Dombroski, Santos to lead Town Council

May 14, 2019 by

Published in the May 14, 2019 edition.


WAKEFIELD – Edward F. Dombroski, Jr. was chosen last night to be chairman of the Town Council for the next year. Ann McGonigle Santos was tapped as vice chair.

The Town Council typically reorganizes at their first meeting after the April Town Election. In addition to choosing a new chairman and vice chair, the Town Council last night welcomed new member Jonathan Chines and thanked Tony Longo for his years of service on the Board.

Outgoing Chairman Peter May entertained nominations for the new chairman. Town Councilor Paul DiNocco nominated Dombroski. There were no other nominations.

Chines asked if Dombroski would say a few words prior to the vote.

Dombroski thanked DiNocco for the nomination and said that he hoped to represent the Town Council and the community well as chairman. He said that he would have more to say at the next meeting in terms of his vision for the coming year.

“We’re a team and I will quarterback this team to the best of my ability,” Dombroski said.

The ensuing vote to elect Dombroski as chairman was unanimous.

That was not the case with the vice chair position, however, as there were two nominees: Santos and Mehreen Butt.

May nominated Santos. He said that having worked with Santos on the Town Council for the last three years, he found her to be “a voice of reason.” He noted that she is a graduate of Wakefield Memorial High School, Brown University and holds a law degree. He cited her strong understanding of the town’s finances.

While he acknowledged that he and Santos don’t always agree, May observed that she always has the best interests of the town at heart.

Julie Smith-Galvin nominated Mehreen Butt to serve as vice chair. She said that Butt was a “very accomplished lawyer” and a policy leader. Smith-Galvin cited the fact that Butt has been the liaison to the town’s social services as well as to various committees in town.

Again, Chines requested that each candidate be allowed to say a few words on her own behalf.

Santos cited her experience chairing the board in the past as well as leading the Board of Health during her six years there. She said that she believed that she would bring a gravitas to the position along with a lot of institutional knowledge of the town. She also cited her ability to build consensus among people with disparate views.

Butt read a statement outlining why she would be a good choice as vice chair. She said that she was dedicated to improving communications within the Town Council and with the community.

She said that she believed that the vice chair should be a direct liaison between the Town Council and its appointed committees.

She also insisted that there was a need for “more respect and civility” on the Town Council.

“The tone is set by leadership,” Butt said. “Last year we had examples of the Council speaking disrespectfully to one another and to members of the public at meetings.” She said that as vice chair she could use her skills to “help frame the tone of meetings.”

She also said that the chair and vice chair should be more active and involved in events like Wakefield 101 and Parent University.

When Chairman Dombroski called for a roll call vote, Santos prevailed 4-3 with votes from herself, May, DiNocco and Dombroski. Butt was supported by Smith-Galvin and Chines.

Related Posts


Share This