Town Council President Peter Gill took one of those stands that leaders have to take some time when he deferred a vote on the payment of some past bills from the Parks and Recreation Department. With the matter needing a unanimous vote to pass, Gill made it clear that he needed more time to review the paperwork before he could cast his vote.
The issue, which Gill said is a complicated one and involves the payment of bills associated with a new lacrosse program, does in no way reflect on the exceptional leadership of the Parks and Recreation program by its director, Sean Driscoll. The fact is that more than 1,500 families participate in at least one of the Parks and Rec. programs in the town, a percentage that far exceeds nearby communities. Driscoll and his staff organize and run programs that provide much enjoyment year round for our youth.
Gill certainly recognizes the importance of having solid recreational youth sports programs. His daughter, Lisa Gill Howard, the assistant superintendent of Winthrop schools, came up through the ranks to help lead Winthrop to a state softball championship before playing Division 1 softball at Boston College — and you know how great you have be to be able to play at the level. In addition, Peter’s granddaughter, Gretchen, is arguably one of the best eighth grade goaltenders in the state, excelling for our Winthrop/Lynn girls hockey team.
So we believe that Peter was just doing what he felt was in the best interests of the process in delaying this vote and the bills should and will be paid quickly as soon as he is satisfied with a more detailed explanation.
Sean Driscoll has built up an outstanding Parks and Recreation program — and there were some comments at the Town Council meeting as to whether it should be an enterprise fund or a town department like others in town government — but the bottom line is that Gill is doing what he feels is right in his heart and we applaud him for his decision.