Published January 2, 2019
By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — It’s the end of an era in town politics.
In a surprising turn of events, Town Moderator Arthur Bourque resigned his seat on Tuesday, Dec. 31. He was first elected moderator in April 2012, succeeding former Town Moderator David Miller.
“This is one of the hardest decisions I have made in my very active life,” Bourque stated in a letter sent to Town Clerk Trudy Reid. “This may be the best job I have ever had and I love doing it.”
Bourque resigned as moderator because he and his wife, Joan, decided to become Florida residents.
“I have served the people of Lynnfield for 52 years, starting as a call firefighter and serving in a great number of roles in the intervening years,” said Bourque. “I love Lynnfield and it has been a major part of my life. However, all good things must come to an end and that is true of my tenure as a voter, town official and volunteer in Lynnfield.”
Bourque thanked a number of local officials for the support they have given him over the years.
“For me, the opportunity to serve with so many great people has given me a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction,” said Bourque. “Lynnfield is a wonderful town filled with a great group of volunteers as well as town officials. I was proud to be one of them and I will remain available to help in any way possible.”
Bourque has been very active in town over the years. He served four terms on the Board of Selectmen, from 1992-1998 and 2006-2012.
After Bourque was elected moderator in 2012, the Board of Selectmen comprised of late Selectman Al Merritt and former Selectmen Bob MacKendrick and Dave Nelson appointed Bourque as chairman of the Fields Committee. Bourque served as owner’s project manager for the Lynnfield High School fields project, the Lynnfield Middle School track and field project, and the field projects at Newhall Park, Glen Meadow Park and the LMS baseball and softball fields.
Bourque was honored twice in the past year for his work on improving the town’s fields. The current Board of Selectmen presented Bourque with the first annual Daniel Townsend Award for Excellence in September 2017. Townscape member Kathryn Price nominated Bourque for the award.
“As Winston Churchill said, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,’” said then Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett. “Here in Lynnfield, I don’t think we could be anymore grateful by the life and dedication Arthur has given to us.”
Bourque thanked the selectmen for presenting him with the Townsend Award.
“I am both humbled and certainly honored to be the recipient of this award in its first year,” said Bourque. “In some ways, it’s difficult for me to accept this because I never do these things for the recognition. It’s always about getting the project done.”
Bourque was also honored by the selectmen, School Committee and Recreation Commission during the LMS track and field complex grand opening ceremony last September.
“Not to in any way diminish the role of the other committee members, but I’m sure we can all agree that without Arthur, this project may never have happened,” said Selectmen Chairman Dick Dalton during the ceremony. “He acted as the project manager, putting in countless hours managing this project to a successful completion. Arthur, for all that you’ve done and continue to do, we are grateful as a community.”
In addition to serving as a selectman, town moderator and Fields Committee chairman, Bourque was a state trooper from 1971-1991. He coached Lynnfield Youth Soccer for over 25 years, and won the Massachusetts Youth Soccer coach of the year award. Lynnfield Rotary named Bourque Citizen of the Year in 2014.
Bourque also worked closely with the Town Meeting Study Committee and served as president of a revamped Townscape. He has volunteered for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, where he served on the board of directors for nearly two decades. He has volunteered with the Reid R. Sacco Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Alliance as well.
While accepting a plaque during the LMS track and field grand opening ceremony, Bourque encouraged young parents to volunteer in town.
“It’s very rewarding,” he said.