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Town father honored with distinction

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It was a special night for town father Joe Maney, Sr., and for Lynnfield last Monday, as the Selectmen voted to name the Selectmen’s Meeting Room at the Al Merritt Center (600 Market St.) after Maney, and in doing so, include Maney in the rarefied air of town citizens that are honored in such a manner.

Selectmen have in recent months discussed the town’s strict naming policy, which, officially adopted earlier this year, seeks to make the naming of town facilities “rare” and “sparing.”

“The town of Lynnfield takes it very serious when we name anything in the community about anybody,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett said.

In a sweet moment for Maney and for the town, Barrett called Maney “our best public servant, I’m confident to say, in Lynnfield’s history.”

Maney, who has served the town for over 50 years and has served in various capacities – such as selectman, town moderator, town administrator, and numerous committees and boards – was surrounded by his family and friends Monday night as the selectmen officially commemorated his service. The meeting room, to be dignified with a portrait of Maney that was presented at the meeting, will hereby be known as the “H. Joseph Maney Room.”

After a public hearing that received next to no opposition, the selectmen officially voted to have the name of Joe Maney (“Mr. Lynnfield”) grace the meeting room. Barrett’s request for public comment, yea or nay, made way to hushed giggles, indicating the near unanimous support for the decision.

When his time to speak had come, Maney, true to his commitment to the town, said little about himself and chose to talk more about the town he served for more than half a century. “I’m honored,” a placid Maney said.

Maney recalled the days when the town had no town administrator and opted for a clerk instead, who typed minutes on an electric typewriter. He also recalled the days when the town had no Town Charter and no DPW.

“It’s my privilege to be here this evening.” Selectman Dick Dalton said. Maney, he said, “exemplifies all that is good about public service” and he called him “a role model for all who serve this community.”

“I doubt anyone can equal the overall contribution that Joe Maney has made to this community,” he added.

“You are an exemplary model for what public service means.” Selectman Phil Crawford said.

By Melanie Higgins





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