Published in the February 14, 2017 edition.


WAKEFIELD – Members of the Board of Selectmen are pleased with the performance of Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio and happy with the state of the town under his leadership. They let him — and the town — know how they felt at their meeting last night during Maio’s annual performance review.

Selectman Ann Santos led things off. She said that she would not apologize for having no criticism of Maio. She noted that Maio is always accessible.

“I never have to track him down,” she said. She noted that several of Wakefield’s closest neighbors are facing serious financial problems, but under Maio’s management, Wakefield has $20 million in reserves.

“I can’t imagine Wakefield could do any better financially,” Santos said. She also noted that the downtown seems to be coming back, with several new businesses filling formally vacant spaces.

Selectman Phyllis Hull praised Maio’s patience and willingness to spend time explaining things.

“He is the kind of Town Administrator that has made me smarter,” Hull said, telling Maio, “You can’t do any better.”

Selectman Brian Falvey likened Maio to the CEO of a business and the Board of Selectmen to a corporate board of directors.

Falvey said that Maio had all the right qualities of a good CEO: strong communications skills, intelligence, integrity, energy and humility.

“He’s here for the good of the town,” Falvey said, praising Maio’s “approachability.” He also called Maio “a voice of reason” and “smart under pressure,” qualities he described as “vital in a public leadership role.”

Selectman Paul DiNocco praised Maio’s communication with board members.

“Whenever I have questions, I go straight to Steve and ask,” DiNocco said, “and he gets me the information as soon as possible.”

He called Maio’s management of the town “extraordinary,” adding that he had nothing negative to say about Maio’s performance.

“He is an open individual,” DiNocco said. “We are fortunate to have him.”

Selectman Tony Longo said that he had “learned a lot from Steve.” He cited Maio’s deep roots in the town. He praised Maio for being “very transparent” in the way he conducts the town’s business.

“Going forward we have a lot to do,” Longo told Maio. “You’ve done a tremendous job for the town and I hope everybody appreciates that. We are lucky to have you.”

Selectman Peter May noted that Maio is “always available.” He praised Maio’s communications skills and his way of handling tense moments at meetings.

May said that he didn’t have any “negatives” to talk about. “You’re doing a great job and we’re lucky to have you.”

Chairman Patrick Glynn echoed the comments of his colleagues on the board. He praised Maio’s “vision,” and noted that projects from the upgrades of the town’s athletic facilities to the new Galvin Middle School all bear Maio’s fingerprints.

Glynn praised Maio’s financial management, noting that the town of Reading is looking for overrides of Proposition 2 1/2 to fund its operational budget.

“You won’t see that in Wakefield,” Glynn said.

Maio thanked the board even as he moved to deflect credit.

“I have been blessed with great boards that have worked with me to move Wakefield forward,” Maio said. He also credited town employees, including department heads.