In addition to approving a beer and wine license for a new downtown restaurant, the Andover Select Board addressed a number of other issues when it met at Bancroft Elementary School Monday. Select Board Notebook is a quick — although not always comprehensive– look at some of the meeting’s major decisions and developments.

Town Manager gets raise: The Andover Select Board approved a 2 percent raise for town Manager Andrew Flanagan when it met at Bancroft Elementary School Monday. There was no discussion before the unanimous vote, although the board had held an executive session to discuss Flanagan’s compensation at its prior meeting.

Last month, the board completed its Flanagan’s annual performance review, giving him an overall score of 4.27 out of 5, up from 4.12 a year ago. Flanagan’s five-year contract, which commenced on July 1, 2020, called for a base salary of $214,000.

25 mph speed limit update: Flanagan said the board will receive a presentation next month from town safety officials on opting into a state law which would allow it to expand a 25 MPH speed liit to more areas in town. Chair Alex Vispoli said such a rule change would likely have two readings, giving the public a chance to comment on a decision to opt into the state law.

Beer garden for Andover Day: Andover Day will have several new features this year, including a Park Street Beer Garden sponsored by Oak & Iron Brewing Co. The Red Spring Road brewery is scheduled to appear before the board on Sept. 12 for the one-day license to run the beer garden. In addition to the traditional shutting down of Main Street from 10-4 on Saturday, Sept. 24, this year’s Andover Day will include events on Friday, Sept. 23.

Flanagan said the parking lots around the municipal complex will be closed at 5 on Sept. 23 to begin setting up for the evening’s activities, which include an outdoor screening of “Field of Dreams” at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks at 8:30 p.m.

Communications update: Flanagan also outlined comprehensive plan aimed at improving town communications with the addition of a new position under his direction. The goal is to insure consistency across all town platforms for communicating with residents. The person selected for the position would work to develop a newsletter, a town hall blog and highlight initiatives across all departments. Flanagan said he hopes to begin advertising for the position after Labor Day.

The position is necessary in part, Flanagan noted, because of the decline of local media coverage in towns like Andover.

Odds and Ends: The board got an update from Sustainability Director Joyce Losick-Yang, as well as a request from a residents group asking for an Andover WECAN sustainability declaration…The board met in a closed-door executive session to discuss legal strategy in a lawsuit filed by Andover Country Cub owner Yvon Cormier. A Massachusetts Land Court judge ruled in favor of Cormier last month in a lawsuit over restrictions the planning board and conservation commission put on a special permit for his plan for a residential development. We’ve asked town officials for comment and will publish a story on the Cormier lawsuit later this week.

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One thought on “Select Board Notebook: Town Manager Gets 2% Raise”
  1. August 18, 2022
    Letter to the Editor:

    Good day neighbors–
    The town of Andover lost a significant lawsuit against a long time Andover benefactor a few weeks ago. A decision that may end up costing Andover residents dearly.

    The Massachusetts Land Court issued a scathing rebuke when it found that the town “exceeded its authority” and its decision making was “infected by erroneous advice”. The Judge dispensed with the Town’s legal argument in short order, ruling that the town’s actions were “based on legally untenable ground”.

    This is yet another costly slap in the face to the Andover taxpayers who bear the freight for years of incompetent leadership under the current town manager Flanagan and his appointed legal counsel Tom Urbelis. Does all this sound familiar? It should—as there have been numerous court actions against the Town involving employment and land court cases. All under the tutelage of the Flanagan-Urbelis team.

    In the last three months alone, the Town’s crack legal team has consistently provided profoundly bad counsel. They informed the Town Meeting that the NDA prohibition approved by the voters was “advisory only” despite the contrary opinion from a local attorney with extensive experience in this area; opined that the federally approved ARPA funding for cafeteria workers and school instructional assistance was “unlawful and illegal”; and then filed state charges against the teachers for speaking at the May 17, 2022 Special Town Meeting in violation of their First Amendment Rights.

    All of this while the Select Board, the body politic empowered by the Town Charter with steering the ship, sits idly by with no response. The same shameful absence of leadership we have sadly grown accustomed to.

    So here we go again—-

    It is time to say good bye to both Flanagan and his egregious long time attorney. They have cost this town millions in their gross mismanagement and erroneous legal advice. It’s also time for parliamentary reform to govern the town meeting and the adoption of a voter recall provision so we can hold elected officials accountable.

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