BURLINGTON – Monday night’s Board of Selectmen was foundation-altering for the community after two administrative pillars officially announced their retirement dates.
Both serving the town for over 40 years, Fire Chief Steven Yetman is set to retire at the end of August and Town Treasurer/Tax Collector Brian Curtin confirmed his retirement will be June 30, 2020.
By order of the agenda, Fire Chief Yetman received his farewell from the Selectmen first. Being a member of the Burlington Fire Department for the past 42 years, Yetman’s service to the community is beyond commendable, and town officials were not shy in letting him know about it.
“[Yetman] has been a class act from the very beginning,” said Town Administrator Paul Sagarino.
Fellow Burlington firefighter, Selectman Michael Runyan acknowledged how much of a “pleasure” it has been “working side-by-side” with Yetman for many years.
“You accomplished so much throughout your time with the department,” remarked Selectman Runyan, noting Yetman’s integral role in the new Fire Station 2 and paramedic program. “We are a model for most fire departments in Eastern Massachusetts, and a lot of that is because of [Yetman].”
Selectman Robert Hogan, who has been retired for the last several years, expressed his best wishes to Yetman in retirement.
“Retirement is everything it is cracked up to be, and I hope you enjoy the hell out of it,” advised Selectman Hogan.
Selectman Chair Joseph Morandi articulated how appreciative he is of Yetman’s patience and tutelage.
“You have been so professional the whole time I have worked with you. Thank you so much for all you have done for this town,” praised Chair Morandi.
Assistant Fire Chief Michael Patterson was formally appointed as the interim fire chief, while candidates are interviewed in the coming months.
Curtin to retire
Town Treasurer/Tax Collector Brian Curtin will also be stepping down from the position he has held for the past 42 years.
Curtin made the announcement official during Monday night’s Selectmen meeting. His retirement has been a topic of conversation since last August, when he halted his retirement plans after professing the time was not right with then-Town Administrator John Petrin retiring this past April. Curtin wanted to ensure Burlington’s Town Government makeover at the administrative level wasn’t too overwhelmed with change.
Seeing that the turnover has been more seamless than expected, Curtin felt the time was right to retire on June 30, 2020, which marks the end of the fiscal year and will allow him to help Town Administrator Paul Sagarino and the Selectmen work on finding his replacement in the next 10 months. Curtin is expected to be on the Selection Committee for this purpose.
“It has been a distinct honor to serve the residents of this great town,” voiced an emotional Curtin. “This is a difficult decision to leave the position I loved and enjoyed, but I am looking forward to spending more time with my family. However, I want to let the Selectmen know I am committed to helping find my replacement, and I will work on the Selection Committee, so the town can continue its run of great financial success.”
Selectman Chair Joseph Morandi praised Curtin for helping turn Burlington into what it is today.
“I cannot say thank you enough for the job you have done in this town. Forty-two years of hard work, and you are part of the reason the town is where it is today. You have always been humble and true to your word,” lauded Chair Morandi. “Whenever a helping hand was needed, you were always there.”
Town Administrator Sagarino spoke of Curtin’s genuine passion and love for the town he served for 42 years.
“I have never seen a person care more about the town than [Curtin]. All the decisions [Curtin] made were based on what was best for the town and its residents,” applauded Sagarino.
Curtin concluded, “There is no ‘I’ in team when it comes to our Town Government, and that is why Burlington is what it is today.”
Expect updates on the interview process for town treasurer/tax collector candidates in the coming months.