Select Board logo, 2019

 The Select Board has approved the screening committee for a new town manager, and held its first meeting.

Each Select Board member at its Jan. 9 meeting chose one person for the screening committee, comprising Superintendent Elizabeth C. Homan, Director of Health and Human Services Christine Bongiorno, former Select Board member Dan Dunn; Emily Shea, owner of Kickstand Cafe; Jennifer Goodwin and writer Kate Leary. 

Caryn Molloy, town director of human resources, participates in an ex-officio position and does not vote, said Chairman Lenard Diggins, but gives advice based on her long experience with the town.

The first meeting of the screening committee was set for 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, on Zoom.

Cutbacks to 77 bus route

Last December, the MBTA reduced the number of buses between 7 and 9 a.m. on the 77 route — which connects Harvard Square to Arlington Heights. 

After speaking with representatives of the MBTA, Diggins clarified that there is now one fewer bus serving the 77 route during rush hour, increasing the time between buses from nine and a half to 11 minutes. 

"They don't have enough drivers for one," said Diggins, "but also there is absenteeism, which has been a problem for a while, even before the pandemic."

Absenteeism is a particular problem for the 77, said Diggins, because when a bus driver serving another route is absent, the MBTA often pulls a driver from the 77. 

"The hope is that by deploying a driver to another route," said Diggins, "it will make the 77 service more reliable. It may be a little slower, but it's better than having the big gaps that happen when you have to take the bus away."

Select Board member Stephen DeCourcey shared concerns he has heard from Arlington residents as a result of the cutbacks. 

"I just want to acknowledge the number of emails and calls we have received from people who are concerned about the lengthier times, particularly during rush hour," he said. "We should continue to look at this and show concern because the 77 is a very important route for our students in the morning, [and] for people going to work as well." 

Watch the Jan. 9 meeting on ACMi:

Aug. 30, 2022: Board hopes to name new town manager by April


This news summary by YourArlington freelance writer Emily Piper-Vallillo was published Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023.

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