Published in the December 13, 2017 edition


LYNNFIELD — After serving as town administrator for the past three years, Jim Boudreau says goodbye to Lynnfield on Friday.

Boudreau is leaving town this week after agreeing to become Scituate’s next town administrator in late October. He succeeded retired Lynnfield Town Administrator Bill Gustus in January 2015.


In an interview with the Villager, Boudreau said he will miss working in town.

“The people here are fantastic,” said Boudreau. “The residents, the board members, the committees and the department heads are great. It’s a great place to work. It’s a great community. That is the thing I will remember the most.”

Boudreau said his wife is originally from the North Shore, which is what inspired him to leave as Norwell’s town administrator to come to Pioneer country.

“The plan was I would get a job up here and we would relocate the family to the North Shore,” said Boudreau. “That was the plan, but life intruded and we weren’t able to do that.”

Boudreau said he is proud of a number of accomplishments over the course of his tenure in town.

“We got some of the field projects done,” said Boudreau. “I am happy with some of the systems we have put in place and the policies we have formalized. Moving forward, I think the review process for employees is a very good thing. We formalized a lot of the systems that were in place, particularly the financial policies and systems to keep the town on the right footing. It will give people guidelines for where we need to be when we are doing our budgets. I am very proud of that.”

Some of Boudreau’s additional accomplishments during his tenure include finalizing a 10-year capital plan and negotiating collective bargaining agreements.

Boudreau also said he is “proud of the relationships” he developed during his tenure.

Boudreau thanked the Board of Selectmen for their support the past three years.

“The selectmen have been very good to me,” said Boudreau. “I have enjoyed working with them. That’s one of the reasons why we got such a good response to the ad. The first thing I have been asked is ‘Why are you leaving,’ and my response has been ‘It’s strictly personal.’ There is no professional reason why I am leaving this job. The board is good and is good to work with. I get along with all of them individually. I want to thank them for their support because they have been great. They support what I do and they support the initiatives I try to do. There is no professional reason why I am making the switch. It’s strictly family.”

Over the course of his last week on the job, Boudreau has been working to “finish up the stuff I want to get done before I leave.”

“I want everything to be in good shape for when the new person comes in so they can pick it up and not have to rebuild everything,” said Boudreau.

Boudreau has spent the bulk of his time trying to finish the town’s fiscal year 2019 operating and capital budgets before he leaves town.

“For all intents and purposes, the budget is done,” said Boudreau. “I met with (Town Accountant) Julie McCarthy and (Assistant to Administration) Bob Curtin to discuss that. There are still a couple of wildcards with state aid and health insurance. The new person is just going to have to come in and take the final state numbers, plug those in and make whatever adjustments have to be made at that point.”

Boudreau said the town’s budget, particularly with the decline in new growth revenue, will be a challenge for the next town administrator.

“There is an increasing demand for services with limited revenue growth,” said Boudreau. “That is not unique to Lynnfield. Lynnfield had the MarketStreet boom, which allowed the town to address a lot of needs in the schools, police and fire departments without having to go back to the taxpayers and say we need more money. But that bump has gone away, so you are going to have to maintain your budget and maintain services on the regular revenue stream that you have. That is always going to be difficult.”

When asked if he had any advice for his successor, Boudreau said, “Be yourself.”

“Whoever is coming in is going to find things in pretty good shape,” added Boudreau. “The operating budget will be ready to go and the capital budget will be ready to go. They can take it and make whatever tweaks they want, but they are not going to have to come in and do everything from scratch. They will find good department heads and good boards, and lots of good volunteers.”

Looking back on his tenure in town, Boudreau said, “I think I have left (the town) a little better” than when he started.

“That is one of the goals you have when you go into a job,” said Boudreau. “Bill (Gustus) did a good job for the length of time he was here, and I think I was able to take some of what he did and take it to the next step. The person who comes in is going to find a town that is looking to keep moving forward. I think that is important.”