By BOB TUROSZ
NORTH READING — Joe Foti stepped down from the Board of Selectmen Monday night with kind words and praise for the colleagues he will be leaving behind.
Foti chose not to run for a second term in Tuesday’s election and he will be succeeded there by Kathryn Manupelli who was unopposed on the May 5 ballot.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my three year journey,” Foti told the Board. It’s been great. Being involved in municipal government for 25 years and having the opportunity to sit on this side of the table for three years has been a great experience for me. It’s a lot different and you get a better understanding of what happens on both sides of the table. It’s made me a better person in my professional life. The people in this town is just great. The level of volunteerism, (other than running for elective office), is great and just because I’m leaving here doesn’t mean I won’t be doing something else.”
Foti said one of the proudest accomplishments of his term was bringing on Michael Gilleberto as the new town administrator and being part of that process. “I hope he’s here for a long time and 10 years down the road I can say I was one of the votes in bringing him on board.”
The other four board members spoke of Foti in similarly glowing terms.
“It’s been a pleasure working with you as a member of the board and hopefully we’ll see you around,” said Selectmen Chairman Robert Mauceri. “You have always been totally professional and forthright. I’ve always felt the best boards are the ones that have different ideas, can discuss them and move on. You’ve always been able to do that and it’s been much appreciated.”
At the end of meeting, Mauceri asked Foti to make the formal motion to adjourn, putting the final punctuation on his “three year journey.”