UPDATED Oct. 6: Town Counsel Doug Heim, after serving Arlington for 10 years, is leaving, announced Select Board Chair Eric Helmuth at the board's Sept. 27 meeting.

Heim’s last day at work in Arlington was to be Friday, Oct. 6; he will soon thereafter serve as town counsel in his home community of Andover.

His base salary currently is about $158,000 per year, according to Human Resources Director Caryn Malloy. No replacement for Heim has yet been selected.

Those wishing to say goodbye are welcome to attend Heim’s farewell party, was held from 10 to 11 a.m. this Friday, Oct. 6, at the Arlington Community Center, 20 Academy St./27 Maple St., on the ground floor.

Town spokeswoman Joan Roman provided the following information Tuesday, Oct. 3. Roman said that Heim had given more than six weeks' notice of his impending resignation. She said that the position of town counsel is a town manager appointment and that the position is already being advertised. After Friday, Heim's former responsibilities will be handled by Deputy Town Counsel Michael Cunningham, who will be considered to be acting town counsel as of Tuesday, Oct. 10 (after the Oct. 9 Indigenous Peoples' Day holiday).

A fond farewell

At the board meeting, Heim expressed his gratitude.

“Good government starts with people who are willing to put themselves on a ballot and then put their ideas and decisions before people and the public, and do it in conflict, with equal measure of collaboration and conviction. This board and this government, which is made up of hundreds of people – elected officials, appointed employees and volunteers – is a remarkable collection of people that results in the highest form of local government. I’m grateful to be part of that, and to serve all of you and so many others.

Heim continued, “I’ll miss hundreds of people, which is a remarkable thing when you leave a job. I’m grateful for all the people I had the opportunity to work with and from whom I learned so much. I’ve been fortunate to work with people who are so smart. Many talented folks work for the town, and I appreciate the people who make up this community. It’s an extraordinary place to work. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and have truly been blessed to work here,” added Heim.

Board members, school officials laud Heim

“You’ve been an incredibly valuable partner,” Helmuth said at the meeting. “I’ve deeply appreciated the generosity of your time, service, thoroughness and thoughtfulness of your advice, and unfettered love for and patience with the community, as well as your friendship. I will certainly miss you.”

Board Vice Chair John Hurd: “I’ve enjoyed working with you. You’re very knowledgeable and have done this job respectfully of people, which is a great characteristic to have as town counsel.”

Board member Diane Mahon: “You’re the best town counsel that I’ve had the opportunity to work with. You demonstrate professionalism, nonpartisanship and intellectualism around legal issues, and I always stood by the advice and opinions you gave me.”

Board member Len Diggins: You’re a great town counsel, who we really rely on, because we never know what’ll pop up. I appreciate all your advice and assistance.”

Board member Steve DeCourcey: “We’re going to miss you and wish you all the best. Everyone I’ve spoken with in town says you’re great to work with. You have a great ability to come up with a draft for clients, knowing how and when to push back when necessary, and working collaboratively. That trait that will serve you well in your next position.”

YourArlington received the following quote Monday afternoon from Elizabeth Homan, superintendent of Arlington Public Schools, also known as the town's school department; Heim has often advised APS on legal matters:

“On behalf of Arlington Public Schools, I would like to express my appreciation for Mr. Heim's decade of dedicated service to our town. His expertise and guidance have been invaluable, and his contributions will be greatly missed. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors. We are grateful for the expertise and commitment he has brought to our community.”

Paul Schlichtman, vice chair of the Arlington School Committee, had this to say when asked:

“Doug Heim is an incredibly talented attorney, and his work is widely respected. Before coming to Arlington, he worked for the Boston Public Schools, and the school committee benefitted from his experience in education law. We will miss him.

 “One of our concerns at the school department is [that] the cost of housing in and around Arlington is very high, and we have many employees who need to make long commutes. They either live in, or drive through towns with higher pay than Arlington, and it's tough to compete against a shorter commute with higher salaries. It's a serious problem when we attempt to recruit and retain teachers, and Doug's departure further illustrates the challenges we are facing today.”

See ACMi video of Sept. 27 meeting:

 Aug. 18, 2023: Board approves removing parking spaces, creating bike lanes on Medford Street 
 

This news summary by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert was published Oct. 2, 2023, and updated later that day to state Heim's compensation plus to include a quote from Arlington School Committee Vice Chair Paul Schlichtman. It was updated Oct. 3, to state how legal matters will be handled after Heim departs Town of Arlington employment, and Oct. 6.