By Elizabeth F. McNamara
The Town Council will vote on terminating the contract with Town Solicitor David D’Agostino and vote on hiring the law firm Ursillo, Teitz and Ritch to serve as the new town solicitor at a special meeting Thursday at Town Hall (find the agenda here). D’Agostino was hired as town solicitor in 2017. During D’Agostino’s tenure, the Town Council was found to have violated the Open Meetings Act seven times.
The action would be the first in what may be a number of high-level staff changes. The council members – all Democrats – had campaigned on getting rid of Town Manager Gayle Corrigan. Three days after the election, Linda Dykeman, finance director for both the town and the schools, resigned, so that position will need to be filled. Additionally, the town has had an interim fire chief for more than a year.
Council President Mark Schwager, however, would not comment on any other actions beyond what’s on the agenda for Thursday.
Also on the agenda for the first full council meeting since the new council was sworn in Monday night, the town solicitor (either D’Agostino or one of the partners from Ursillo, Teitz, depending on the outcome of the council votes at the top of the meeting) will review the Open Meetings Act and meeting rules of procedure for both the council and for public.
A 30-minute public comment period has been returned to the first part of the meeting – an action promised by several councilors during the campaign. The previous council had eliminated public comment at the beginning of the meeting, keeping it at the end of the meeting.
Also on the agenda are routine liquor victualing license (including liquor) renewals and discussion and approval of meeting in December. Schwager said Tuesday the panel would meet in another special session Wednesday, Dec. 5, as well as its regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 10. He said they would also be meeting with the School Committee, as dictated by the Town Charter, some time in December.