Published in the December 22, 2017 edition


MELROSE — Robert J. Dolan’s 16-year tenure as the city’s mayor will be coming to an end.

On Wednesday, the Lynnfield Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 to offer Dolan the open town administrator job, pending successful contract negotiations. Dolan was interviewed by the selectmen before the vote took place.

In addition to interviewing Dolan, the selectmen also interviewed the other finalist, Lynnfield Assistant to the Administration Bob Curtin. Dolan will succeed former Town Administrator Jim Boudreau, who left Lynnfield last week after accepting a similar position in Scituate.

Prior to Dolan’s selection as Lynnfield’s next top municipal professional, the job of board president was looking awfully good to some of the aldermen earlier this week.

The scramble now is on to succeed Dolan as mayor. While nothing was definite on Monday night during their meeting, several aldermen said they are ready, willing and able to serve as the city’s top official for the next two years.

According to the City Charter, if Dolan resigns immediately — or before his term’s third year begins Jan. 8 — a special citywide mayoral election is to be held within 90 days of the resignation’s effectiveness. If Dolan resigns effective after Jan. 8, the next president of the Board of Aldermen serves as mayor until after the November 2019 election.

With current Aldermanic President Donald Conn Jr. ousted in last month’s city election, the aldermen caucused recently and nominated Alderman-at-Large Michael Zwirko to be the next head of the board. However, that is a non-binding nomination and won’t be finalized until the aldermen meet the night elected officials are sworn into new terms on Jan. 8.

Ward 1 Alderman John Tramontozzi, Ward 5 Alderman Gail Infurna and Alderman-at-Large Monica Medeiros said this week they would be willing to serve as the next board president and, subsequently, as mayor.

At the end of Monday’s aldermen meeting, Tramontozzi was the first to declare his willingness to serve. “I want the public to know I am ready to lead this city as mayor,” he said.

Infurna was next, standing to say the city could shortly be in a unique position to have a vacancy in the Mayor’s Office. She mentioned her 20 years experience, the various leadership roles she’s played and her track record in announcing her candidacy for aldermanic president and mayor.

Medeiros, who had filed an unsuccessful order calling for a special election for mayor within 90 days of Dolan’s resignation earlier in the night, also said she is running for the position, citing her unique qualifications.

Thirty-eight people applied to be Lynnfield’s next town administrator.

When he was named one of two finalists, Dolan stated: “Due to the recently announced departure of the Lynnfield town administrator, an unanticipated and unique opportunity arose for me and my family, I chose to explore the position due to the professional opportunity it presents, and I am honored to have been named a finalist for the position of Lynnfield town administrator. After much reflection, I have decided to continue on with the process. I have had the privilege of serving the citizens of Melrose for 24 years as an elected official and 16 as mayor. As the selection process continues to unfold, I will keep the citizens of Melrose up to date every step of the way.”

At a meeting on Dec. 11, the Lynnfield selectmen were told the finalists are exceptional.

“I think they are qualified and exemplary candidates that both could serve the town well,” said Community Managing Partner Bernie Lynch, who has been assisting the selectmen and Town Administrator Screening Committee during the search process. “I think you have two excellent candidates to interview.”

Lynch said Dolan has “done an outstanding job managing the city of 28,000 citizens.”

“(Dolan) has been very successful in managing the finances of that city and working on economic development in that city,” said Lynch. “He has built a very strong organization and has an outstanding reputation in Massachusetts with the other cities and towns. He is very knowledgeable about this region, and works cooperatively with the communities in this area.”

“Mr. Curtin was very impressive to the Screening Committee with the skills and the knowledge that he has about the town of Lynnfield,” said Lynch. “He has been in the position here for approximately eight years and has extensive experience with the town before that in his prior experience as a journalist covering the town of Lynnfield.”

The town administrator job has an advertised salary of $160,000 plus. Boudreau’s current salary is $187,000. Dolan made $132,000 as Melrose mayor in 2016.