Published in the January 3, 2018 edition

This is the first of two parts.


LYNNFIELD — The year 2017 proved to be a defining one in Lynnfield.

Over the course of the first six months of 2017, a controversial project started to take shape while local officials and residents put the brakes on another. Local sports teams continued to shine and made townspeople proud.

The Villager takes a look back at the events that occurred in 2017 that made a profound impact on the town and the residents who call Lynnfield home.


The Lynnfield Fire Department began a new era in a new year. Three years in the making, the Fire Department implemented its new staffing model. During the April 2016 Town Meeting, townspeople approved overhauling the way the Fire Department is staffed. The department added two career firefighters to its current staff of permanent and call firefighters in order to provide coverage 12 hours per day, seven days per week.

Lynnfield High School junior Molly Malone was recognized for serving as an inspiration to the Lynnfield community over the course of her battle with Ewing sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Molly’s strength, resiliency and determination was recognized by local officials and the non-profit organization Cops for Kids with Cancer, who presented Molly and her family with a $5,000 check.

Superintendent Jane Tremblay appointed Gregory Hurray as the interim principal at Summer Street School. Hurray previously worked in the Newton and Needham public school systems.

John Astrofsky, an eighth grader at Lynnfield Middle School, was chosen to represent his hometown as an ambassador for Project 351, a statewide initiative that brings together young people from every city and town – 351 in all – who have displayed leadership and community service. Started by former Gov. Deval Patrick in 2011, Project 351 recognizes youths for the exemplary ethic of service and the values of kindness, compassion, humility and gratitude, according to the group’s website.


The Historical Commission and Ship Mall, LLC’s owners came to an agreement that will delay razing the iconic The Ship Restaurant on Route 1. According to a letter from attorney Ted Regnante, the developer will delay filing a demolition permit request with Building Inspector Jack Roberto until three days after the Historical Commission’s meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

The boys’ basketball team stayed undefeated in the Cape Ann League, as the Pioneers crushed Georgetown 80-61 to improve to 10-0 in league play and 10-1 overall. Sharpshooting senior captain Louis Ellis couldn’t be contained, as he dropped 28 points and pulled down six boards.

Townspeople’s responses to the Master Plan Survey were overwhelming. The Master Plan Steering Committee received 906 responses to the survey in January. The subcommittee and Planning Board instituted the survey as part of an effort to update the town’s Master Plan. The survey included 59 questions covering the following topics: Planning philosophy; economic development; zoning and land use; housing; public services and facilities; communication; recreation and open space; transportation; environmental issues and energy; governance; and historical and cultural resources.

National Development Managing Partner Ted Tye was hoping to feel the love while unveiling a proposed medical office building for MarketStreet Lynnfield during the Planning Board’s meeting on Valentine’s Day. Most of the two dozen people in the audience did not return any affection whatsoever.


The Historical Commission and Ship Mall’s owners are in the process of developing an agreement that will honor The Ship restaurant’s memory and history. Ship Mall’s owners recently filed an application with the Zoning Board of Appeals seeking to demolish The Ship structure at 24 Broadway and replace it with a strip mall containing 7,580 sq. ft. of retail space. The owners agreed to incorporate elements of The Ship in the new mall.

Nearly three years after the town took the 1785 Rev. Joseph Mottey House by eminent domain, a buyer successfully bid $935,000 for it. Steven and Kelly Migliero of Tappan Way were the only bidders for the Centre Farm property. The Miglieros expressed interest in purchasing the historic home in 2016.

On March 16, the Planning Board voted 3-1 to designate the proposed two-story medical office building at MarketStreet as a minor modification to the Planned Village Development District (PVDD). After listening to concerns from MarketStreet abutters, National Development Managing Partner Ted Tye agreed to withdraw the original proposal and submitted plans for a two-story, 30-foot high building instead.

National Development submitted a last minute citizens’ petition warrant article for April Town Meeting seeking to build an eight-screen, 800-seat luxury cinema for MarketStreet.


Voters at the April Town Meeting will not be asked to approve a cinema at MarketStreet after all. National Development opted to defer the citizens’ petition proposed under Article 23. Local officials and residents aired concerns about the proposal during an informational meeting held at the Al Merritt Center.

The state Attorney General’s office is currently investigating the financial records of Lynnfield Youth Football and Cheerleading (LYFC). According to a copy of civil investigative demands filed in Suffolk Superior Court, Attorney General Maura Healey’s office is currently reviewing information “in order to determine whether charitable funds have been applied to charitable purposes and if breaches of trust have been committed in the administration of Lynnfield Youth Football and Cheerleading, Inc., a public charity.”

Town Meeting approved Article 24, which authorized the Board of Selectmen to enter into a lease of up to 99 years with the MBTA in order to construct the controversial Wakefield-Lynnfield Rail Trail, on a hand count of 342-341.

In addition to approving the rail trail, Town Meeting voted overwhelmingly to build a new Lynnfield Middle School track and field complex as well as upgrade the LMS softball field. Town Meeting also approved the town’s $52.8 million operating budget and approved a new bylaw banning recreational marijuana facilities from opening in town.


Getting arrested never felt so good. Lynnfield Rotary hosted its first Jail and Bail fundraiser at MarketStreet Lynnfield May 4. The event raised funds in support of the Reid’s Ride bike-a-thon.

The town has committed to address the opioid crisis head-on with the approval of a substance abuse coalition called A Healthy Lynnfield by the Board of Selectmen. A dozen local officials and business leaders have signed on to start the coalition, which is the minimum number mandated by the state.

In a surprising turn of events, Selectman Dick Dalton criticized the direction the school system is headed in a late Saturday night Facebook post. Dalton’s main criticisms of the School Department focused on three areas: Content, personnel matters and performance. School Committee Chairman Tim Doyle responded on behalf of the school board and School Department, and said school officials were disappointed Dalton aired his concerns on Facebook instead of reaching out to school officials.

Green Street residents and the Board of Selectmen voiced their strong opposition to a proposed amendment to the city of Peabody’s zoning bylaws that had the potential to create a section of the zoning district for medical marijuana facilities accessible through only the residential neighborhood. After Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt walked the area, he proposed an amendment to the zoning district that would exclude the parcels on the Lynnfield border.


The threat of pop-up thunderstorms didn’t stop the Lynnfield High School Class of 2017 from celebrating a promising future, as 152 members of the graduating class bade adieu to their high school careers and took the next step forward on June 2.

The Board of Selectmen voted to rename the selectmen’s meeting room at Town Hall in honor of former Selectman and Town Administrator H. Joseph Maney. During a ceremony, Maney was beaming while being surrounded by his smiling children and giggling grandchildren while the selectmen recognized his dedication to the town.

It’s hard to stop a dynasty and the girls’ tennis team is no exception to the rule. The top seeded Pioneers won their fourth straight Division 3 North sectional championship after defeating third seed Austin Prep 5-0 at Beverly High School. The Pioneers’ season came to an end in the D-3 state semifinals, when the locals fell 5-0 to reigning state champion Martha’s Vineyard.

The baseball team’s historic season came to an end on June 11 at Fraser Field, when Austin Prep defeated the Pioneers 8-2 in the Division 3 North finals. It was a difficult ending to what will be remembered as one of Lynnfield baseball’s all-time great teams. The locals’ 15-1 Cape Ann League record was the best in school history. Lynnfield finished the season with a 21-3 record.