WINTHROP — Town councilors on Monday bid farewell to one of their own and began making plans for his replacement.

Chairwoman Sarah Fuller began the meeting by asking for a moment of silence for “colleague and friend” Ken Buck Sr., a long-time councilman who died at the end of last month.

Councilors later in the meeting agreed to seek a replacement to fill Buck’s position through the June election, at which point voters will choose someone to fill out Buck’s term, which expires at the end of December.

“It’s a lengthy process for a short amount of time,” said Town Manager Peter Nielsen.

Councilors agreed to ask Buck’s widow, Barbara Buck, and former councilor Larry Fitzgerald, who served more than one term on the council but did not seek re-election in November, to fill the vacancy through the June election.

Buck, 63, died Dec. 30 at his home, according to his obituary. After moving to Winthrop as a child, Buck graduated from Winthrop High School and was a longtime volunteer firefighter. He and Barbara Buck were married for 43 years.

Buck served three terms, or nine years, on the council, according to his obituary.

Nielsen said town rules allow the council to leave Buck’s position vacant through the June election, but the six councilors agreed to try to fill the position to help during the budget process.

“I think the process is as simple as entertaining a motion and a second vote,” Nielsen said.

Councilor Linda MacDonald nominated Barbara Buck. “I think it would be a nice sentiment,” Councilor Richard Henry said of MacDonald’s suggestion.

The council approved the suggestion and agreed to ask Fitzgerald if Barbara Buck declines the invitation.

In other developments, Winthrop Police Chief Ryan Frost announced long-time police officer Daniel Cook has been promoted to the position of lieutenant. Cook, who joined the department as a part-time officer in 1991, has been employed full time since 1993. He has served as a sergeant since 2002.

Cook is now second in command under Frost, who in July was promoted from captain to chief with the retirement of Joseph Young. Frost, as captain, was second in command to Young for 13 years before he was hired as the chief. Frost said the captain’s position has been eliminated with the creation of the lieutenant’s position.

Later in the meeting Paul Cottrell, treasurer of the trustees for Bailey Public Library, gave a financial update on the building’s addition. The library reopened in June after a $1 million-plus renovation and expansion more than doubled the space of the old building.

Cottrell said a total of $1.4 million was spent on the project. The majority of that money, $815,000, was raised through private donations. The trustees paid $310,000 of their own money, and the town borrowed another $300,000 that the trustees must pay back.

Cottrell said the town forgave $100,000 of that loan after the trustees paid for roof repairs at the library, leaving the trustees with about $200,000 left to pay.

Cottrell said the trustees still have $188,000 in assets, including $41,000 still to be collected in promised pledges. That leaves the trustees with about $15,000 left to raise to pay back the loan taken by the town.

“We appreciate the partnership we had (with the town),” Cottrell said. “It made life a whole lot easier on us. We couldn’t have done it without that support.”

Fuller said the effort has created a “wonderful” library for the town as it prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary this year.

“I hope people will give you lots of birthday gifts in the form of cash and checks,” Fuller said.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4


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