At Tuesday’s Select Board meeting, Jessica Migneault was confirmed as assistant senior services director. She replaces Ashley Shaheen, who left last July for another job.
Migneault has worked for the housing authority in Lincoln, Rhode Island, since 2012. Her responsibilities have included working with seniors and disabled adults.
“The references did confirm that this is an individual who is resourceful,” Town Manager Norman Khumalo said. “For this kind of work we are always looking for employees who are able to identify additional resources that our seniors can benefit from. We also hear that she is very friendly, outgoing and very easy to relate to, and that is exactly what our seniors have asked us for.”
Migneault said she has been working with seniors for about 10 years.
“It’s truly a passion of mine, so I am very excited to take on this role,” she said.
The board also approved Lucas Ferreira as the town’s new data and applications support specialist.
Ferreira, a native of Milford, is a recent graduate of Worcester State.
Additionally, the board voted unanimously to lift the hiring freeze that was instituted during the pandemic.
Town manager, police chief goals discussed
The board continued its discussions about the upcoming year’s goals for Khumalo and Police Chief Joseph Bennett.
Select Board member Brendan Tedstone noted how hard Khumalo has worked and stressed the importance of achieving a work-life balance for positive mental health. He included Bennett and Fire Chief Steve Slaman in that group as well.
“It’s great that they’re devoted and dedicated to the town, but there’s a whole lot more to life than the Town of Hopkinton,” Tedstone said.
Bennett said he wants to improve communication, which he said could help with the issue of self-care.
“I want to be a strong communicator, and I want the community to know what we do and how we do it, especially in crises,” he said. “Every review of any major incident, every review of a crisis, communication is always found to be — could be better. If I can improve that, maybe it will take a little stress off.”
Select Board member Muriel Kramer encouraged Bennett to reach out for assistance and “make sure that we’re helping you, however we need to help you, whether it’s with professional support or whatever it is. If there’s a way that the town can be more supportive actively, we want to be.”
Added Tedstone: “You guys need to know that myself and the board have your back, bar none, no matter what. You’re our team, and we have your back no matter what.”
Numerous positions approved
Among those named to board and committee positions Tuesday were: Nelicia Bowen to the Personnel Committee, Nancy Drawe to the Council on Aging, Kenneth Parker to the Sustainable Green Committee and Nancy Peters to the Woodville Historic District Commission as the Historical Commission nominee.
The board postponed until next Monday’s Planning Board meeting a discussion on naming someone to fill the open Planning Board seat.
Also Tuesday, Miyares and Harrington, LLP was reappointed as town counsel, Mirick O’Connell was reappointed as labor counsel, Mary Jo LaFreniere was named as the Select Board chair’s designee to the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board, and Patrick O’Brien, Kenneth Clark, Ryan Reilly, Brenda Stanley, Kiley Davis, Nicole Corsi, Michael Prescott, Kevin Riess, Farai Sithole, Robert Caron and Sara Jordan were named traffic constables.
The board also approved the following town manager appointments: Elizabeth Jefferis as inspector of animals, William Proctor as animal control officer, Charles Dabritz as plumbing and gas inspector, Peter Zereski as assistant plumbing and gas inspector, Dan Hunt as assistant plumbing and gas inspector, Kevin Bouret as wiring inspector as well as person to cut wire in case of fire, Jonathan Shepard as assistant wiring inspector, Louis Sakin as sealer of weights and measures, and John Palmer, Jaynne Adams, Jaime Wright, Chelsea Adams, William Robinson and Will Crofton as public weighers.
Kathy LaFlash was recognized for serving on the Personnel Committee for 26 years. She is stepping down.
The Spoon OK’d for permanent outdoor seating
The board approved a request from The Spoon restaurant to amend its license to allow for an increase in the area for permanent outdoor seating. Owner Samantha Prescott agreed to add some fencing to enclose the area, which includes 24 seats, because alcohol is served there. …
Weston Nurseries was granted a temporary alcohol license for its annual Blooms, Brews & BBQ Festival to be held on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. The event is a fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund. …
The Chamber of Commerce and Gateway Green Committee were recognized for winning an award for Best Traffic Island from the Tower Hill Botanic Garden. The island is located on West Main Street at the Interstate 495 on and off ramps. …
The board accepted gifts to the Ambulance Fund of $75 from Joseph and Anne Roberts and $100 from Mary and Bill Terry in memory of Lawrence Tedstone (father of Select Board member Brendan Tedstone).