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Your Tewksbury Today

Tewksbury Board Of Selectmen Honors Jim Wentworth

Mar 31, 2016 03:21PM ● By Bill Gilman

Selectman Jim Wentworth and Town Manager Richard Montuori.

Wrapping up a three-year tenure on the Board of Selectmen, Jim Wentworth sat in on his final board meeting, Tuesday night in the newly renovated Town Hall Auditorium.
In his farewell remarks, Wentworth thanked his fellow board members, past and present, as well as Town Manager Richard Montuori and other Town Hall staff members.
Wentworth, who chose not to seek re-election, also thanked his wife and three daughters for the sacrifices they have made, as the family of a selectman.
"Thank you for your patience. I spent a lot of time on the phone during the day, talking through town issues," he said. "The role of selectman isn't coming to the meeting once every two weeks and spending two hours here. It's a pretty full-time commitment."
"Wentworth spoke of some of the challenges the board has faced over the past three years, including the slots parlor proposal, economic development and the water and sewer rates. He also shared some of the success that have made him most proud.
"Our bond rating has increased twice since I've been on the board," he said. "We're in a great position now, where if we do need to borrow funds to build a new elementary school, we have a great bond rating that will enable us to get low-interest loans and pay for that elementary school in a cost-effective way for our community."
He also credited the board and Montuori for building the Stabilization Fund and using it just for one-time expenditures, as well as with reaching a point at which the South Fire Station can be open year-round.
Wentworth's colleagues on the board wished him the best and praised him for his commitment to the town and dedication to the job.
"You will be missed. You were a solid contributor to the effort," said Chairman Todd Johnson, who read a citation, presented to Wentworth.
"You've been a good colleague and a good friend, even though you're a strong Republican," said Selectman David Gay, with a smile. "I've enjoyed our conversations and hearing your counterpoint."
Wentworth was, by far, the most conservative member of the board. He has been very vocal, in the community and online, in his support for conservative candidates on the state and national level. With that in mind, Selectman Mark Kratman said he wasn't sure quite what to expect from Wentworth when he came on the board in 2015. However, he said he found common ground with his colleague on local issues.
"I've really enjoyed working with you. We accomplished a lot," said Kratman. "You (are) always for the community. You always put the needs of the people of Tewksbury first."
Selectman Bruce Panilaitis, often a social media foil of Wentworth's on matters of national and state politics, echoed Kratman's sentiments.
"Our focus (on the Board of Selectmen) has been on what we can do here, for the town, and I'd like to thank him," he said.
Back in 2009, Wentworth served on the search committee for a new Town Manager, a process that ended with the hiring of Montuori, who said he owned Wentworth a debt of thanks for the opportunity.
"I'll miss working with you. It's been a privilege," he said.
Todd Johnson for Selectman


Jim Wentworth bids farewell to the Board of Selectmen

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