WILMINGTON, MA — At this week’s Wilmington Board of Selectmen Meeting, Town Manager Jeff Hull responded to a request from Selectman Gary DePalma to explain how the town could go about changing the name of the “Board of Selectmen” to “Select Board.”
Hull explained that the term “Board of Selectmen” is mentioned in three key documents:
- Wilmington’s Inhabitant Bylaws
- Wilmington’s Zoning Bylaws
- The Town Manager’s Act
Changing the title in the Inhabitant Bylaws would require a majority vote on a warrant article at a future Town Meeting.
Changing the title in the Zoning Bylaws would require the Planning Board to hold a public hearing and issue a report and recommendation to a future Town Meeting. A majority vote would be required for that article at that future Town Meeting.
Changing the title in the Town Manager’s Act would also require a majority vote at a future Town Meeting, plus approval by the state legislature of a bill, presumably filled on the town’s behalf of one or more of Wilmington’s legislative delegation, to modify the language.
Absent a Special Town Meeting in the winter — which may be required as part of the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s construction grant program relative to the Wildwood Early Childhood Center — the earliest residents would vote on these warrant articles would be the 2022 Annual Town Meeting on Saturday, April 29, 2021.
DePalma proposed the change at the board’s April 26, 2021 meeting, saying “it’s time.”
While the board did not take a formal vote, no member objected to DePalma’s suggestion.
Selectwoman Jomarie O’Mahony noted that, with the recent election of Lillian Maselli, this is the first time in history of the town that two women are sitting on the Board of Selectmen at the same time.
Without verifying with the Town Clerk, but based on Annual Town Reports, Wilmington Apple believes O’Mahony and Maselli are the sixth and seventh women to serve as Selectman in town, following in the footsteps of Wavie Drew, Madelyn Mackie, Diane Allen, Suzanne Sullivan and Judy O’Connell.
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