Paolillo (Re)Joins Select Board

Photo: The team that runs Belmont: (from top left clockwise) Select Board Chair Adam Dash, vice-chair Roy Epstein, Town Administrator Patrice Garvin, Select Board member Mark Paolillo, and Jon Marshall, assistant town administrator.

When Mark Paolillo served on the Belmont Select Board in the 2010s he would be continually fighting a losing battle with Boston traffic to get to the Board’s Monday evening meetings on time, which resulted in good-natured comments from colleagues when he would eventually come flying into Town Hall.

The three-term (2010-19) “selectman” returns to the board after running unopposed to secure his fourth term at the April 6 Town Election. And the next day, at the annual organizational meeting, it was as if Paolillo hadn’t missed a beat … as he was running three minutes late.

Paolillo said there will be a lot of work facing the Board in the coming year after the rejection of the Prop 2 1/2 override by the voters 12 hours earlier.

“We need to come together as a board and, frankly, as a community. It was an emotionally charged election and I think it’s up to us as members of the board to help the community move past its differences,” said Paolillo, pointing to reengage on fiscal issues within the town.

“That’s going to be my primary focus on the board, but there are other things that are in the back of my mind like the community path and our climate action plan,” he said. “I know we have a diversity initiative that I’m fully engaged and committed to.”

At Wednesday’s meeting, Adam Dash returned for his second turn leading the Select Board after he was named chair for the coming year. Dash said he will run the meetings – they have been pushing close to four hours – using three simple rules:

  1. No drama,
  2. Be respectful, and
  3. Don’t waste anybody’s time because there’s a lot to do this year.

Dash also mentioned the failed override vote resulting in “a lot of work to do in a very short time getting ready for Town Meeting” which will occur at the end of April.

Roy Epstein, who ran the board for the past year is now vice-chair. Epstein said he will continue his work of making Select Board meeting material available to the public via the board’s website.

“There’s been some difficulty in getting that organized as it’s logistically cumbersome and sometimes we have 15 to 20 and 30 documents. But I think it’s a good practice just to make everything available so nobody feels that they’ve been at some informational disadvantage at the time of the meeting,” said Epstein.

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