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Merrimack Valley

December 2, 2012

Selectmen, other officials to cook, serve holiday breakfast Dec. 14

NORTH ANDOVER – The Board of Selectmen is responsible for governing the town, including reviewing the budget, hiring and evaluating the town manager, approving licenses and sometimes revoking them.

In North Andover, the job description goes a bit further. A selectman is expected to help cook and serve the annual holiday breakfast at the Senior Center, which is offered to the volunteers who serve on town boards as well as municipal employees.

The selectmen, along with the town manager and other department heads, cook the eggs, sausages, hash browns and other food the night before, according to Selectman Rosemary Connelly Smedile, who after a dozen years on the board has helped prepare many a holiday breakfast.

The breakfast will be served Dec. 14, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., at the Senior Center, 120R Main St. Holiday music will be played and there will be a raffle for Christmas trees.

The trees are donated by various businesses in the town and the proceeds of the raffle will go to the Senior Center, Smedile said.

Asked who the best cook is among the members of her board, Smedile said that honor would probably go to Donald Stewart.

“Even when he wasn’t on the board, he would come in and help cook the breakfast,” Smedile said. Stewart may face some serious competition from the newest selectman, however.

The family of Richard Vaillancourt, elected to the board last March, owned and operated Val’s Diner on Main Street for many years. Val’s was a popular venue for breakfast and political banter.

As the newest selectman, Vaillancourt will be expected to wear a “funny hat” while serving guests, Smedile said. Town Manager Andrew Maylor, who will soon complete his first year on the job, pitched in and helped serve the breakfast on his first day of work, she said.

The tradition of the holiday breakfast probably goes back 18 to 20 years, according to Smedile.

“It’s great fun,” she said.

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