Vanessa Alvarado was elected by a vote of 4-0 to be chair of the Select Board at its annual reorganization on April 16. This was the first Select Board meeting after the April 2 election. John Halsey was elected as vice-chair, and new member Mark Dockser, who was unable to make the meeting, was elected as secretary. Both votes were also 4-0. Alvarado began by welcoming the newly elected Anne Landry to the board. “Thank you to the residents and voters of Reading who have entrusted me with this responsibility,” Landry responded. Alvarado also thanked outgoing member Barry Berman for his service to the town, noting his focus on economic development in town.
Mike Wondolowski, president of the Reading Little League, informed the board of the results of a survey taken by parents of children in the league. The survey indicated that the two primary concerns of the participants in the league are field conditions and lack of bathroom facilities at the fields. In response, Wondolowski requested that the Select Board accept two gifts from the league. The first is to make improvements to the Majors/Tennis court field. The infield will be recreated to improve drainage and will be expanded so that the field can be used by multiple levels of players. Reading currently has no field with a pitching rubber fifty feet from the plate and with seventy-foot base paths. Reading rents field space in Malden to allow the twelve to thirteen-year-old players to play. There will be no change to the fencing or perimeter of the field. The intent is to rebuild the infield in the fall of 2019 after the season is over. “Our goal is to do it once and do it right,” Wondolowski affirmed. The Select Board voted 4-0 to accept the gift.
The second gift from the league is to place portable toilet facilities with privacy fences at each of the little league fields on an annual basis. Permission has been received for the projects from the elementary principals where needed and permits have been secured from the Health Department. The Recreation Department will work with Reading Little League to finalize the placement of the facilities at each field. By a vote of 4-0, the Select Board voted to accept the gift.
The board proclaimed the week of April 14-20 as Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in Reading. While thanking the eleven dispatch personnel in town Halsey noted, “The reason [public safety officers] get there is because of a great dispatch office.” By a vote of 4-0, the board approved a second driveway at 321 Pearl Street, which will allow easier access to the house for a resident in a wheelchair. Town Accountant Sharon Angstrom reported that revenues and expenditures in both the general fund and the enterprise funds are within expectations. The board voted 4-0 to approve a change of manager for Oye’s Restaurant. This is necessary due to the restaurant’s possession of a liquor license.
Town Manager Robert LeLacheur reported that the contract agreement with Reading Community Television to provide cable access television services to Reading has been completed. The board postponed its liaison assignments and town manager goals update to its May 7 meeting so that the entire board can be present.
The Select Board adjourned at 9:15 pm.