Select Board OKs Belmont Patrol Officers Contracts; All Town Employee Agreements Completed

Photo: Final contract has been signed off

The Belmont Select Board approved two Memorandum of agreement with the 50-plus member Belmont Police Patrolman’s Association on a wintery Monday night, Jan. 23, completing contracts with each of the unions representing Belmont public employees.

“All our contracts are apparently settled,” said Patrice Garvin, Belmont’s town administrator who led the negotiations for the town.

“It’s great to be finally done,” said Mark Paolillo, chair of the Select Board. “I would characterize all of our contracts as fair … to the employees and also to the town of Belmont.”

The agreements are very similar to the pair of agreements OK’d two weeks ago with the firefighters union, said Garvin. The two contracts are:

  • A two-year term from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022 with a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) of 2 percent in each year. The memorandum of agreement also includes an increase in the first responders stipend by 4.5 percent effective July 1, 2021.
  • The second agreement runs from July, 1, 2022 to June 31, 2025 with the COLA compensation at 2 percent for each of the 3 years. There is an increase for first responders stipend starting July 1, 2022. “This payment will be equal to 6 percent of the weekly base pay as well as an educational incentive for a bachelor’s degree,” said Garvin. The stipend will incrementally increase in the subsequent years, to 7 percent on July 1, 2023 and 8 percent in July, 1, 2024. Patrol officers will receive an extra dollar in their detail rate from $3.50 to $4.50, Juneteenth is added as a paid holiday, officers will receive a $2,000 Covid-19 stipend just like their firefighting brethren, and employees will receive five weeks of vacation after serving 20 years; currently to take five weeks requires 25 years of service.

Shea It’s So: Three New Belmont Patrol Officers Join The Family Profession

Photo: From left, Connor, Michael and Ryan Shea after they were sworn in by Belmont Town Clerk Ellen Cushman on Wednesday. (Courtesy Belmont Police Department)

The Belmont Police Department has secured a third generation of the Shea family in its ranks as brothers Connor and Michael and their cousin, Ryan, joined the family profession after being sworn in as Belmont patrol officers by Belmont Town Clerk Ellen Cushman on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

The new officers will be joining their fathers as public safety officers: Connor and Michael are the sons of Belmont Police Detective Sgt. Kevin Shea while Ryan is the son of Lasell University Police Chief Robert Shea. And the three are the grandsons of former Belmont Police Chief Robert Shea.

“I’m happy to welcome these three young men from a family that has supported law enforcement and served the Town of Belmont for three generations now,” said Belmont Police Chief James MacIsaac. “These three men and their entire family have shown a commitment to our community that will continue for years to come.”

After an extensive 21-week academy program, the Sheas graduated with the 1st Recruit Officer Class of the Lynnfield Regional Police Academy and will now begin the BPD’s Field Training program, according to MacIsaac.

Belmont Health Dept. Holding Covid/Flu Clinic This Wednesday, Jan. 25 At Beth El Temple

Photo: The Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine (credit: Pfizer)

Belmont Health Department is offering vaccinations and bivalent boosters for Covid-19, and a seasonal flu shot to all eligible residents, ages three and older, on Wednesday, Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to noon at Beth El Temple Center, 2 Concord Ave.

What to know about the clinic:

  • Primary vaccine series for anyone ages 3+
  • Bivalent booster of Pfizer (5+) or Moderna (6+) COVID vaccine for anyone who has completed a primary vaccine series of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months after last dose or last booster dose
  • Flu shots will be available for ages three and up
  • Find complete guidance on booster eligibility here.

For children under 18 years of age, this form must be signed by a parent or guardian and presented at the time of vaccination (parent/guardian may not be present as long as signed consent is received). 

Look here for information and to register for a vaccine appointment.

Please bring your insurance (medical and prescription) and COVID-19 vaccination cards to the clinic.

  • COVID vaccines are free for all regardless of insurance coverage
  • Insurance is required for flu vaccines
  • For those covered by Medicare, please bring your red, white, and blue Medicare card in addition to any other insurance cards.

Please present insurance cards, photo ID, and vaccination cards at your appointment.

This clinic will be operated through a partnership between VaxinateRX and the Belmont Health Department. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be available.

Community Preservation Committee Votes Six Projects Worth $1.7 Million Forward To Town Meeting

Photo: The Grove Street basketball court will be reconstructed as part of the $1.7 million CPC package

The town’s Community Preservation Committee is sending six applications totaling $1.7 million to the annual Town Meeting for the body’s approval in the spring.

After some wrangling and reductions in two grant amounts, the projects which won the committee’s recommendation on Wednesday, Jan. 18 are:

Each project, which has undergone five months of financial scrutiny and applicability by the committee, was approved unanimously by the six members who attended the meeting.

Passed by town voters in November 2010, Belmont raises money for its Community Preservation Fund by imposing a 1.5 percent surcharge on local real estate taxes, collecting approximately $1 million annually. Additionally, each year the state distributes limited matching funds to the towns that have passed the CPA. These funds are collected from existing fees on real estate transactions at the Registry of Deeds.

CPC Chair Elizabeth Dionne noted that for the first time in many years, the dollar amount of the grants – $1,753,343 – nearly reached this year’s available funds of $1,757,666.

A preliminary grant application for $50,000 to begin design and engineering drawings for a renovation of the Underwood Playground above the Underwood Pool was withdrawn in December when CPC members felt the project could be delayed until the next CPC cycle beginning in the summer of 2023. Dionne also pointed to advocates of a Belmont Skate Park who view the park as a possible location for its park which would require the applicant to redefine the project’s scope.

Due to rules that require the CPC to have an adequate reserve for the three CPC “buckets” – the committee funds projects in historic preservation, affordable housing, and land conservation – the CPC approved cutting the original ask for the affordable housing application and the new conservation fund by $30,000 each with the $60,000 going into the historic reserve. The two grants will revert to the initial request if current projects turn back any extra funds when they close.

In addition to the final vote, the CPC voted unanimously to establish a reserve fund, serving as an “escape hatch” for emergency, off-cycle requests; the most recent example was the Town Hall slate roof that was underfunded at its initial request and the collapse last year of the Benton Library’s chimney.

Dionne’s suggestion was for 10 percent of CPC total budget, which would be approximately $140,000, but it was reduced to $100,000.

Tuccinardi Set To Move From Assistant To Taking Reins Of Belmont’s Accounting Dept.

Photo: Donna Tuccinardi, to be Belmont’s new town accountant

While it won’t be official until the Select Board is notified of the appointment on Monday, Jan. 23, there are some strong hints that Donna Tuccinardi will be Belmont’s next town accountant.

Such as, on the Select Board meeting agenda is an item stating Appointment of Town Accountant Donna Tuccinardi. Another is that as of Sunday, Tuccinardi had updated her Linkedin page with her new promotion.

Not that Tuccinardi selection would come as a surprise. The Belmont High grade (Class of ’90) has been the assistant accountant for the past seven and a half years. And Town Administrator Patrice Garvin, when introducing former assistant Matt Haskell as the town’s new budget analyst, said, “the one thing we’d like to do is to look for potential and growth within the town itself,” said Garvin.

Tuccinardi replaces Glenn Castro, who is returning to his home state of California.

Before moving into municipal government, Tuccinardi spent 17 years as a senior accounting manager with Five Star Quality Care, a provider of community-based services for older adults.

After graduating from BHS, Tuccinardi matriculated at Boston College, where she received a degree in management/accounting. Tuccinardi earned her MBA with a concentration in taxation in 2000 from Bentley.

A resident of Watertown, Tuccinardi is active in community service serving as a director of the Watertown Community Foundation, a PTO president, and involved in Watertown Youth Baseball.

With County At ‘High’ Level, Belmont Taking A Cautious Approach To Latest Covid-19 Spike

Photo: Belmont has not sought to bring back a mask mandate with the latest spike in Covid-19.

With the new year of 2023 bringing a jump in Covid-19 related hospitalizations and in overall cases in Middlesex county, the town of Belmont and the school district are taking a deliberate approach in its answer to the surge.

“At the moment, we are cautiously optimistic because we are not seeing a post-holiday spike in COVID-19 related absences in the schools like we had in recent years,” Wesley Chin, director of the Belmont Health Department, told the Belmontonian on Monday.

The Massachusetts reported on Jan. 5 that Middlesex County had reached a ‘High’ community level which is a combination of reported Covid cases and hospitalization due to the coronavirus. The recent spike in cases and those in the hospital was not unexpected as people are spending more time indoors where viruses can easily spread. Nationwide, nearly 20 percent of US counties are at the high level of Covid risk.

When areas reach the high level, the US CDC recommends citizens return to wearing a high-quality mask – N95, KF94 and KN95 – when indoors in public. The CDC also recommends those at high risk of getting very sick – the elderly and those with compromised immunity – to consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed.

“If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for getting very sick, consider testing before contact and wearing a high-quality mask when indoors with them,” advised the CDC in a press release.

So far, the Health Department is taking a watch and advise approach to the recent surge.

On the day the high level was reported, the town’s Health Department shared a shared a ‘COVID-19 Safety’ infographic with the community to remind residents about the readily accessible tools at hand that can help protect individuals from severe infections from COVID-19. (See the Infograph at the bottom of the page)

“The Health Department continues to monitor local and regional COVID-19 metrics. We are also in regular contact with the Head of Nursing and Superintendent for the Belmont Public Schools to monitor student and staff attendance throughout the district,” said Chin.

Initial data has been promising, said Chin.

“At the moment, we are cautiously optimistic because we are not seeing a post-holiday spike in COVID-19 related absences in the schools like we had in recent years. Additionally, COVID-19 waste water data provided by MWRA suggests that current COVID-19 infections may be on the decline in the north region,” said Chin.

While the town has not reinstated an indoor mask mandate for public and private locations with common spaces, “Belmont will always be a mask friendly community,” said Chin. “But, the best way to prevent adverse outcomes is to continue to stay up to date with bivalent booster shots,” he said. Belmont ended its indoor mask mandate in March 2022, approximately two years after it was declared.

In that regard, Belmont is ahead of the game with a high rate of vaccination among residents, with most age groups having reached a 95 percent-plus fully vaccinated rate.

While vaccinations do not prevent contracting the virus, it does lessen the severity of the illness and in nearly all cases of those fully vaccinated will prevent an hospital stay.

“We believe the high rate of vaccination in Belmont is likely playing a protective role in allowing us to weather the current surge of cases in the Northeast with less disruption to everyday life this year,” said Chin.

Opinion: This Week, Help UNICEF’s Work Supporting Children Worldwide Online

Photo: Detail of the poster of the UNICEF campaign.

By Alisa, Sophia, Laiyee, Heidi, and Jessica

Did you know the average American has $113 worth of spare change lying around their house? Last year, Belmont families helped us raise $2,000 with said spare change. Thanks to your efforts, UNICEF was able to support children worldwide in healthcare and immunization efforts- issues that are especially pressing during this period of time. 

To continue our efforts this year, UNICEF is running both an online fundraiser and an in-person coin collecting campaign in partnership with the Belmont elementary schools, until January 17. The online fundraiser can be accessed through the QR code below, and through this link: 

QR code for UNICEF fundraiser

While the in-person coin collection sites will be at ALL 4 elementary schools. With the new year, we hope to build a better future for children, one coin at a time. 

What is UNICEF?

UNICEF, or the United Nations Children’s Fund, is an organization that works in more than 190 countries around the world to help children by providing basic services like health care, education, food, water, protection, and more. 

Why are we collecting money?

All of the money raised by the Belmont community will directly assist global health care for children in need, around the world. Your participation allows UNICEF to continue bringing aid to families, from delivering safe water and emergency nutrition in the Horn of Africa to rushing warm clothes this winter to families in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Recently, UNICEF has been assisting the children of Ukraine by providing education, medicine, and mental health support.

Belmont Public Schools Online Registration for School Year ’23-’24 Opens Friday, Jan. 27

Photo: Student registration is online for the 2023-24 school year

The annual online registration to attend Belmont Public Schools will begin on Jan. 27. And there is Important registration information for BPS families:

You do not need to register an existing grade 1-12 Belmont Public Schools student.

You do need to register your incoming kindergartner even if you are a current Belmont Public Schools family. To ensure placement of your incoming kindergartner at the same elementary school as your grade 1-4 child, please submit all required documents to complete registration for your incoming kindergartner by April 8. Current Wellington preschool families will be emailed registration instructions.

For grade K-4 families new to Belmont Public Schools:
Please see the K-4 registration page on the BPS website for registration information and paperwork deadlines for school placement dates.
Please also see our Elementary Information Presentations on the BPS registration page (posted when registration opens online). These presentations give general information about Belmont Public Schools, registration, health requirements, and food services.

Grades K-4:

Grades 5-12:
If you have any questions regarding your registration, please contact the school where you registered.

Belmont Girls’ Hoops Ups Record To 7-2 With Defensive Gem Over Reading, 52-42

Photo: Belmont High’s sophomore Cortney Howell in action against the Reading Rockets

Belmont High Girls’ Basketball Head Coach Shantell Jeter could only shrug when asked about her team’s what has become all to familar start to a game. After scoring the first basket via senior captain Sophie McDevitt, the Marauders were bombarded by a young Reading High squad with three threes and a long two to find themselves down, 11-2, after two minutes.

“We often have slower starts,” said Jeter who is in her first year at the helm of the Marauders. “We’ve been talking about the importance of having faster starts” noting that the team needed more possession “and go harder at the other team.”

Belmont High Senior Co-Capt. Sophie McDevitt gets inside

That “being harder” is exactly what the Marauders did for the remainder of the game, holding the Rockets (4-3) to a total of six points over the middle two quarters while making enough of a scoring run to come off the court with a 52-42 victory, pushing up its record to 7-2. Belmont’s two losses were to undefeated Winchester and top-ten Newton North (7-1)

”Everyone contributed today. Everyone was hustling. We had people diving on the floor which is what we love,” said Jeter. “We had the girls getting in there wrapping up the ball every time someone held it.”

After an early timeout, the Marauders start to right the ship with a hard nose, man-to-man defense – demonstrated by a monster block by sophomore Cortney Howell of an attempted three – that cut the lead to 18-11 at the end of the first quarter.

For the next two quarters, Belmont’s team defense was the star, as it bodied up to the Rocket players, winning nearly every defensive rebounding opportunity – thanks to Howell, sophomore Symone Jackson and junior Julia Herlihy – and just frustrating each offensive venture Reading had Friday.

On the break with Belmont High first year Sophia McClendon vs. the Reading High Rockets

“They’re playing better defense together every time,” Jeter said.

The defensive stand was needed as Belmont continues to make questionable shot selections for long portions of the game. While keeping the Rockets to six points, the Marauders scored 23 in the middle quarters (leading 23-21 at the half and 34-24 after three), led by sophomore Linda Sheng with eight and first year Sophia McClandon at five.

The final eight minutes turned into a grinding affair with every Reading scoring run answered by the Marauders including a killer 3 from McClandon – who tied Sheng with 9 points to lead the Marauders in the game – at the 5:36 mark to give Belmont a 10 point lead, 38-28. Junior Mia Ferrari buried six consecutive from the charity stripe, scoring six of the final eight points to finish off the game.

Next up for the Marauders will be at 6-1 Wakefield away on Tuesday and away at winless Arlington Friday.

Cardboard Drop-off: DPW Yard, 37 C St., Saturday, Jan. 14 – 8AM to 1PM

Photo: Last chance to get rid of all that cardboard at one fell swoop

The holidays are over and it’s time to get rid of all that cardboard your gifts came in.

The Belmont Department of Public Works will be holding a cardboard drop-off event at 37 C St., DPW Yard on Saturday, Jan. 14, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.


  • No early drop offs, cardboard drop-off will begin at 8 a.m. and not a minute sooner.
  • Must be a Belmont resident to register.
  • Please remain in your car at the Yard.
  • All cardboard must be in the trunk or rear of the car.
  • All cardboard should be flattened prior to drop-off.

Please Click Here To Register