Essex Board: Recover Ahead

Essex Board: Recover Ahead
Essex Board: Recover Ahead

Hanlon Is New Member

JULY 14, 2010 (Updated): As the Essex Regional Retirement Board moves toward recovery under a well-publicized overhaul, a State House regular, Mike Hanlon, has been named as the Board's fifth member.

Hanlon, a state retiree who ran the Commonwealth's Deferred Compensation Plan under former treasurer Shannon O'Brien, had earlier worked for the City of Boston and Middlesex County. He is currently the executive director of the Mass. Collectors and Treasurers Association.

He was named to the Board by acting chairman Andrew Maylor, Ipswich Town Treasurer Kevin Merz and elected member Bill Martineau, a retired N. Andover fire chief.

Essex was placed under strict oversight this spring by PERAC, when it removed Chairman/Executive Director Tim Bassett and temporarily replaced him as chairman with Maylor, who is Swampscott's town manager. Merz was elected to the board by the treasurers of the towns and other units holding membership in the Essex Retirement System. Glenn Morse, the Board's other elected member, resigned earlier this year, and the term of Katherine O'Leary, the Board's former fifth member, expired in June.

Legislation filed by the Senate as an outside legislative section of the FY11 State Budgetand signed by the Governor on June 30, spelled out the future of the Essex Board, including receivership by PERAC should the Board violate rules and regulations.

The legislation provides that the Board's first member shall be determined by aweighted vote of the chief executive officers or chief administrative officers of the member towns and units of the Essex Regional Retirement System. The Retirement Board members will choose their chairman.

A search is currently underway for a new executive director of the Essex Board. Chief operating officer Lilli Gilligan, who has degrees from both Smith College and Harvard, heads the Board's excellent four-member senior staff.

Hanlon, also a Harvard alumnus, lives in Watertown where he is chairman of the Watertown Board of Library Trustees.

"The Essex situation has been hovering over us for some time now," says Association President Ralph White. "It behooves all of us in the public sector to get Essex out of the spotlight and back on track."

There are 19 towns and 30 regional school districts, housing authorities, veterans and water districts in the Essex Regional Retirement System.