SELECTMEN NEWS: Appointments To Town’s New Economic Development Committee Gets Complicated

WILMINGTON, MA — At its meeting on Monday night, the Board of Selectmen finalized the membership of the town’s new Economic Development Committee. Well, maybe.

Each Selectmen was allowed to make one appointment to the Committee.

Selectman Mike McCoy selected Suzanne Sullivan, who is currently a candidate for Selectmen.

“She has a background and she knows the subject,” said McCoy, who noted Sullivan was the only resident to reach out to him seeking the appointment. McCoy listed many of the other committees Sullivan has previously served on in town, including the Board of Selectmen, Master Plan Advisory Committee, Affordable Housing committee, Open Space Committee, Comprehensive Water Management Plan Committee, and Wilmington Citizen Advisory Panel.

Selectman Greg Bendel selected retired U.S. Army Major Robert Oliveira.

“He is a obviously a great leader. He will bring a unique perspective to this committee,” said Bendel. Oliveira currently serves on the town’s Commission on Disabilities, assisted with the Moving Wall’s visit to Wilmington last year, and regularly collects donations for needy veterans.

Selectman Jonathan Eaton selected Carol Boisvert, a long-time resident and Human Resources Director for Heilind Electronics in Wilmington.

“It kind of flew under the radar, but Heilind Electronics announced in November they are expanding their corporate headquarters over on Jonspin Road in Wilmington from 40,000 sf to another 60,000 sf,” said Eaton. “There’s certainly an opportunity to discuss some of the pain points (e.g., permitting process) that they might have encountered along the way…. Mrs. Boisvert is a very articulate and intelligent individual. I’m confident she’ll be a ‘value add’ to the Committee.”

Selectman Kevin Caira selected Dan Gibbons, a businessman and owner of Benjamin Moore Hardware Store in the Wilmington Plaza.

These four new members join the seven existing members previously selected by Town Manager Jeff Hull last month:

  • Mike Champoux (former Selectman who pushed for the formation of the Economic Development Committee for several years, local businessperson, active in the Wilmington-Tewksbury Chamber of Commerce)
  • Patrick Giroux (works for a commercial real estate firm in Boston, family owns a real estate business)
  • Lilia Maselli (works as an executive assistant with the management staff at Analog Devices, owns & runs a small business with her husband)
  • Nancy Vallee (Executive Director of the Wilmington-Tewksbury Chamber of Commerce)
  • Selectman Greg Bendel (Selectmen’s designee)
  • Planning & Conservation Director Valerie Gingrich
  • Town Manager Jeff Hull

Another Bump In The Road?

During Public Comments, resident Gary DePalma asked what would happen to the Economic Development Committee’s makeup if Suzanne Sullivan was elected to the Board of Selectmen on April 27.

“I have a question about the appointment of Ms. Sullivan, which I don’t disagree with at all,” said DePalma. “If [Ms. Sullivan] is elected, does that mean that Mr. McCoy needs to rescind his appointment to this committee, and would Ms. Sullivan then get to make her own appointment, which would mean there would be two new people coming on to this committee? So isn’t it just wasting time to have her on it right now?”

“I totally disagree with you. You’re wrong. She deserves the appointment. I resent your remark,” responded McCoy.

Resident Lilia Maselli, a member of the Economic Development Committee, said she felt DePalma’s question was legitimate and asked Selectmen Chair Kevin Caira to answer.

“You were really rude in your response,” Maselli told McCoy. Maselli cited a need for civil discourse.

“I agree it was a legitimate question,” said Caira. “We haven’t addressed it… It’s a good question to bring up, actually.”

Caira noted that the Selectmen already have a representative to the Committee in Selectmen Greg Bendel, who volunteered.

“If Ms. Sullivan wins, she becomes a member of the Board of Selectmen. Personally, I don’t think she’d be sitting on that committee as a member of the Board of Selectmen because we’re choosing one member of the Board of Selectmen to be on there,” said Caira, who noted he and/or Bendel may not be on the Board after April 27. “After the election, [the board] can revisit that and make that decision.”

McCoy noted that Selectman Kevin Caira and former Selectwoman Judy O’Connell both served on the Yentile Farm Development Committee while sitting Selectmen.

“What’s the problem with [Ms. Sullivan] being elected and still serving on the Committee?,” McCoy asked DePalma.

“I was asking a question. That’s all I was doing. Excuse me for asking a question,” responded a frustrated DePalma. 

“If a new board decides to change things and have two [Selectmen representatives], that’s fine,” said Caira. “What’s the big deal?”

“I didn’t take Mr. DePalma’s question to be insulting towards Ms. Sullivan or Mr. McCoy,” chimed in Selectman Eaton, who encouraged the board to revisit the issue after the election.

“It’s certainly a fair question,” added Selectman Bendel.

Selectman McCoy apologized later in the meeting to Maselli, not DePalma.

“I apologize if you thought I was harsh. I didn’t think that I was,” said McCoy. “But I want to point out that the person to your right is Mr. Maselli, candidate for Selectman. OK, that’s all. Good luck sir.”

The Economic Development Committee’s first meeting will be scheduled for May.

Watch the discussion, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, beginning at the 1-hour, 40-minute mark.

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One thought

  1. Just to clarify, what is Suzanne Sullivan’s occupation? I wasn’t sure if she works in the private sector or owns a business. All of the other members of the committee have shared their occupation.

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