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Acting police chief gets an official welcome

Acting Chief Juliann Flaherty addresses Select Board. / Susan Gilbert photoActing Chief Juliann Flaherty addresses Select Board Jan. 28. / Susan Gilbert photo

Juliann Flaherty, named this month as Arlington’s acting police chief, and the first woman ever in this role, was introduced to the Select Board at its Monday, Jan. 28, meeting.

Flaherty worked her way up through the ranks over 24 years, said Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine. She will serve until a permanent police chief is hired, replacing Fred Ryan, who recently retired after 33 years of service, 19 as chief.

“I would like to thank our town manager, the Select Board and the community in letting me lead the police department during this transition,” said Flaherty. “I am humbled and honored to lead so many professional, dedicated men and women of the Police Department.

"As a lifelong Arlington resident, with 24 years dedicated to fair and impartial police captaining,  I am committed to serving our community.”

Flaherty has served on many committees and groups in town, and “they’re very happy to work with you in this leadership capacity,” said board member Joseph Curro Jr.

Member Diane Mahon said, “No one has anything but glowing reviews, and you’ve grasped everything along the way. The Arlington Police Department is extremely well run, and that will now carry on.”

Member Clarissa Rowe said it makes her “heart sing” to have Flaherty serve as acting police chief.

Caryn Malloy, head of town human resources, wrote Jan. 29 that the annual salary of the acting chief is $163,980 and that Ryan's annual salary before retiring was $188,153.  

2 more warrant articles

Time limit for town meeting speakers

Select Board logo“People can say what they want in 5 minutes and 3 minutes.”
-- Michael Jacoby Briown

Proponent Michael Jacoby Brown, a Precinct 17 Town Meeting member, said the proposed bylaw would reduce the time limit for those speaking initially on the Town Meeting floor, from 7 minutes to 5 minutes, and for the second time, from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.

Board members unanimously agreed to table their decision until the Feb. 25 meeting, to give the Town Meeting Procedures Committee time to produce its formal report.

Advocating for the warrant article, Brown said, “People can say what they want in 5 minutes and 3 minutes.”

Rowe said, “I think it’s a great idea.”

However, Town Moderator John Leone, who heads the procedures committee, said, “We’ve gone from 15 to 10 to 7 minutes. We’d be limiting people’s ability to speak, and some people take a minute or two to warm up. Not everyone uses the whole 7 minutes; most people talk for only 2 to 3 minutes anyway. The executive branch should not interfere with the legislative branch.”

Curro replied, “Our bylaws have this written into it, so we have to interfere with it now. I’m happy to wait until we have a formal report, but I agree with Clarissa Rowe. We have 80 articles on the warrant this year, so it makes sense to put it out to the Town Meeting, and see what they say.”

Member John Hurd said, “I’m also happy to defer it to the committee, but I’d be glad to support it. What people say in 7 minutes, they can also say in 5 minutes. There must be some way to have people be more precise, with so many articles on the warrant.

Mahon said, “As the late, great Kevin Greeley used to say, by 2½ minutes, you’ve lost your audience. It’s important to keep things moving, and any Town Meeting member can ask for an extension.”

Extend local voting rights to all legal Arlington residents

The Select Board unanimously agreed to support a proposed Town Meeting article, which, if successful, would enable Arlington residents who are legal, permanent residents of the United States to vote in elections for town offices and local ballot questions.

Other cities and towns adopting or planning to adopt this include Cambridge, Newton, Brookline, Wayland and Somerville, said resident Ben Rudnik, the proponent.

“This is a matter of fairness,” he said. “Some of these people have lived in the United States for quite some time, own homes and pay taxes, and are true and valuable members of our community. Arlington would be enriched by hearing their voices and having their votes count.”

Rowe said, “I’m in favor of this. My father fought for people’s rights during World War II. We should be thanking people who come here, and I’d like to see them have a voice in our community.”

Hurd concurred, “I’m happy to support this as well. Everyone who lives here should have a voice in town matters.”

Natural gas moratorium

The lockout of National Grid gas workers has ended, and a new contract has been ratified, said Chapdelaine.

“There’s no need for a vote tonight, but I want to see how the board feels about lifting the moratorium. Workers are being retrained and recertified because of their prolonged time out of work. Once they are trained, we can start issuing permits again,” said Chapdelaine.

The town enacted its own moratorium last summer after workers were locked out from June 26 to early January.

Select Board Chair Dan Dunn said, “My concern during the walk-out was safety, so retraining is a good idea.”

Goings-on around town

The board voted unanimously in favor of the following events.

EcoFest and EcoWeek

Arlington’s annual EcoFest returns on Sunday, March 3, in the afternoon in the Town Hall auditorium. This year’s theme highlights opportunities for town residents to make energy-conserving and renewable-energy decisions relating to home heating/cooling, electricity purchasing and transportation options.

In addition, April 22 (Earth Day) through April 28, will be EcoWeek, a weeklong celebration that includes a family film night, do-it-yourself creative opportunities, school Green Team-led activities, a community clothing swap and litter cleanups around town.

Curro said, “I’ve always enjoyed EcoFest, and EcoWeek is a great idea.”

Jazz festival

Arlington’s eighth annual jazz festival is set for April 25 through 28. Look for banners publicizing this event around town starting in late March. In the meantime, for more information, go to

News bites: Restaurant happenings

The board unanimously approved the following:

All-alcohol license: Adventure Pub, 190-192 Mass. Ave. (and additional partners/owners)

Common victualler licenses:

  • Jose’s Torta Mexicana, 787 Mass. Ave., half of the former site of Bagels by Us, by the owner of Jose’s in Cambridge;
  • Northender Italian Kitchen, 1345 Mass. Ave. (new owner); and
  • Olympic Pizza, 172 Mass. Ave. (new owners).

Committee reappointments

The Select Board unanimously approved the following committee reappointments:

Board of Health: Kenneth Kohlberg

Board of Youth Services: Hannah Simon

Commission on Arts and Culture: Adria Arch

Commission on Disabilities: Maureen St. Hilaire

Library Board of Trustees: Adam Delmolino, Amy Hampe

Master Plan Implementation Committee: Charles Kalauskas, Ralph Wilmer

Redevelopment Board: Kin Lau 

Jan. 22, 2019: Capt. Juliann Flaherty named acting chief of police

Jan. 24, 2019: Commitments to June exclusion, override (also chief procedure, 8 proposed articles)

This news summary, by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert, was published Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.

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