Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


March 27, 2014

Lyman issues a departing call for respect

As tone of public debate sours, Lyman leaves public office


“Everyone there (Town Hall) works very hard,” she said. “Buzz (Stapczynski, the town manager) sets the tone from the top. He’s around all the time. He shows up for Saturday morning coffees (at Old Town Hall).

“Andover residents get a lot of bang for the buck. We have more talented people than I’ve ever seen working for this town. We are not above the average in taxes. We have a good education system, better roads than most towns and we deliver good services. We are trying hard to do everything well.”

Couple her recent acceptance of a full-time role as a fundraising coordinator at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center with the growing contentiousness and Lyman said her decision not to seek a fifth term became clear. She joined the Board of Selectmen in 2001, after having completed a stint on the School Committee from 1992 to 1995.

The 53-year-old said she’s proud of the work she’s done, particularly with the Commission on Disabilities, which spearheaded an effort she supported to hand out bracelets to elderly wanderers with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

She credited the commission, under the leadership of Maddy St. Amand, with pursuing the program, which enables people suffering from memory loss and similar diseases to keep living in their homes. For the cost of about 1 1/2 days in a nursing home, the $350 device allows wearers to be easily tracked and returned home if they wander off.

“We were one of the first towns to have that,” she said. “The (commission) found out about it, came up with the program and worked with the Police Department to implement it.”

But Lyman was disappointed that her efforts to get a new senior center built in town failed by just 16 votes. The center, which was to be located near Doherty Middle School, would have been built close to the site of the Cormier Youth Center, which she said ultimately won approval by many of the same people who helped torpedo the senior center at Town Meeting.

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