LETTER: Longtime School Committee Member MJ Byrnes Endorses DePalma & West For Select Board

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I welcome you to join me in supporting Mr. Frank West and Mr. Gary DePalma in their candidacy to the Board of Selectman on April 22nd. Through my long acquaintance and friendship with these gentlemen, I’ve come to observe the strong commitment and dedication they have for our community, and the positive impacts their work has had on the quality of life for its residents.

Mr. West, a lifelong Wilmington resident, local businessman and past member of the Board of Selectmen, has and continues to serve this community and our families as a long term and active volunteer in several local organizations. He serves as Captain of the Wilmington Minuteman, representing the rich history of Wilmington through parades, reenactments and at our Town Meetings. He continues to teach and guide children as Troop Leader of Boy Scout Troop 136 and Den Leader for the Cub Scouts. He currently serves as Chaplain and Secretary for the Sons of the American Legion, Post 136. In addition, he and his wife have served for many years as Zone Managers for “Toys for Tots”, hosting many successful toy drives that have benefitted so many children in need.

In my own work, he is often my “go to” in better understanding how Wilmington has evolved over the years, educationally, politically, and operationally. He truly has a strong command and broad understanding of each Town Department and the issues our municipality currently faces. In participating with him in several events and organizations over the years, it is easy to see his humbleness, passion, and dedication to the Town, that has garnered him the respect of many in our community as a strong leader.

Like Mr. West, Mr. DePalma also embodies many of these same qualities that I believe he has proven essential as a leader for our community.  Through his previous experience in local and state Law enforcement, member of our Economic Development Committee and positions within state and local politics, it has lent to his effectiveness as a Selectman for our families and community. As a strong and vocal member of the Board, he has advocated tirelessly on issues that would negatively impact the quality and stability of our municipality and residents, such as the Nichols Street Project, and has lent his activism to those issues which will enhance the vitality and sustainability of Wilmington, such as sensible building, the building of a new Senior Center, Public Safety initiatives and, in turn, will protect our community’s long held traditions that we all hold dear.

In addition to his service with the Town’s Disability Commission, Mr. DePalma serves and is a welcomed addition to The Wilmington Public Schools Strategic Plan Committee, which is one of our most important working groups that is charged in creating vital educational initiatives for our students and schools for the next 3 years. Not only is this another example of Mr. DePalma’s commitment to the residents and our children in Wilmington, but it’s a clear representation of the importance of collaboration amongst our elected Boards that will only strengthen the work we do on behalf of taxpayers.

During his term, I have always respected and appreciated his dedication to his seat for municipal transparency and accountability to the residents of Wilmington.

Like every community, Wilmington is facing multiple changes and challenges at a time of fiscal and economic uncertainty. Taken into consideration the host of building projects about to commence in our Town, it’s imperative we have strong and versed leadership to ensure we can navigate these initiatives without sacrificing the services that residents have always come to rely upon.

Even though Mr. West and Mr. DePalma are running individually for their seats, their long and deep-rooted commitment of personal time, civic participation and knowledge of this community lends itself to my strong belief they are the right men to serve our town and be instrumental in navigating these difficult hurdles we will most certainly face.

With a combined 75+ years (and growing) of volunteerism and public service experience, the majority of which has been dedicated to our community, I welcome and encourage you to join me and my family in electing Frank West and re-electing Gary DePalma to the Board of Selectmen on April 22nd.


M.J. Byrnes

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