Pats Are Back! Tixs, Sponsorships Are On Sale Today For May 23 Game

Photo: To the hoop with the Patriots and Boosters.

The New England Patriots are returning for another visit to Belmont!

The Belmont Boosters will be holding its fifth annual New England Patriots Basketball Fundraiser on Wednesday, May 23, at 7 p.m. at Belmont High School’s Wenner Field House. Members of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots will compete against the Belmont Booster All-Stars, consisting of various members of the Belmont community. Attendees will have autograph and photo opportunities with the players, as well as a chance to win an autographed football.

ASK US HOW YOU CAN PLAY IN THE GAME! Business sponsorships that involve a direct solicitation of the entire Belmont community are also available.

Tickets and business sponsorship sales have begun. For information, please call 617-904-7542. You can also email the Boosters at


The Belmont Boosters Club a 501(c)(3) organization is a community organization made up of volunteers excited and committed to promoting the athletic experience at Belmont High School. The Boosters’ mission is to provide funding for items that are outside the athletic budgets.

Controlling Trash And Rats: Carry-In/Carry-Out Trial Set For Joey’s Park, Town Field

Photo: Goodbye, rat magnet.

There were two photos projected on the wide screen at the Board of Selectmen’s Room during the board’s meeting on Monday, March 26.

On the left of the screen was a collection of garbage loaded up on a broken water fountain including what appeared to be a dirty diaper. The right side showed what appeared to be a birthday party but with all the paper plates and napkins, balloons, containers and food left on the benches and tables as if the people were suddenly taken in the Rapture.

The scenes presented to the board of recent conditions at Joey’s Park in the Winn Brook neighborhood was just the spark to light the fuse to launch Selectman Mark Paolillo into orbit.

“That’s disgusting! How do people do this? It’s so disrespectful!” said Paolillo in an extended animated response, sending a message to the community that he and the town have had enough of those who litter and run.

“Those of you at home who did this; it’s outrageous!” said Paolillo.

The evidence of residents and possibly visitors from surrounding communities behaving badly by illegal dumping trash in the parks is prompting the town to reintroduce a program removing all trash barrels in town’s eight parks and playground to be replaced with a program where if you bring something into the parks, you’ll have to take the resulting waste out yourself.

“While there is no silver bullet that will end illegal dumping, this [policy] will be a long-term benefit,” said Jay Marcotte, Belmont Public Works director, as he presented the plan to the board.

While many residents were not in favor of the program known as Carry-In/Carry-Out when it was first introduced a year ago, the proposed policy is now also being used as a weapon to attack another issue facing residents: rats.

The rodent infestation has begun to plague certain parks and neighborhoods as the rats have discovered a ready source of food, coming from compost piles, pet food left outdoors, birdseed dispensers and household trash. And one of the easiest is the waste and food scraps left in and around the many barrels located in each park.

Currently, the town empties barrels Monday, Wednesday and Friday and whenever they are called, said Marcotte. But just by having trash containers creates a problem. “If you build it, they will come. And if you have trash barrels, the trash will come. It’s just the nature of what humans do, even if its overflowing,” said Marcotte.

While some residents contend the problem can be solved with more barrel pickups, Marcotte believes the best long-term approach is a conscious and sustained effort of re-educating the public.

A pilot program at Joey’s Park and Town Field between Beech and Waverley streets beginning in the next few months. The policy of taking away the trash is gaining in popularity locally and around the country. Nearby Walden Pond in Concord, the Boston Harbour Islands, the National Park System and the municipalities of Gloucester, Beverly, Reading, and Needham have joined the trend.

The DPW is working with the Board of Health to bring its expertise in educating the public. 

Board of Health member Dr. David Alper said while the board had reservations on a complete ban of receptacles, “Let’s try it. It certainly doesn’t cost us anything to hit the two big parks.”

“It comes back to education. You wouldn’t think you’d have to educate the public to pick up after themselves but you do,” said Alper. He also said the DPW will work with Winn Brook Elementary students to create signs and message to be placed around the parks to reinforce the policy.

“And hopefully the byproduct will be the rats will look elsewhere for food,” said Alper.

Three Finalist Up For Wellington Elementary Principal Post

Photo: Wellington Elementary School.

They have met with teachers and staff, a parents group and administrators. And the selection of the next principal of the Roger Wellington Elementary School is in the home stretch with one of three candidates to be selected to take the reins from Amy Spangler, who left after five years at the school. The finalists will soon meet with Belmont Superintendent John Phelan who will make the final decision in the next few weeks. 

The three finalists are:

  • Martha Wiley of Oxford
  • Jody Day Klein of Newton
  • Allison Franke of Somerville

Wiley is the principal of the Clara Barton Elementary School which is part of the Oxford Public Schools. Wiley has been leading the 3rd- through 4th-grade school since July 2016. She came to her current position in central Massachusetts from the Fitchburg public schools where she spent nearly five years as assistant principal of the K-4 Reingold Elementary. For 17 years, she was an elementary school teacher in the Northborough district.

Wiley has a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an M.A. in Elementary and Middle School Education from Cambridge College and an Educational Specialist degree from Bay Path College.

Klein has been the interim principal of Newton’s Lincoln-Eliot School for nearly two years, after spending a decade as the director of English Language Learning in the Newton School District. She started in Newton as the World Languages Coordinator. Klein is a Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Administrator Trainer for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She also works with Research for Better Teaching and is an instructor of Studying Skillful Teacher

Klein received her B.A. from Washington DC’s American University, her M.Ed. from Boston University, and a C.A.G.S. in School Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Franke is an assistant principal of Somerville’s Capuano Early Education Center, a pre-K, and Kindergarten school, for nearly four years, after working for four years as a literacy specialist at the Franklin Elementary School in West Newton. She’s held numerous posts in and out of elementary education after starting her career as a kindergarten and second-grade teacher in the Los Angeles schools for nearly four years. 

A DC native, Franke graduated with a computer science degree from Amherst, earned an Ed.M in Language and Literacy from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, and a masters in organizational management from Endicott. 

Absentee Voting Available Until Monday, April 2

Photo: Vote at Town Hall until April 2

Residents who wish to take advantage of absentee voting in the annual town-wide election can do so at the Belmont Town Clerk’s office until noon, April 2, the day before the election. 

To vote absentee, all ballot requests must be made in writing and received before noon on April 2. Absentee ballot applications can be used for one election or for an entire calendar year. A new application must be filed for each subsequent calendar year.

Please note that fax and email requests are not acceptable; only original signatures are acceptable.

Click here for more information regarding Absentee and UOCAVA (Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act) Voting.

Finally: Teachers, Educators Ratify Three-Year Contract With School Committee

Photo: The BEA is Belmont’s largest employee union with 500 members.

The members of three of four bargaining units of the Belmont Education Association have this month ratified new three-year contracts with the Belmont School Committee, all retroactive to September 2017, the start of the current school year. The new contract comes four months after the two sides told the public they had reached a tentative agreement.

The contract will cover approximately 500 union members, of which 330 are teachers and educators in Belmont’s six public schools and those working in the district. The BEA employee contract is the largest in the town; at $26.2 million in fiscal year 2018, it just under half of the school budget of $53.0 million. 

Only Unit C, which represents approximately 18 administrative assistants and secretaries, remains unresolved. John Sullivan, the association’s president, said the members “should vote in the next month.”

Sullivan said educators in Unit A, which is made up of teachers, will receive an annual 2 percent cost of living adjustment under the terms of the contract. There is also “improved language in the areas of teaching and learning,” he noted. 

The MOAs of the three units are below:

Joey’s Park Reopening Tentatively Set For April 9

Photo: Joey’s Park to reopen mid-April.

With the second attempt to rid the rats at Joey’s Park about to conclude, the Belmont Department of Public Works has set a date when the popular playground in the town’s Winn Brook neighborhood will reopen.

The treatment of the playground for a persistent rat infestation by Assurance Pest Control is expected to end this week, Jay Marcotte, DPW director stated in a memo to Town Administrator Patrice Garvin.

Marcotte said that Assurance anticipates that the playground can reopen within a week to 10 days after the final application of a non-toxic irritant known as Rat-Out Gel. The same treatment was attempted in October but it failed to expel the rodents who live in tunnels under the ground. 

“[W]e are looking at a tentative April 9thopening,” wrote Marcotte.

Foregoing Plastic: A Forum on Belmont Bag Ban Tuesday March 27

Photo: Plastic bags on the way out in Belmont? One group hopes so.

The Belmont Bag Ban Group, an ad-hoc group advocating for the ban single-use plastic bags at the check-out lines, is holding a forum to hear details of the proposed bylaw, and ask questions on Tuesday, March 27 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Assembly Room of the Belmont Public Library. Speakers will include Belmont organizers as well as environmental activists. Citizens are welcome to attend.

The proposed ban will be before the annual Town Meeting in May after the Belmont Board of Selectmen’s unanimous vote in March to place an article on the Town Meeting warrant prohibiting single-use plastic bags at stores.

The Belmont Bag Ban Group is hoping Belmont will join the 61 towns and cities in the Commonwealth and hundreds across the country and world that approved similar bans. One of the campaigners, Terese Hammerle, is excited that Belmont is poised to be part of a growing list of districts moving towards a more environmentally sustainable future.

“Simple alternatives such as reusable shopping bags and biodegradable single-use shopping bags are available everywhere and The Belmont Bag Group is working to ensure that anyone who needs reusable bags has access to them,” Hammerle says. Paper bags, which biodegrade naturally, will still be available at no cost to the customer, Hammerle notes.

“Several stores in Belmont are already prepared because they operate in communities in which a plastic bag ban is in effect,” she states.

One trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide each year, harming wildlife and littering our environment, making up the third largest type of litter from land-based sources found on U.S. coasts. While plastic bags are convenient and cheap, the Sierra Club cautions the environmental expense far exceeds the cost retailers pay to provide them. The flimsy material harms wildlife as they are often mistaken for food in our waterways and are sometimes used as nesting materials.

“Take a walk around town and see the bags caught in tree branches and trapped on sewer grates; they are so aerodynamic that even when properly disposed of, they blow away,” says organizer Mark Carthy. “And it takes estimated 200-plus years for plastic to photodegrade.”

“The forum will provide a good opportunity to hear from our community and provide educational materials. We’ll also have a number of items to a raffle that encourages sustainability,” adds Linda Levin-Scherz, another organizer.

Residents are encouraged to bring extra lifetime bags that the Bag Ban Group will launder and distribute to those who might find purchasing a bag a burden.

If you would like more information please contact: Terese Hammerle at

Sold In Belmont: 1 Bathroom, Oil Heat, Nearly $1 Million Dollars On Chilton Street

Photo: It’s a sign of the times 

A weekly recap of residential properties sold in the past seven days in the “Town of Homes.” 

• 50 Chilton St., Side-entry Colonial (1930). Sold: $965,000. Listed at $925,000. Living area: 2,158 sq.-ft. 8 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 1 bath. On the market: 40 days. Last sold: April 2012, $676,000.

Petula Clark had a classic 60s hit called “A Sign of the Times.” And you could say that about the house at 50 Chilton in the Winn Brook neighborhood. This nearly 80-year-old house has a single bathroom for three bedrooms – the town’s assessors shows only two not counting the one in the converted attic –  and as someone who grew up in a single bathroom in Weymouth, I can tell you there will definitely be a line in the morning. It’s also heated by oil fuel which is fast becoming an antique  And for this the new owner paid nearly seven figures for the privilege to live in it. 

But the house has been selling above the assessed value. The 2018 value of $850,000 and In 2012  it sold for $676,000, a 20 percent premium over the $542,000 assessed value. . It does have nice qualities, with nice grey and white with wood floors and with 2,100 smallish rooms 




Why Wait For The Mail? The League’s Belmont Voter Guide Is Now Online

Photo: It’s here! This time online!

The Belmont League of Women Voters annual Voter Guide, the essential pamphlet for all registered residents who will be coming out to vote at the Town Election on April 3, is now online. 

While the print copy of the guide is at the printers and won’t be sent to the post office until Monday, March 26, find out who’s running and where they stand on some of the important issues facing Belmont residents as each candidate for townwide and Town Meeting is given the opportunity to make a statement that appears in the guide. 

The pamphlet also provides maps and information on where a resident votes, what precinct they belong to and other facts. 

The Voter Guide is at:

Or visit the League’s website at and click on the first link for the Voter Guide.

Letter To The Editor: Norton’s Collaborative, Inclusive Style A Great Fit For School Committee

Photo: Jill Norton (Norton’s campaign Facebook site)

To the editor:

Jill Norton is passionate about education and would be a superb member of the School Committee. Besides her excellent credentials, Jill is smart, authentic, has good communication skills and has demonstrated leadership both professionally and in her personal activities. 

I know Jill from Trinity Church in Copley Square where we are members, and through mutual Belmont friends. At Trinity, Jill serves on the Vestry (Board of Directors), has mentored acolytes, taught Sunday school, served as an educational facilitator, and works with the Outreach Leadership Committee. Jill has a collaborative and inclusive style. People enjoy working with her, which I believe is important in an elected official. 

Jill has an M.Ed in Education, Policy, and Management from Harvard, and a Montessori Institute-New England Certificate in Early Childhood Education. She has highly relevant and broad experience and is both practical and visionary. She has done educational policy work at the State level and is currently Director of Education Policy at Abt Associates. 

She and her husband Read have two sons ages eight and three, and Jill is a Wellington Elementary room parent and PTO third grade Enrichment Coordinator. As we face complex and tough decisions about our education in Belmont, Jill would provide a uniquely qualified perspective and full commitment.  

Please join me in electing Jill Norton to our School Committee on Tuesday, April 3.  You may refer to for more details and pictures of her and her family. 

Pamela Galgay 

Vernon Road