Last month, I completed my first full year as a Wakefield Town Councilor. My commitment to building a more inclusive, livable and sustainable Wakefield is stronger than ever, and thanks to many of you, I believe we are doing just that. Many of you have offered valuable ideas, input and support this past year, for which I am truly grateful. I'm pleased to share with you my thoughts on the my first year of service and plans for the future.
Sustainability Progress
Lake Quannapowitt Clean Up
As I recently wrote for the local paper , I am most proud of the progress we are making on on sustainability efforts around town. Among other things, I have used my voice to ask that the Schools consider solar on new elementary school roofs, that we encourage ridesharing and that we require recycle plans for Lake events. Most significantly, in April, I led the effort to create an official Environmental Sustainability Committee charged with raising public awareness and weighing the environmental impacts and opportunities of our decisions. The Committee, which now meets the first Thursday of each month, has a bold agenda to work with other commissions and town departments to make Wakefield more sustainable and resilient.

This past year, I also served as the Town Council liaison to the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department and the Department of Public Works. I actively worked to improve collaboration and communications between these important town departments and the Council. Strong leadership at both the WMGLD and DPW are critical to continuing Wakefield's economic and environmental progress. We see this in recent successes, like the DPW being awarded a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant to address climate change resilience and the Light Department Commission launching a robust residential solar rebate program .

There is real momentum and leadership emerging around sustainability, and I look forward to continuing to work with the DPW and WMGLD in the coming year.
You can help: The town is asking for community input to identify risks and vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters and develop long-term strategies for protecting people and property from future hazard events.
DPW Stormwater Project Manager, Claire Moss, teaches kids about the importance of protecting shorelines to prevent floods and pollution as part of a recent Kid Kindness program.

Tom Boettcher, Wakefield Solar Coach and recently elected WMGLD Commissioner, shares his experience as a homeowner using solar at January workshop organized by the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library as part of their yearlong Sustainability Series.
Team R-Bee-G at the Wakefield Educational Foundation Annual Spelling Bee
Coffee with two Chiefs and a Councilor at Cibo Bistro
The Year in Numbers:
  • 22 Council Meetings attended
  • 388 votes taken
  • 13 Community Office Hour sessions and 2 Facebook Live chats held, dozens of new people met and ideas shared
  • 52 Appointments made to 20 Committees and Commissions
  • 40 people presented to Council during Public Participation
  • Countless cups of coffees and cookies at meetings and events attended to celebrate everything from our Lake and our history to Wakefield's diversity and talents.
Imagining a revitalized downtown at an Envision Wakefield Community Session
Other Memorable Moments
  • Uniting as a town to overcome adversity, from the Baptist Church fire and government shut down here at home, to senseless hate-filled gun violence across the country and the world;

  • Supporting grassroots efforts to improve youth facilities and opportunities, especially watching softball players, parents and the Meghan Burnett Foundation advocate and successfully secure funding for a safe and modern Blatz Softball Field at the high school;

  • Encouraging broader civic understanding and engagement by organizing workshops and handouts at Parent University and the Open House for new residents, Wakefield 101;

  • Completing my first full budget cycle and supporting important expenditures, like the addition of a 1250 permanent pumper truck for our Fire Department and designated funding for the Human Rights Commission;

  • Participating in interactive sessions to improve our business district and neighborhoods by encouraging plans that balance the needs of cars, with those of bicycles, walkers and a robust public transport system, through the Complete Streets and Envision Wakefield programs; and

  • Establishing an Emergency Fund to help residents at times of need, seed funded by a generous donation from new Wakefield business, Tonno.
Hosting a Wakefield High student for Job Shadow Day at Greentown Labs
Standing with Stop & Shop workers during lock out
Looking Forward to the Coming Year
Over the next year,we will have many more opportunities to make Wakefield a more livable, inclusive and sustainable town. Among the issues we will face are:

  • Making the High School facility meet the standard our students deserve;
  • Addressing the space and safety needs at the DPW and Public Safety buildings;
  • Implementing a Community and Economic development plan that reflects our community values; and
  • Ensuring that Wakefield is affordable, accessible and welcoming to all.

Undoubtedly, there will be many more issues and opportunities that will require our collective attention. I will be continuing to hold Community Office Hours, which are an important way to keep me connected to emerging issues and hear unique ideas and perspectives. Below is my schedule for this summer's hours. I am trying something new by going outside and around town to meet with people in informal settings. I hope you can join me for one or email me to set up another time to talk.
C heck here for any last minute updates due to weather.
On a Personal Note
There have been lots of personal milestones this spring as well, each connecting me even more tightly to Wakefield.

In March, my daughter, Amelia, was confirmed at Most Blessed Sacrament by Father Coughlin, who also baptized her and her brother so many years ago and is now set to retire.

In April, I turned the milestone 50 and celebrated by running the Boston Marathon, where Wakefield's own Meg Michaels found me at the finish line to put my medal on. It was my third and best marathon yet.

This Saturday, my son, Thomas, is graduating from Wakefield Memorial High School as the Class of 2019 embarks on new adventures.

Finally, yesterday was my husband, Tom, and my 20th anniversary. We found a few moments to 'toast cannolis,' our anniversary tradition, after the Senior Prom Grand March, a fundraiser and before our Senior Night shift!
Around Town
Friday, May 31st from 11 to 2 at Americal Civic Center

Monday, June 3 at 6 pm at Americal Civic Center

Tuesday, June 4 from 7 to 10 am at Crystal Community Club

Saturday, June 8 from 10 - 4 on the Lower Common

Firefighter Sunday
Sunday, June 9 - 8:30 am at Lakeside Cemetery

Sunday, June 16 - 8 to 12 at Lake Q on Lower Common

Friday, June 14 at 6 pm at Northeast Metro Voc High School

Tuesday, June 25 at 6:30 on Lower Common

Every Thursday for 5 weeks, starting July 11th

Visit the Community Calendar for more upcoming events.
The Kennedy's, just one of many national groups that played the Linden Tree Coffeehouse this season.
Check out the Girl Scout Kindness Rock Garden "growing" in Hall Park, North Ave (near the Farmers Market , which opens soon)
Did You Know?

Under Massachusetts law, Wakefield gets $0.10 for every rideshare (Uber, Lyft) that originates here. The funds must be used on alternative transportation projects. In 2017, over 68,000 rideshares started in Wakefield -- something to consider next time you need to get somewhere!