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Marblehead selectmen honor retiring town administrator

MARBLEHEAD – Selectmen surprised retiring 18-year Town Administrator Tony Sasso at his last scheduled selectmen?s meeting last Wednesday evening.The board had scarcely approved a resolution honoring the town?s first town administrator by making Thursday, May 17, Anthony M. Sasso Day when nine former selectmen began entering the room.Thomas McNulty, William Conly, Jeffrey Shribman, Robert Peck, Diane St. Laurent, Reed Cutting, William Purdin, John Whipple and Dwight Grader jokingly voted on the few remaining motions until Selectmen Chairman Jackie Belf-Becker asked if there were any people in the audience who wished to speak.Former Board Chairman and Town Clerk McNulty said, “We are absolutely here to honor Tony Sasso, our first town administrator. He figured out how to do (the job) and every Selectman here enjoyed serving with him.”St. Laurent told Sasso, “I have seen all the awesome things you have done for the town.”Current Selectman Harry Christensen recalled being the swing vote on a 3-2 decision that made Sasso town administrator 18 years ago and called the decision “the best thing that could have happened to the town.Selectman Judy Jacobi said there were 17 selectmen who served on the 18 boards since Sasso was appointed, noting their diversity in terms of gender, occupation, political party, birthplace and personality “but there was no diversity” in their feelings about Sasso – his love of the town, work ethic and skill set.?You make it look very easy,” Belf-Becker said, “and it?s really not. You treat people as you would like to be treated. I can?t imagine you not sitting in that seat.” Selectmen James Nye and Bret Murray gave him their regards as well.The town is having a retirement party for Sasso at the Corinthian Yacht Club Thursday, May 17.Board members presented Sasso with a Marblehead chair, a gift usually reserved for departing selectmen.Sasso told selectmen there was “a lot of whispering” in his office lately and joked about being “the town?s first Italian-American administrator” and his Revere upbringing, but he also recalled how he first saw a Selectman?s meeting on television. “I couldn?t believe you could actually go to the mike and speak to the board in front of the Spirit of ?76,” he said. “I started volunteering for the town.”Sasso said he was “impressed and honored that everyone showed up. I feel very comfortable working here. Everyone?s been fantastic.”

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