Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

January 2, 2014

THE YEAR THAT WAS

A look back at 2013's newsmakers

(Continued)

School developments

Andover High School implemented a pilot program on Breathalyzer use at school dances before ultimately making it a permanent policy.

In July, the state labor board overturned the town’s 2012 decision to fire Andover High teacher Jen Meagher, ordering that she be reinstated. She returned to the classroom in September.

Work to redistrict the town’s elementary schools moves forward, with implementation expected in fall 2015.

In June, work launched at Doherty Middle School for renovations and site work began for the adjacent youth center.

Local politics

In January, school district veteran Dick Collins announced he wouldn’t run for re-election to the School Committee.

In March, dismal voter turnout led to the elections of selectmen Alex Vispoli and Paul Salafia and School Committee member Barbara L’Italien.

The 2014 election season began in the fall with announcements from Selectman Alex Vispoli that he intends to campaign for state Senate and School Committee Chairman Dennis Forgue, who said he will not be seeking re-election this spring.

New police chief

As February ended, the community learned that longtime Police Chief Brian Pattullo would retire in July. By March, Town Manager Buzz Stapczynski had appointed Sgt. Patrick Keefe to replace Pattullo, effective Aug. 1.

Town Yard

After months of planning by town officials, Town Meeting voters rejected rezoning the Town Yard, sending the project back to the drawing board. Town officials had hoped to rezone the downtown area so it could be developed for a mix of uses such as housing, retail and offices. The Town Yard, which houses public works offices and equipment, would have been relocated if the measure had passed.

Gambling craps out

In August, all eyes focused on Tewksbury and a fast-moving casino proposal just over the town border. But after a full-court press from Andover, along with heavy opposition within Tewksbury, the proposal for a Penn National Gaming slots casino was rejected.

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