Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

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April 3, 2014

Swearing-in ceremony a 'Mary' event

Kowalski elected chairman of the Board of Selectmen

Three newly elected officials were sworn into office and the Board of Selectmen chose its leaders for the coming year during a reception, ceremony and brief meeting last week in Town Hall.

Town Clerk Larry Murphy administered the oath of office last Wednesday to new members of the Board of Selectmen, School Committee and Housing Authority.

The only race in town during the March 25 election was for an open selectman’s seat. That race was won by Mary O’Donoghue, a local Realtor who beat Jodi Oberto for the position.

Before O’Donoghue took the oath, however, Town Manager Buzz Stapczynski brought up an interesting historical tidbit: The last three women to serve on the Board of Selectmen were all named Mary.

He started the ceremony off by going to the back of the room and pulling a plaque off the wall that memorialized the service of Mary French, who had served as selectman for a couple years before she died while in office in 2001. He lauded French for her long and meritorious service to the town, including her work in the School Department.

Her unexpired term was filled by Mary Lyman, who then continued running for office before stepping down this year after a similar career with the town, including her service as Andover’s director of human resources, among other posts.

O’Donoghue, who volunteered to serve on the Finance Committee for 12 years while also holding several other town posts, was then elected, making it three Marys in a row on the board.

“I hope you cultivate another Mary to take your place in 30 years,” Stapczynski told O’Donoghue, to laughter and applause.

He went on to congratulate O’Donoghue, adding that he hoped she was prepared for spending lots of late nights combing over the minutiae of town governance.

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