Letters of Support

Matt Johnson is a candidate for the Select Board and I urge Concord citizens to vote for him at the polls on March 31.

Matt is committed to Concord’s open government and the town’s success as a community. He has demonstrated his leadership in decision-making while serving as a member of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals, both important regulatory bodies in Concord. In these roles, he has gained first hand knowledge of the town’s processes and the inter-relatedness of our systems.

Personally, I have admired the thoughtful way Matt articulates his viewpoints, both at the Planning Board meetings and at Town Meeting, as he has advocated for balancing Concord’s priorities to achieve fiscally sustainable results.

Matt has wide ranging interests to foster an engaged community in Concord, fostering local arts and interfacing with the West Concord Task Force to promote local businesses and affordable housing. He shares an interest in civil discourse and the importance of citizen engagement at all levels of our democratic process.

Matt will be an active participant on the Select Board to foster a vibrant, equitable and sustainable community in Concord.

Please view his website at https://mattforselectboard.com and join me in supporting his candidacy.

Elise F. Woodward, Garfield Road, Concord

During Presidential campaign intensity, it’s easy to overlook our contested election for a new Select Board member.

Matt Johnson has my vote.

I know Johnson and have observed and admired his ability to think in big-picture, long-range terms, drill down into devil-in-the-details specifics, listen to competing views and build consensus around reasonable policies.

Johnson’s record includes:

  1. Protecting local business character. As a Planning Board member, he spearheaded the bylaw to put reasonable limits on outside formula businesses in Concord Center. Town Meeting adopted his bylaw.
  2. Maintaining town residential character through reasonable limits on mansionization. On the Planning Board, Johnson analyzed residential properties townwide and developed a Floor Area Ratio bylaw. Initially controversial, it passed Town Meeting by a wide margin.
  3. Promoting affordable housing. As Planning Board chair, Johnson worked this year to foster affordable housing options (accessory dwellings and two-family homes) and to update our Town Planned Residential Development bylaw. Through guest columns, a public forum and presentations to groups like League of Women Voters, Concord Business Partnership and town Finance Committee, he engaged the public, collected feedback and refined articles for this year’s Town Meeting.
  4. Promoting local arts. Johnson supported the successful launch of the Village Art Room, the West Concord Community Art Space founded by his artist wife, Margot Kimball, and serves as liaison to the West Concord Advisory Committee.

Matt Johnson will bring his forward-looking vision for Concord and his skill at working with others to build consensus to Select Board decision-making.

Please vote for Matt Johnson for Select Board on March 31.

Eric Van Loon, Marthas Point Rd

Serving alongside Matt on the Planning Board for four years, I’ve had a chance to not only hear about his vision for improving the Town of Concord through various planning initiatives, but I’ve also had the opportunity to see him in action, working with him as we developed various approaches to land use planning and long-range planning that would serve the Town well.

All of this planning is certainly a useful endeavor that is responsible for many of the Town amenities that we all enjoy today. But any current or former Select Board member knows that the devil is in the details, and that implementation is the true challenge that requires both determination and collaboration to see projects through.

Matt has demonstrated effective implementation, sponsoring bylaws that respect our Town traditions, values and principles; that balance progress with equity and affordability; and that are based on practical implementation approaches, feasible within the unique constraints and challenges that small-towns face. Matt has continually given his time and energy to make his community – our Town – a better place to live.

I reviewed Matt’s platform online at mattforselectboard.org and found it striking – while not at all surprising – that his campaign platform centers around issues of village vibrancy, economic diversity, physical and social connectivity and environmental sustainability and resilience. As the co-chair of the Town’s long-range plan committee, I can tell you that these are exactly the “core” values near and dear to the hearts of the majority of Concordians.

So Matt starts his campaign with the right focus, and is uniquely equipped to deliver on the promise of the many, many plans and possibilities contained in EnvisionConcord.

For all of these reasons, I hope you will consider joining me in supporting Matt Johnson for Select Board.

Gary Kleiman, Central Street

I have known Matt Johnson for a number of years through church and family connections. He has been a passionate advocate for making Concord the best community it can be, as an active member of the West Concord task force and the Concord Planning Board, which he chairs.

Matt got me interested in serving on a town committee, in my case the sustainability and energy committee. This volunteer work has been a great experience for me and spurred me to pursue community service full time, so I owe a lot to his encouragement.

Two qualities that distinguish Matt from other candidates are his capacity to think deeply about the issues Concord faces and the energy that he brings to solving problems.

Whether we like it or not, our town changes with the times and, as a community volunteer, Matt has tirelessly worked to meet challenges head-on, in a way that is both forward thinking and equitable.

His leadership on the planning board has been impressive, advocating rule changes including the Floor Area Bylaw limiting “mansionization” of Concord’s neighborhoods, sustainability reviews to ensure that development is done appropriately, and the Formula Business Bylaw to protect the unique character in our town centers.

Matt thoughtfully considers impacts of decisions that affect us all. At Town Meeting a couple years back, Matt noted that the school budget had broken the $100M barrier, reminding everyone of the need to consider long-term affordability for our community.

As a member of the Select Board he would bring this sensibility to our town’s decisions, balancing important challenges including facing climate risks with the needs of residents and businesses to keep our town an affordable and vibrant place to live.

Brad Hubbard-Nelson, Nashawtuc Road, Concord

I write to enthusiastically endorse Matt Johnson for Select Board. Since I first met him over a decade ago, Matt has greatly impressed me with his love for Concord, his intelligence, his dedication and his ability to investigate and comprehend complex details while keeping sight of the big picture.

Johnson understands the difference between what is necessary, what is important and what is possible and works toward the best realistic outcome.

Even when taking public comment on a contentious proposal before the Planning Board, he remains open-minded, friendly, and calm while upholding our bylaws and standards.

Concord will be excellently well-served with Matt Johnson on our Select Board.

Sue Felshin, Sunnyside Lane

I am writing in support of Matt Johnson for Select Board.

I saw Matt in action at a standing-room-only meeting of the Planning Board in the Harvey Wheeler auditorium. The subject of the meeting was a contentious development project proposed for 1440 Main St. in West Concord. Dozens of residents spoke during the meeting, which could have become ugly, but Matt, chair of the Planning Board, set a positive tone and kept the meeting on track.

He also made sure that all the Planning Board members got their questions and concerns on the table. Later I heard that the Planning Board came to a unanimous decision on their recommendation.

The Select Board is also no stranger to controversy and pointed debate. For this reason, Matt’s meeting and consensus building skills would be a great asset to the Board.

In addition, Matt is a forward-thinking person who wants Concord to become more inclusive, sustainable, vibrant, efficient and connected. Join me in voting for Matt Johnson for Select Board.

Sue Beede, Shirley St

I am writing in support of the candidacy of Matthew Johnson for Concord Select Board.

I have lived in Concord for 22 years, and Matt was one of the first people I met. Over the ensuing two decades, I have had the pleasure and honor of his friendship.

Side by side, we have made our homes here, raised and publicly schooled our children here, and hiked the local trails here. We’ve kept one another’s company to the tops of a handful of New England mountains as well.

My most consistent and enduring impression of Matt is that he is a man of fundamental decency. I have never heard him express a harsh word toward anyone, while I have seen him go out of his way to be kind to others on many occasions. I cannot think of a person more fit to provide leadership to our ever changing community.

Please vote for Matthew Johnson as Selectman on March 31.

Robert Karr, Oak Hill Circle

To the Editor,

Please join us in voting for Matt Johnson for Select Board. We are very impressed with Matt’s attention to town issues. A few months ago we met with our neighborhood association president and Matt to discuss mansionization and Matt was very responsive. He listened and presented innovative ideas, which we are pursuing, and he asked for followup on our research.

We will be voting by mail ahead of the June 11 election. It’s easy. Matt has a video at this website www.SelectMatt.org, which can also be accessed via his Facebook page, MattforSelectBoard.

  1. Fill out the Early Ballot Application form on the town website, then print it out and sign it. In section 2, you can just write “same as above.” The phone number and email address fields are optional.
  2. Either send your request via postal mail, or you can just take a photo of your signed application and email it to townclerk@concordma.gov.
  3. The town will mail a ballot to you, which you can fill out and mail back to the town clerk’s office.

Absentee and Early ballot applications must be received by noon June 10 in order to be counted, so be sure that you submit your application soon enough to receive your ballot and send it in by the day before the election.

And if you haven’t registered to vote yet, you still can. The deadline for that is June 1.

Signed,

Janet Rothrock, Annursnac Hill Rd

Matt Johnson is a very timely candidate for a position on Concord’s Select Board in the June 11 election. He is fresh off his service on the Planning Board. Previously he served on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Thus, Matt is current on town issues.

Matt built his chairmanship this year around the theme of increasing housing choice, by drafting bylaws to encourage the creation of accessory dwelling units and allow two-family housing in Residence C. His board has also proposed amendments to the PRD bylaw to give density bonuses for smaller housing sizes. Earlier on, he led the effort that led to the passage of our Floor Area Ratio bylaw.

Matt is practiced in listening to both sides of issues and discussing options with fellow board members, before taking his own position. As a member of the Select Board he will be open to the inputs of citizens in the name of transparency in our government.

Consider voting by mail. Just go to the Town Clerk’s page on the town web site and order an early ballot application.

Terry Rothermel, Musketaquid Rd

Endorsement for Matt Johnson for Select Board

In the midst of everything going on right now, a town election in our safe suburb seems almost trivial. But we know that it is not. Most change happens at the local and state level. I would like to share my endorsement for Matt Johnson for Select Board. For the past three years I have served on the Planning Board with Matt. During that time I have found Matt to be diligent, respectful, and thorough. He does his research, arrives at meetings prepared, and has ideas and insight ready to share. More importantly, he listens to his fellow committee members and residents, and works to build consensus. Matt has demonstrated his commitment to the town and its residents through active participation in town committees. His decision to run for Select Board was made with careful thought about how he could contribute to the greater good of our town. I hope you will join me in voting for Matt Johnson on (or before) June 11th. Yes, you can vote by mail - https://concordma.gov/342/Town-Clerk

Kristen Ferguson, Thoreau St