LYNNFIELD — The Select Board approved a series of goal for 2024-2025 during last week’s meeting.

Select Board Chair Dick Dalton said there are “two guiding principles” for the goals he developed for the upcoming year.

“One of them is enhanced collaboration amongst the Select Board and the other boards, committees and commissions in town,” said Dalton. “The second is a continued emphasis on continuous improvement in all aspects of town government, and how we manage it.”

Dalton said he and Town Administrator Rob Dolan recently met with Interim Superintendent Tom Geary and School Committee Chair Kate DePrizio to discuss the upcoming year.

“That is the first of many meetings we will have throughout the coming year,” said Dalton. “In addition to our regular meetings discussing the school budget and so forth, we are also going to have meet-and-greets. Rob and I, representing the board, and the School Committee chair and superintendent will have meet-and-greets at various locations. We have talked about the library, the Meeting House, the Senior Center and maybe the middle school. People will be able to stop in and have a quick conversation about a subject that interests them.”

Select Board member Alexis Leahy asked if the meet-and-greets will focus on “school-related items.”

Dalton said no because he and Dolan will be representing the Select Board.

“They will be open meetings,” said Dalton. “That should cover pretty much anything going on in town. And if we don’t have the answers to the questions asked, we will get them.”

The first Coffee and Conversation with Dalton, Dolan, DePrizio and Geary will take place on Tuesday, May 21, taking place from 9-10 a.m. at the Meeting House.

Dalton said the first goal for the year is implementing a community engagement plan.

“The town administrator and I have already had discussions around this initiative,” said Dalton. “We hope to share our thoughts with the entire board in the coming month. We are going to develop and approve something that will be meaningful as far as community engagement.”

Leahy said she hopes that the community engagement plan “addresses some of the transparency concerns” townspeople have raised.

“I would like the board to be more forwarding-looking in that community engagement as well,” said Leahy.

Dalton said the community engagement plan will be “an all-encompassing approach.”

The second goal Dalton established involves working toward complying with the MBTA Communities law. The Select Board voted to form the MBTA Communities Law Committee that consists of Dalton, Planning Board Chair Page Wilkins, Planning Board Vice Chair Kate Flaws, Zoning Board of Appeals Chair Anthony Moccia and Board of Assessors member Richard O’Neil. Taigh McClory will serve as an alternate member.

Dalton said his third goal for the year is presenting a warrant article at Fall Town Meeting that will seek to renovate the Lynnfield Public Library (see separate story).

The fourth goal Dalton established entails developing a five-year capital improvement plan (CIP).

“It will include things such as examining the fields, the golf courses, IT and major equipment purchases that will be required over the next five years whether its fire trucks, police cruisers and the list goes on,” said Dalton. “It will also include streets and sidewalks, an issue that is often brought to my attention. The board’s response in recent years has been we are spending more than ever on streets and sidewalks. However, that response is not well received and rightfully so. We will reexamine our approach to maintaining our streets and sidewalks.”

Dalton said developing capital improvement plans are “strongly encouraged by the bond rating agencies.”

“If we want to maintain or improve our bond rating, having a CIP in place certainly strengthens our standing,” said Dalton. “And our rating directly impacts the interest rate that the town can borrow funds at. But beyond that, a CIP is a necessary tool that will assist us with developing strategies that will guide the board in managing the affairs of the town. The Select Board must always be looking ahead and charting our course so we can best manage the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

Dalton said his fifth goal involves undertaking an assessment of school facilities.

“I have separated this goal out from the CIP for the time being,” said Dalton. “The CIP will be prepared by staff under the direction of the town administrator, and will be presented to the Select Board for discussion and approval. A committee that will report its findings to the School Committee and the Select Board will produce the schools’ facility assessment. Certain findings, if approved by the Select Board, will be incorporated into the CIP if they involve capital expenditure. The School Committee chair, superintendent, town administrator and I have agreed that the committee will consist of seven members: The School Committee chair, the Select Board chair, the superintendent, the Planning Board chair, the Finance Committee chair and John Scenna, who is the town’s capital projects manager. The School Committee chair and the superintendent will reach out to have a teacher representative as one of the members of this committee. Based on the spike in kindergarten enrollment, it is reasonable to assume, five years from now, there might be a space issue at Lynnfield Middle School and, subsequently, at Lynnfield High School.”

Dalton said also the new committee will be tasked with identifying “needed improvements” at LHS.

“I am not asking for a board vote at this time because this committee will not begin its work until the fall,” said Dalton.

Dalton said the sixth goal for this year entails undertaking a study that will examine the “expanded use of public facilities to better serve the community.”

“I think we can expand our programming for both adults and teens in a revenue-neutral fashion,” said Dalton. “We have facilities that are definitely underutilized. Let’s get people thinking outside of their silos and determine how we can have a positive impact on the quality of life in our community.”

Dalton said his final goal for the upcoming year is addressing traffic safety. He recalled that Spring Town Meeting voted to form the Traffic Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) last month.

“The people have spoken,” said Dalton. “I told the petitioners months ago that addressing traffic safety would be a goal of the board regardless of the outcome of the warrant article. It is far and away the most frequent complaint I hear from my neighbors and friends.”

While Dalton said the goals he has developed are “new initiatives,” he said there are ongoing projects that the Select Board will be closely monitoring this year.

“There are numerous other ongoing issues and projects that will need our attention in the coming year: The public safety buildings project, the rail trail and countless others,” said Dalton. “We have a good team in place, and I am confident that we are well prepared to prudently manage the affairs of the town in the coming year.”

Select Board member Phil Crawford expressed his support for the goals Dalton established. He suggested that Scenna and DPW Director/Town Engineer John Tomasz give either quarterly or bi-quarterly updates on different capital projects happening in town.

“Unless you are in our position and talk to these people every day, you don’t really know what the status is,” said Crawford. “I would like to see a quarterly or bi-quarterly update from John Scenna and John Tomasz to let us know how they are going, particularly the streets. I get more calls about the streets than anything. If there is a continual update about those projects, it will inform everybody in town, especially the people impacted by the streets being worked on.”

Dalton expressed his support for Crawford’s suggestion.

“My thought there was that would be part of the community engagement plan,” said Dalton. “But aside from that, there should be constant updates on any issue that is before us that people are concerned about it.”

Leahy said she would like the Select Board to “give some consideration to some of the FinCom recommendations they laid out for some of the potential challenges we may face.” In a letter given to Spring Town Meeting’s attendees, the Finance Committee expressed concerns about the financial direction the town is heading in.

“They did a really nice job of laying that all for the town to consider,” said Leahy, who previously served two years on the Finance Committee before being elected to the Select Board last month. “I would like us to keep that in mind as we go through this process.”

Dalton and Crawford expressed their support for Leahy’s request.

“I am not sure what those are right now, but we can look at that,” said Crawford about the FinCom’s letter.

After the discussion, the Select Board unanimously approved the amended version of the goals Dalton developed for the year.