West Nile Virus Found In Belmont and Cambridge

Photo: West Nile virus back in Belmont.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced today, Thursday, July 13 that West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitos recently collected from Belmont and Cambridge. 

WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. While WNV can infect people of all ages; people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection. 

Information about WNV and reports of WNV activity in Massachusetts during 2017 can be found on the MDPH website.

As always, there are a few precautions people can do to help to protect themselves and their families.

Avoid Mosquito Bites 

  • Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours: The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. Otherwise, take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing. 
  • Clothing Can Help reduce mosquito bites: Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin. 
  • Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors: Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m- toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home 

  • Drain Standing Water: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Make sure rain barrels are covered or screened. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently. 
  • Install or Repair Screens: Some mosquitoes like to come indoors.

Search to Replace Town Administrator as Kale Heads for Home

Photo: David Kale

The novelist Thomas Wolfe famously said, “You can’t go home again.”

Apparently, David Kale is ignoring that advice.

The lifelong Cambridge resident will decamp as Belmont’s Town Administrator in mid-March to become his hometown’s Assistant City Manager for Finance, according to a press release issued late Thursday, Jan. 19 by Cambridge City Manager Louis DePasquale.

Kale returns to Cambridge city government having served previously as the city’s Director and Deputy Finance/Budget Director from 2003 to 2012.

Kale was in the final six months of a second three-year contract ending in July 2017.

While sudden, the news of Kale’s departure was not shocking to most in Belmont government circles.

“It was really no surprise that [Kale] would be leaving,” said Selectmen Chair Mark Paolillo Thursday, noting Kale’s strong ties to Cambridge and the knowledge that Belmont’s neighbor would be seeking his expertise in finance and budgeting for its operation. 

“It’s a great job for him, a real step up in his career,” said Paolillo.

While saying Kale’s departure “will be a real loss to the town,” Paolillo said a committee would be assembled “soon” to begin the search for Kale’s replacement.

We have a fiduciary obligation to do a broad search for a replacement,” said Paolillo. 

Paolillo said he hopes the board will appoint Assistant Town Administrator Phyllis Marshall as interim Town Administrator until a new chief administrative officer for the town is selected. Paolillo said Marshall would be welcomed to apply for the position. 

Kale was named Belmont’s town administrator in June 2012 after a contentious decision. Paolillo said Kale was instrumental in implementing the successful “one town, one budget” process in which schools and municipal departments worked collaboratively in creating the annual budget.

“[Kale] was politically astute … and he really tried to work towards a consensus on what was best for Belmont,” said Paolillo. 

“He was not a reactive town administrator. David was always thinking about the next step and working towards filling the needs of the town. I’ll miss that the most,” he said. 

Paolillo said Kale would stay to lead the town through the initial part of the budget process which is currently underway.  

According to the town’s website, the town administrator serves as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Town and has three primary responsibilities:
  • Directs and manages the delivery of municipal services, except those under the jurisdiction of the independently-elected authorities;
  • Provides leadership to the Selectmen for strategic planning; and,
  • Serves as the Director of the Office of the Board of Selectmen.