Photo: Mark Paolillo
For Mark Paolillo, 12 years is enough.
Serving the final year of his fourth non-consecutive term (2010-2019, 2021-currently) on the Belmont Select Board, Paolillo will not be seeking a fifth when his tenure ends in April 2024.
“I’m not going anywhere, and I still love the job, but now is the right time to step away,” Paolillo told the Belmontonian at the celebration for the closing of the Belmont Public Library on Saturday, Nov. 18.
“It’s been an honor serving my home town on the board,” said Paolillo.
Even before his announcement, several names had been circulating around town of likely candidates to fill Paolillo’s seat, from those with significant experience serving on boards and committees, and several “newcomers” who have had just a taste of local government exposure.
It’s expected the first, and possibly second, of the potential candidates will be picking up nomination papers at the Town Clerk’s office by Wednesday, Nov. 22, before Town Hall shuts down for the four-day Thanksgiving holiday.
Paolillo will continue serving on the board until the Town Election on April 2, 2024. He said he wanted to participate in the creation of the fiscal 2025 budget and work with his board colleagues, Roy Epstein and Elizabeth Dionne, and town Financial Director Jennifer Hewitt in finding consensus on the critical dollar amount of the Proposition 2 1/2 override presented to voters in April.
“This [upcoming] override vote is massive for the future of Belmont and its schools. We have to get this one right,” he said.
A popular vote-getter at town elections, Paolillo won his first three-year term in 2010, defeating incumbent Dan LeClerc with 45 percent of the vote in a three-way race. Paolillo ran unopposed in 2013 and 2021.
After leaving the board in 2019, Paolillo returned in 2021 with a mission “to help the community move past its differences” after an override that year was rejected by residents by a 1,000 vote margin.
In his dozen years on the Select Board, Paolillo – a principal with the global tax services firm Ryan – has championed financial stability and sustainability (he is a member of the Financial Task Force) and is a strong supporter of implementing the long term structural reforms outlined in the Collins Center Report.
Paolillo is also known for his efforts to find consensus on the board and between town and elected officials as well as the public on the major issues facing Belmont.
“I have had amazing colleagues who have, I believe, made Belmont a better place,” he said.