Published in the January 11, 2017 edition

As we begin the year anew — a year filled with the promise of endless opportunities to move the town forward in positive directions for the benefit of all — the editorial staff of the Lynnfield Villager extends an invitation to our readers to share their thoughts and opinions with us through our Letters to the Editor forum.

It has always been our belief that a town’s newspaper is the best vehicle for all members of a community to contribute thoughtful debate on the issues that matter most to them — those that affect their families, their homes, their health, their livelihood, their neighborhoods— in short, their quality of life now and in the future.

Our Letters to the Editor forum serves as that important public platform in American society for the sharing of all ideas. Our readers can be assured that the editorial staff of the Villager treats all writers equally and with respect when expressing their opinions through us. Therefore, we must re-iterate our long-standing policy of not publishing anonymous letters from any source. Those who feel so strongly about an issue that it inspires them to write a Letter to the Editor should not fear standing by their own words by revealing their identity to those whom they hope to influence with their opinions.

Once we accept one anonymous letter it would create an unending ripple effect each time the next letter writer pleaded with us to remain anonymous. This, in turn, would negatively affect the open and honest exchange of ideas between all members of our community while degrading the trust and integrity we’ve worked so hard to develop with our readership.

Letters with a local focus are given preference. Letters must be typed and signed by the author. When the letter represents the opinions of more than one individual on behalf of a group or a cause, the name of at least one member must be signed and published on behalf of that group. A phone number for verification purposes only must also be included with the letter.

The newspaper reserves the right to edit all letters for brevity, clarity or any libelous material.

The deadline is noon on Monday for publication in that week’s Villager.

The preferred method for submitting Letters to the Editor is via email to: [email protected] For those without email access, please mail typed and signed letters to: Lynnfield Villager, 26 Albion St., Wakefield MA 01880.