Spring 2020
COVID-19 Edition
While it is certainly nice to see the sun, like most of you, I miss conventional spring activities. For our family, that would have included cheering on the high school softball team (on the newly-renovated Blatz field)! Instead, we are all home, tethered to our computers and noise-cancelling headphones.

While so much has been lost or postponed this spring, much has also been created. I'm proud to be part of an ad hoc sewing group making masks. My Aunt Bob (Barbara) would be proud to know that her old sewing machine has connected me with friends, old and new. Together, we call ourselves Wakefield Mask Makers and invite anyone to join us in exchanging materials and ideas. Thanks to generous fabric donations, we estimate that we have donated over 2500 masks to local organizations, including hospitals, community and senior centers, businesses and neighbors.

No doubt these are trying times, and I am grateful for Wakefield's collective response to the unprecedented COVID challenge. Under the leadership of our town administrator, health director and emergency management director, Wakefield was one of the first towns to close parks, arrange hotel rooms for first responders needing to isolate from family, and distribute masks directly to the homes of all residents. The Town Council instituted an emergency order in mid March to ensure that the town can respond as needed.

As the Governor outlines the state's reopening plan, Wakefield is doing the same. We certainly will be working hard with local business owners and non-profits to find a way for our community to adapt and rebound. While encouraging, life is unlikely to be normal again for quite a while, so we all need to be patient and continue to take precautions.
Online Office Hours - This Thursday, May 21st at 6 pm
With town buildings still closed, my May office hours will be held via a zoom chat. Anyone is welcome to join, listen in and/or ask questions. There is no need to be on Facebook or have a zoom account, just a phone or internet connection. I will be online at 6pm, this Thursday, May 21st. Registration is required for security reasons. Please register below to get the login/call in information.
New Town Council Leadership
Town Council has continued to meet via Zoom video conference, a format that is open to all, streamed on Facebook and WCAT and recorded for future playback. At our last meeting, the Council selected new leadership for the upcoming 2020-2021 year. After serving as Vice Chair this past year, we elected Ann Santos as Chair. I am pleased that my colleagues elected me as Vice Chair, and I look forward to working with Ann as the town continues to deal with the immediate and long-term community and economic impacts of the pandemic.
While the pandemic response has certainly been the top priority over the last few months, the town has been moving forward with many other projects. Here are a few!
^The town's first municipal solar system has been installed on the water department garage off of Broadway. It was funded by an earmark secured by our state delegation and also took advantage of the current WMGLD solar rebate program.
^After years of discussion, Wakefield finally has a Community Garden. Thanks to state funding and extensive community input, the Garden is being constructed at JJ Round Park using planting boxes and composted soil supplied by local company, Black Earth Compost . The Community Garden is expected to open soon to help us welcome Spring .
^ New signage at the Americal Civic Center is now installed, which includes an area for messaging about upcoming events (or in the absence of events, COVID 19). The Americal is home to the Food Pantry, Boys & Girls Club and Recreation Department, all of which are continuing to offer needed services and programs.
^ Residents and visitors can now use public electric vehicle chargers donated by WMGLD and installed at the Americal Civic Center (Level 2), Vets Field parking lot (Level 2) and the Lincoln Street parking lot (Fast charger, Level 3). Parking is limited to electric vehicles when charging and is subject to regular parking rules.
IMPORTANT DATES
Monday, June 8th - Rescheduled Town Meeting - Details to be announced, Warrant Available Now

Tuesday, June 23rd - Rescheduled Local Town Election - Early Ballots Now Available and Encouraged
Tiny Kindnesses Spotted Around Town
Finally, congratulations to the class of 2020. I was inspired by this quote from Malala, which I think is applicable to all of us:

"The class of 2020 won’t be defined by what we lost to this virus but by how we responded to it."  
Please reach out if you have any questions or comments - Councilor.Galvin@wakefield.ma.us