The number of staff in Town Hall has been virtually unchanged for decades. However, during this same ten year period the demands and public expectations have grown. There is a real need to better communicate with residents about what your municipal staff are accomplishing on your behalf and to better garner public opinion on the priorities and desired outcomes.

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It starting to feel like a new day for the police departments of Manchester-by-the-Sea and Essex.  We’re now into the fourth month of Manchester native, Todd Fitzgerald, being named Interim Police Chief following the departure of Ed Conley, to head up Gloucester’s police department.

It’s a wrap! Summer Playground 2019 has officially come to a close. We had a busy and eventful final week, beginning on Monday, August 5 with a trip to Richardson’s for mini golf, the driving range, batting cages, and above all, ice cream. We also held our annual Foosball Tournament that morning at the high school. For ages eight and up, we had over 40 participants, and Brody Duncan walked away as the champion. Junior Foosball was won by Keegan McLaughlin. Congratulations!

At last April’s annual Town Meeting, voters approved funding to pursue two projects — public restrooms and a waterfront office for the Harbormaster — for either of the adjacent parks, Masconomo or Reed.  A public process for identifying the best location and design for these facilities is about to get underway.  

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There are still several months left in 2019 to celebrate the Essex Bicentennial, but if there was a weekend that was the hook to hang the celebration’s hat on, this was it.  Last weekend, it was stock full of events, all things “Bicentennial”.  

After Town Meeting approval of the two local option speed limit laws, the Selectmen moved forward with establishing the lower speed limits.  The recommendations from the Bike and Pedestrian Committee and the Downtown Improvement Committee were followed, creating a town-wide speed limit of 25 mph for all roads unless otherwise posted and creating a safety zone that extends out from the train station in a one-mile radius.  

Paul Francis, a 22-year veteran of the Essex Police Department, is sworn in as Chief of Police by Town Clerk Pamela Thorne last Friday at a packed room in the Town Hall’s 3rd floor auditorium.  As Francis, 58 and a native of Gloucester, takes the oath, retiring Chief Peter Silva (far left) s…

This past month, a summit addressing an ambitious idea took place in Essex when the Northeast Coastal Coalition, a group formed by Massachusetts Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and others, met to hear results of an initial study of options for cooperatively addressing a big, common challenge: dredging coastal waterways. So, exactly how does the shared regional dredging proposal affect Manchester-by-the-Sea, which just completed a $1.3 million dredging project in late 2018? 

I have this reoccurring suspicion that something wonderful happens when people do not speak for long periods of time. It is clear, when they do speak, that a depth of thought has taken up residence in the space created by the silence. This is most certainly the case with Noah and Sophie Courser-Kellerman, the farmers who are Alprilla Farm in Essex. 

This past weekend members of Manchester SummerStage put on a great show with Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man and there was absolutely no trouble (as far as the performance was concerned) in River City.  The 40+ students in the cast and crew ranged from Middle School to High School and all of…

Here he is, Gordon MacDougall, who at 96 is Manchester by the Sea’s eldest living resident on July 25th at the Golden Ager’s annual Summer Hummer lobster bake at Tuck’s Point last Thursday.

This came in last month from the T.O.H.P. Burnham Assistant Librarian April Wanner.  A group of Essex residents dived into an impressive challenge on July 15: to create a mosaic of 225 — that’s right, 225 — Rubix cubes as part of the Essex Bicentennial at the library. 

This weekend, the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce’s annual summertime celebration Festival by the Sea continues, with local art, music and food all coming together in downtown Manchester to benefit local retailers.  The popular annual event will feature more than 100 vendors ranging from artists and artisans to jewelers and crafters and food vendors. 

Over the past seven years or so, the Town has been making strides to curb the amount of energy our operations consume. We also have done significant work on positioning ourselves to be more resilient to harsh weather events and the impacts of coastal flooding.

Board of Selectmen’s (BOS) Meeting of July 29, 2019. Report covers from July 13, 2019 to July 26, 2019 as published in The Essex Echo section of The Cricket on August 2, 2019. 

Essex Police Chief Peter Silva will retire next week.  Silva will hand the reins to long-time colleague and friend, Sergeant Paul Francis, who was tapped for the position after Silva announced his retirement last year.

Each month, the non-profit organization Operation Troop Support requests different donation items for the men and women in service who are stationed around globe. For the month of July, the featured items are dry fruit and nuts, hard candy and beef jerky.