of his runs for selectman. I’ve known Bob for many years in the Jaycees and have always been impressed by his love of this town, his great devotion to the community, and leadership ability. As selectman, I feel that he has excelled at the job and clearly makes each decision thoughtfully, weighing what is best for the town each time. He is a man of deep feelings and I would happily endorse him again. He’s a good man, a great leader and a friend to all of us.

Likewise, my dear friend Lynda Walsh is running for selectman, and I simply must speak about her. Lynda and I have been Jaycees for about the same length of time (1993) and she is more than a fellow Jaycee–she is a leader, a true friend, a confidant.

It was Lynda who called me in 1995 when I was a little jaded with Jaycee politics and it was she who convinced me not to leave the chapter–a decision I have never regretted.

It was Lynda who was president of the Jaycee chapter for a record two terms. As president, she was hands-on but encouraged others by delegating, encouraging, and listening to all sides of an issue.

In 1998, she called me and convinced me to serve for the first time on the Jaycee board of directors. “Bobby, I need you on my board,” she said. How could I say no? She inspires others to action. You just can’t say no to Lynda Walsh. Her no-nonsense approach serves her well.

In 1999, the Jaycees were dealt a double blow when the Payson Road location of our Haunted House fund-raiser was condemned, and Spooky World came to town. It was Lynda who chaired our haunted house that year and established Camp Lincoln Hill as the new location — calling that task Herculean is an understatement, but it was done, it succeeded, and she set the blueprint we followed for another five successful years at that location.

She has served as president of the Massachusetts Jaycees, overseeing all the state chapters and still found time to help around Foxboro.

She has served on the Founders Day committee, and most recently is a valued member of the board of Trustees for the Doolittle Home, and chaired the recent cable auction that brought in over $11,000. Even with a nasty bought of the flu, she worked around the clock for over two months ensuring the hundreds of details for the auction were coordinated and executed.

She is mentor to many people in town, and always ready to lend an ear and advice. She navigates the minefields of politics with seeming ease.

Lynda, a lifelong townie, has a real love for Foxboro and I have always known her to weigh her decisions carefully and act in what is the best needs of the many. She jumps into every community service project and endeavor with gusto and leads others with her trademark smile and genuine sense of humor. She is not a phony; she is not someone trying to add a political title to her resume. She is doing for the reason she does everything else — she loves this community and wants to work to make it better. She gets involved. She makes a difference.

She is taking her love of this beautiful town we call home to the next level, and I believe she will succeed brilliantly as selectman.

So with that in mind, I would ask you to consider voting for my dear friend Lynda Walsh for selectman. Her leadership skills, organization, good nature, and love of Foxboro will make a real difference in our local government.

UPDATE: Lynda Walsh won her bid for Selectman on May 7, 2007.

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