Kevin F. Greeley, continuing a name that has meant leadership in Arlington since the 1950s, seeks reelection to the Board of Selectmen despite health issues and encouragement from his family not to run.
One impetus to persist is likely the appearance in the race for the April town election of Maria Romano, who is seeking a selectmen's seat for a fourth time.
"Arlington is a great community that we need to continue to nurture and improve," Greeley recently responded when asked why he is running again. "There is always more work to be done."
Chief among the challenges, he said, are moving the Mass. Ave. Corridor project forward and completing the town's first comprehensive master plan.
Greeley, 62, has been a selectman for 24 years, serving as chair eight. He has been a Town Meeting member for 25-plus years, representing precincts 16, 6 and 11.
Key challenges as he sees them
"We need to keep developing a vibrant business community," he wrote, "[and] do what we can to improve our schools, our infrastructure, our sustainability efforts, community safety."
Apart from the Corridor project, he said that tops among the challenges for Arlington are managing town services with less revenue and fewer personnel as well as making public service attractive, especially for the board on which he has served since 1989.
Asked how he would address the town's chief challenges, he emphasized seeing that the East Arlington Corridor project completed. He called the opponents “well organized" and added that the "complicated issue needs to be explained, as the benefits far outweigh any disadvantages."
He tried to do that on Feb. 26, at the second Town Hall hearing about the Corridor plan.
"Can you hear me? Do you want to hear me?" he asked the estimated 400. "We are unanimous" He was referring to the support of the project by all five selectmen. His comments drew applause.
As to work on the town's master plan -- the subject of a public-input session last October -- he said current efforts should continue. He said that involves taking an audit of town properties and resources to help guide future decisions.
"In some ways, it's the 20/20 of the 21st century," he told YourArlington, referring to the Vision 20/20 planning process, which began in 1991 and continues.
The business community presents a related challenge. "With only 6 percent of Arlington available for business development," he wrote, "we need to do what we can to maintain and attract diverse businesses."
Recent examples he cited are allowing more package stores and changing rules related to alcohol consumption. That effort began in 1993 and has continued.
As to public service, he wrote, "Too often we have too few people seeking to serve in elected office in Arlington. It is an honor to serve and we need to encourage ... others to "step up to the plate.
"I believe that we should make serving on the BOS to be honorable by how we conduct ourselves, and we should review it from a pay and benefits perspective."
Greeley's father, Joseph, was a town selectman from 1953 to 1972.
Targeted by anonymous reports
For the past year, health issues have been a challenge for Greeley, as have two reports published by the same anonymously managed website.
In December, Truepersons.com reported that Greeley's company worked for JPI, the former developer of the Symmes project. Greeley denied the claim, and YourArlington reported that John Greeley (no relation) worked for JPI.
In January, a second story reported Greeley owed $180,000 in back taxes. That story was based on state records and was correct but did not add that Greeley was working to pay off his debt.
In both case, the reporter, "Menotomy Observer," had not asked Greeley for comment.
Born and reared in Arlington, Greeley has lived in the town for 52 years. When he taught at Emerson College, he lived elsewhere. At the school, he taught communications and was a debate and golf coach.
Currently, he has been president of Greeley Communications Inc. since 1999. Before that, for 13 years, he was a senior executive for Communispond Inc.
This story was published Tuesday, March 5, 2013.
It is part of an ongoing series to provide basic information about key candidates in the April town election.
All major candidates for seats where there is competition have been sent a similar set of questions. Some where there is only an incumbent have been sent questions to renew their connection to the public.