Town Manager Hull Recognizes Retiring Town Employees From DPW, Public Buildings & Town Hall

Below is the “From The Manager’s Desk” column from the latest Town Topics Newsletter:

Annual Town Meeting, which establishes the Town’s budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2023, is scheduled for April 29, 2023 starting at 9:00 a.m. in the Joanne M. Benton Auditorium at the Wilmington High School. What follows is a brief explanation of the budget process. Nearly 80% of the Town’s budget is supported by revenue from local property taxes paid by residents and businesses.

The Town’s Inhabitant Bylaws and Town Manager’s Act prescribe the procedure for developing the budget. Not less than 90 days before the Annual Town Meeting the town manager must present the Select Board and Finance Committee with a budget reflecting total expenditures and total revenues. This presentation takes place at a Select Board meeting at the end of January. During the month of February, the Finance Committee meets with the town manager and representatives from each department to discuss their proposed expenditures and operations. Meetings are open to the public and covered by WCTV. During this time the Select Board may also question the town manager or offer comment on the budget.

In March of each year, the Select Board votes to approve and issue a “warrant” which details the date and time of local elections, identifies the elected positions to be filled and outlines expenditures that are proposed for the upcoming fiscal year. Each “article” provides notice of a particular subject to be acted upon. Registered voters attending Annual Town Meeting will be asked to vote on the “motion” which is the action to be taken on the article. The subjects of the articles include the budgets for the Wilmington Public Schools, Shawsheen Valley Technical High School, police, fire, public works and other general government departments, purchase of vehicles, computer equipment, repair projects to municipal buildings or upgrades to parks, fields and roads, changes to the local zoning or the purchase or sale of property amongst other matters.

The Finance Committee and Planning Board typically conduct a joint public hearing to discuss and receive public comment on the budget articles and articles to change the Inhabitant Bylaws or Zoning Bylaws. This year that public hearing is scheduled for March 21, 2023 beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium. The Planning Board has a separate public hearing scheduled for April 4, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Auditorium to consider one zoning article. The recommendations of the Finance Committee and Planning Board are published in a document entitled “Recommendations of the Finance Committee and Planning Board.” This document is mailed to each resident in mid April so that it is received in advance of the Annual Town Meeting and serves as a useful guide during Annual Town Meeting.

Some residents have expressed frustration as to why voting in local elections or at town meetings cannot be done remotely. These matters are governed by state law and the Town must adhere to the procedures that are in place. The Town Moderator serves to facilitate the presentation of articles and the discussion and debate that follows. It is the Town Moderator’s responsibility to ensure that motions are presented properly, that parliamentary procedures are followed and to determine the quantum of vote required for approval of any motion on an article. Residents with questions about the town meeting process may contact Jonathan Eaton, Town Moderator, at

Each November the Select Board conducts a tax classification hearing to receive a recommendation from the Principal Assessor on the allocation of real estate taxes between residential property class, and commercial, industrial and personal property class. In November of 2022, as has been the practice for over thirty-five years, the Board voted to shift the maximum amount of the tax levy away from residential property class to the commercial, industrial and personal property class. This action saved the residential taxpayer with the average property value of $622,128 an amount of $2,289 in real estate taxes as compared with making no shift and maintaining a single tax rate for each property class.

In recognition of substantial new growth and the escalating property values through January 1, 2022, the Board also endorsed not increasing taxes to the maximum amount allowable by state law. Proposition 2 ½, approved by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1980, permits communities to increase the Town’s tax levy limit by up to 2.5% of the previous year’s levy plus any new growth and debt exclusions or overrides as approved by the voters. The Select Board endorsed leaving property taxes $1.3 million below the levy limit. By limiting the increase to the tax levy, the Town was able to reduce the average single family residential tax bill by $93.00.

Once again it is my privilege to honor those dedicated general government employees who will be retiring from their positions with the Town over the next three (3) months to engage in other pursuits. Neal Waring, an equipment operator in the highway division, has served the Town dutifully in all kinds of weather for over 35 years. Wendy Martiniello, Procurement and Human Resources Coordinator, has been a key part of the Town Manager’s Office and has served the Town in various capacities for over 29 years. Frank Mearls, a custodian in the Public Buildings Department, has served the Town for the last twenty years. They are each well deserving of a healthy and adventuresome next stage.

The Town continues to advance a permanent solution for the Wildwood Early Childhood Center, the construction of a new senior center and the construction of a new town/school administration building. Each of the building committee meetings have posted agendas and are open to the public. Residents are encouraged to attend or view the meetings via WCTV or on the Town website by clicking the Building Projects link at the top of the page or School Department’s website at

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