Brookline selectman quits board over move

BROOKLINE – Selectman James McElroy has resigned from the board, effective Aug. 31, as a result of his family’s impending move to neighboring Hollis.

McElroy, who grew up in Brookline and returned eight years ago with a young family of his own, has served on several town committees. He was elected to the Board of Selectmen in 2007.

The family had planned to remain in Brookline, he said this week, but when the opportunity to move to his in-laws’ longtime Hollis home presented itself, after his mother-in-law’s recent death, he and his wife, Roisin, made the decision to relocate.

Board Chairwoman Linda Saari said McElroy’s seat will be filled in the near future, with the appointee serving until his term ends in March. At that time, any resident can choose to run for the slot, which is a three-year position.

The opening became official upon McElroy’s announcement Monday night, she said, and town residents who are interested can contact Town Hall to be considered. The decision on a replacement will be made after interviews are conducted, Saari said.

“We’ll miss Jim, definitely,” she said. “He did a real nice job here. We wish him the best.”

McElroy has also served on the town’s Web, finance, capital improvements, and facilities committees. A computer-assisted design software engineer by trade, he currently works for a firm with offices in Manchester and Waltham, Mass.

“Roisin and I spent weeks thinking about this,” McElroy said. “It was really tough, because we really love where we are now. But in the end, it was the right decision.”

The main reason he and Roisin moved to Brookline roughly eight years ago, McElroy said, was his fond memories of his upbringing there. “It’s a great place to raise a family, that’s why we came back in the first place, so my two boys could grow up here, too,” he said.

“While I will always proudly consider Brookline to be my hometown, I’ve always considered Hollis to be my second home,” McElroy wrote in his resignation letter. “I want to emphasize that we’re not moving from Brookline to Hollis because we like either town more than the other.”