Cherry Karlson for Selectman

Please vote for Cherry Karlson on March 28

About Me


My background

My respect for and interest in town government began with my parents’ participation in local governance.  This led me to the many positions I have held in Wayland, most recently as a member and two time chairman of the Board of Selectmen.  As I have demonstrated in all my Town work, I believe that, together, we should be running our Town’s business on a non-partisan basis with an emphasis on balancing many divergent passions and needs.  And we need to do this while being responsible stewards of the Town demonstrating through our actions, and not just words, that we are civil, responsible and transparent in our actions.


  • Wayland Board of Selectmen, 2014 – present; Chair 2016, 2017
  • Wayland Finance Committee, 2003 -2014; Chair 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012
  • Wayland Community Pool, 2008 - present, Vice President and Human Resources Director
  • PTO Roles, 1996 – 2006 at Claypit Hill School (president 2002, 2003 academic years) and Wayland PTO (president 2003 - 2006) 
  • Bates College Parents Fund, 2009-2013, Fundraising Volunteer and Committee Co-chair

Additional Town and School Volunteer Positions, starting in 1996

Wayland METCO, 2002 - current, Family Friends and Advisory Committee member 
Wayland High School Swim and Dive Team, 2005 - 2013, Parent liaison
School Superintendent Interview Committee, 2010 - 2011, Committee member 
Library Study Committee, 2001 - 2002, Co-chair·  
Class Size Task Force, 1998 - 1999, Committee member appointed by the School Committee  
Growth Policy Committee, 1996 - 2001, Committee member and Chair


  • Bank of Boston   10+ years management experience in Audit, Loan Workout and Commercial Loan Operations
  • Brown University, AB Economics
  • Boston University, MBA General Management


My candidate statement

I am pleased to announce my candidacy for reelection to the Wayland Board of Selectmen.  In 2014, I was honored to be elected after taking the big step of running for office for the first time.  After serving on the Finance Committee for 11 years and before that six years volunteering for various other town government and PTO positions, I wanted to bring that experience to the role of Selectman.  I find that three years later, while together we have accomplished many, many things, I am eager to continue in this role as there are still several important projects I would like to see completed with your help.  And most importantly, I want to continue in this role because I care about Wayland and its residents and how we conduct the business of our town.

In the next three years, I am committed to continue the town’s work on improving the efficiency and efficacy of town meeting, see the municipal parcel at town center become a focal point of activity for the benefit of the community, work to implement the results of our consultants’ recommendations to leverage our affordable housing options, and, using a state grant, to support our already strong financial position with policies and practices in line with the most recent best financial practices.

This past year, we achieved significant milestones with some important projects – and we have more work to do on others.  Collaborating with the Energy Advisory Committee, we completed four solar installations which are projected to provide savings equivalent to 25% of the town’s electric power usage.   Now we are working on a project to replace our streetlights with LED lights further reducing our energy costs and improving lighting and safety.  The Rail Trail is becoming a reality with part of it open and used by many residents and the remainder slated for completion later this calendar year.  As voted by town meeting, we are negotiating a Land Disposition Agreement with the developer of River’s Edge on Rt 20 which will bring much needed rental units to our housing mix while adding affordable and senior units.  We need to stay focused on the long-term goal of providing planned affordable housing rather than solely relying on individual 40B developments brought forth throughout town.  The Board has just completed a series of Listening Sessions with residents, and the soon to be completed report is anticipated to bring new ideas and perspectives from participating residents. Our role and goal will be to use that information to improve services for all residents.

Even after my years of volunteering for Wayland in various capacities, I found I had a lot to learn to be effective on the Board of Selectmen.  Wayland’s unique and flat government structure requires good communication, an understanding of the many departmental and committee roles and responsibilities, and lots of collaboration to accomplish our work.  The Selectmen lead the town through their tone, their approach and their frequent involvement with many committees, task forces, groups and community members.  I believe that by listening to residents, understanding the process of our local government, being fair and fact-based, and, above all working hard, I have earned the respect of many residents and staff.  While we may not always agree, you know that I always give careful consideration and thought to every step in the process before voting.

I ask for your vote on March 28th so that I can continue to work hard for Wayland – for our community, for your family and for mine.

Cherry Karlson



Through her years of service on the Finance Committee and then on the Board of Selectmen, time and time again Cherry has proven herself to be the best of the best. She is a hard worker with an unwavering positive attitude and is as fair-minded and nice as anyone on the planet.  How fortunate we are to have someone of Cherry’s caliber volunteering essentially full-time on our behalf. I’m grateful to Cherry for her wholehearted dedication to continued progress in Wayland. 

Please vote on March 28th to ensure Cherry Karlson is reelected!

-Cynthia Sheppard Lavenson, Mitchell Street 

The town of Wayland is fortunate to have Cherry Karlson on its Board of Selectmen, and I encourage everyone to support her in her bid for re-election.I have known Cherry for seven years now through town government work. I have always found her to be thoroughly prepared, widely knowledgeable and eminently fair.

With her years of experience on the Finance Committee, and now three years on the Board of Selectmen, with the last two as chair, there is no one who understands town government, or has a better grasp on the topics and issues that face the town.Cherry puts in countless hours in her work for the town to truly understand all sides of the issue in an attempt to gain consensus and work toward the best possible solution.Cherry has earned the right for a second term on the Board of Selectmen. She has my full support, and I encourage everyone to get out and vote on March 28 and cast their vote for Cherry Karlson for re-election to the Board of Selectmen. 

Chris Brown, Charena Road

Note: Chris Brown is chairman of the Board of Public Works but these views are his own.

Wayland's reputation for top-notch town services, excellent schools and beautiful conservation areas did not happen overnight. Over many decades, resident volunteers donated their time to make the town what it is today – a highly sought after place to live.

We are excited that Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Cherry Karlson will be on the ballot again this spring seeking re-election.

Cherry's steady hand, combined with her keen intellect, has guided the town for many years, the last three on the Board of Selectmen.Hoping to join the Board of Selectmen is Doug Levine, a dedicated public servant whose talents seem limitless. An attorney, with experience at the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., Doug currently holds a position with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.Doug's affable style, stellar education, commitment to public service and intellect make him a natural to serve all of us on the Board of Selectmen.We heartily endorse Cherry and Doug, and feel fortunate that their hard work will continue to keep Wayland a special place for all of us. 

Tom and Juliette Fay, Happy Hollow Road

I write with great enthusiasm to support Cherry Karlson in her bid for re-election, along with a new candidate, Doug Levine, to the Board of Selectmen.

I had the distinct pleasure of working with Cherry for over 10 years while serving on the Finance Committee and Board of Selectmen. I was able to observe firsthand the extraordinary skills she brings to public service. She is keenly analytical, and yet at the same time possesses the heart and patience to listen and understand the needs of all residents.

Her first term as selectwoman fully demonstrated her comfort in municipal government and with the subtlest nuances of Wayland's bylaws and policies. She is always in command of the budgetary details, while at the same time seeing the big picture and long-term goals of the town. She is always open minded, flexible and willing to compromise.

We have been fortunate indeed to have a citizen of her intellectual caliber, character and commitment leading the Board of Selectmen for the last three years. Her willingness to serve another term is truly a gift to our town.

I am also writing in support of Doug Levine as a candidate for the Board of Selectmen. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Doug over the past couple of years through his work on the Economic Development Committee and the Wayland Dads Group. I am confident he is the right person for the job.

Doug has all the qualities and professional experiences needed to serve in this important town leadership role. In his professional life, he was counsel to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and worked in this capacity under both Govs. Deval Patrick and Charlie Baker. As an attorney for state and federal agencies, he is keen to work across numerous committees and boards in government settings to accomplish complex partisan issues.

While at the Kennedy School of Government, he was awarded the Robert Kennedy Award for Excellence in Public Service and understands the roles of all municipal parties that make a town successful. Just as important is his involvement across the many family-oriented programs in Wayland that allows Doug to bring an important new perspective to the board. He is a practical, pragmatic guy with a genuine loyalty to the town.

I give these two great candidates my highest recommendation and encourage others to join me in voting on March 28 for Cherry Karlson and Doug Levine to serve on the Board of Selectmen. 

Steve Correia, Glezen Lane

I am giving my wholehearted support to Cherry Karlson who is running for Board of Selectmen.  Our community is incredibly fortunate that Cherry has not only spent the last three years on the board, but is willing to do it again.

Cherry has tremendous experience and success in bringing people together on a topic, she has an inclusive manner and a strong working relationship with members of other committees.  Cherry’s many, many years of service on the finance committee along with her years as a selectman give her a comprehensive understanding of town issues far beyond the scope of most residents and many elected officials.  Cherry had demonstrated that she is willing to commit the large amount of time each day - day in and day out - to be incredibly effective on the board. 

This is no small undertaking and I for one, am grateful for Cherry’s commitment to Wayland.  Please vote for Cherry Karlson for Board of Selectmen at the polls on March 28th.

- Lisa Valone, Rice Rd

In 2014 I wrote a letter in support of Cherry Karlson's candidacy for Wayland's Board of  Selectmen. I spoke of her dedicated service to our town as head of the Finance Committee, her commitment to our schools, and fostering the open democratic process that is cherished by all of us.  Cherry Karlson was elected and has served our community well as a Selectman. As Chair of the Board of Selectmen, she has been an outstanding leader in our community.  She is thoughtful, fair, honest, values transparency, ensures that every one has a voice, and works tirelessly to see that the work of town government is done  efficiently AND effectively. 

In a democracy decisions will not always go the way we want. We have struggled together over issues around a Community Center, a new DPW building, priorities in our schools, athletic fields, preserving land for green space, and the best use of "free cash" in our budget.

Compromise can be difficult. To shepherd the process, to make sure we all have a chance to be heard, to keep us moving forward, and to press for the best solutions to problems that we confront as a community, we need good leaders.  So I urge my fellow townspeople to re-elect Cherry Karlson to the Wayland Board of Selectmen. 

-Jordan Busch, MD, FACP, Lingley Lane

Early on, I read a great book by Dr. Seuss – If I Ran the Zoo. Years later, I started a business thinking that with a few creative ideas and some hard work, you could put together a world-class outfit, just like the one that Gerald McGrew ran (Gerald is the hero in the book).  My transition from creative thoughts to successful business quickly ran headlong into the real world, which brings this letter around to its point – that being that the Selectman’s position is one in the real world. There are constraints and forces from all sides.  It would have been easier for Cherry in 2014 had she the luxury of starting her first term by just picking up where the last crew left off, but there was a lot of rebuilding to be done. Building and rebuilding are both real world undertakings. She has put forward some very positive steps, namely: 

  1. Hiring Nan Balmer, a competent new Town Administrator; 
  2. Town Meeting does run better. It really does. Cherry is a bit of a stickler on this point and there are fewer articles presented that are ill considered and ill prepared. We all know there is some way to go yet on this point, so I’m hoping Cherry will keep after it;  
  3. Hiring new legal council with enough horsepower to really meet the town’s needs. 

Being a Selectman is a real world job. Cherry puts in more time and works harder than any selectman in my memory here in Wayland.  If you will allow me to return to Dr. Seuss:  

  I really don’t think we’ll be able to say
 That all the problems have just gone away

  That there’s nothing to fix and nothing to mend
 And everything’s going to be free in the end.  

But it’s not the land of Dr. Seuss. It’s the real world and Cherry works hard in that world. She will not do all the things you would like, nobody will, but we have seen that she will continue to press forward with diligence and alacrity. Let’s keep Cherry in her seat as a Selectman to help build the Wayland community that we can be proud of.  

-Clifford Lewis, Claypit Hill Road  

Voter Information


Election Day

Election Day is March 28.  Polls Hours are 7am-8pm.


Your Precinct

Where do you vote?  Check your  Precinct Information here.  If you're not sure if you're registered to vote in Wayland, click here to check.

Precincts 1 and 4 vote at Town Building

Precincts 2 and 3 vote at the Middle School


Sample Ballot & Absentee Voting

A sample ballot is online here

If you need an absentee ballot, click here for information on voting absentee

Contact Me

I'd love to hear from you.  Contact me anytime to let me know what matters to you.

Please get in touch with me if you'd like to hold a sign on election day, 

Cherry Karlson for Selectman

91 Lincoln Road, Wayland, MA 01778, us