Published in the February 21, 2017 edition.


WAKEFIELD — With the larger departments still pending, the Board of Selectmen dealt with nine more of the smaller FY 2018 departmental budgets last week. Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio said that the budgets that have been presented through last week had come in collectively at about 2.5 percent less than last year.

Town Accountant Kevin Gill presented the numbers for each of the budgets, starting with the $213,952 Health Department request. Gill said that the budget reflected an increase of $8,585 over last year’s amount, with most of the increase in personal services and contractual services.

Selectman Brian Falvey wanted to know why only $6,400 was allocated to Riverside Community Care, an agency that provides mental health services to a number of communities, including Wakefield. Health Director Ruth Clay said that she was not sure what the rationale for the amount was, but agreed with Falvey that the agency could probably used more money. Clay said that she would arrange for Riverside to make a presentation to the selectmen at a future meeting.

The board approved the $213,952 Health Department budget.

Gill next presented the Treasurer’s budget with Town Treasurer John J. McCarthy Jr. alongside. Gill said that the $200,218 budget included a $5,092 increase in personal services for contractually negotiated salary increases. The budget was otherwise level-funded, Gill said. The selectmen approved the Treasurer’s budget after a brief discussion.

The next budget was the Tax Collector’s. Gill said that this budget was about $6,770 more than last year for a total of $247,611. Tax Collector Kathleen Kelly was on hand to answer any questions. Gill said that most of the increase in this budget was in personal services. The selectmen approved the Tax Collector’s budget with no discussion.


The Town Clerk’s $198,443 was approved with a $6,544 increase. Selectman Tony Longo asked Town Clerk Betsy Sheeran about the cost saving possibilities of moving away from precinct-based polling places to a more centralized voting location. Sheeran said that she agreed with the concept of having everyone in town vote in one central location.

Selectman Phyllis Hull praised Sheeran for a well-run, efficient department.

The selectmen also approved the level-funded $41,000 Election Registration budget with no discussion.

The $25,125 Miscellaneous Selectman’s budget was approved with a $4,000 increase. Gill said that this budget was used for training as well as covering the cost of Town Meetings.


The board approved the $682,400 Medicare budget, including a $26,245 increase.

All budgets will also face Finance Committee scrutiny before going before the voters at the May 1 Annual Town Meeting.


In other business last week, the Board of Selectmen:

• Approved a request from Geri Rowe for permission to put a bench at JJ Round Playground in the memory of Corporal Steven Francis Rowe at no cost to the town and to expend a gift or gifts to the town in the amount of $1,500 for the cost of the bench.

• Granted a request from Library Director Sharon Gilley to expend a gift or gifts to Beebe Library in the amount of $1,613.00 from various donors.

• Approved a request from the Wakefield Lynnfield Chamber of Commerce for a 30-day Liquor License from April 12, 2017 through May 12, 2017 for the Blossoms at the Beebe fundraising event to be held at the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library on April 29, 2017 from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m.