Abington resident Chris Aiello is the new Abington Director to the South Shore Tri-Town Development Corporation (SSTTDC).
Aiello filled the vacant position left by former Director James Lavin, who passed away last month.
The Board of Selectmen interviewed two of the three candidates Wednesday night, and appointed Aiello with a three to one vote.
The other two candidates were Joe Shea and Bob Toomey. Aiello and Shea were interviewed at the meeting. Questions focused on minimizing any impacts to Abington, and overcoming obstacles that have stalled development.
Board of Selectmen Chair Michael Franey says choosing one of the three candidates was a “tough decision.”
“It isn’t that you vote against somebody, you vote for them,” Franey said, “Chris had some real estate experience…he had his construction license and I just thought overall that that would fit the position better.”
Aiello has 10 years of municipal government experience and 25 years of construction experience. He said he’s excited and flattered to be appointed to this position.
“At the end of the day, I represent Abington, so I’m obviously looking out for the best interest of Abington,” Aiello said, “But I believe that a successful Southfield is beneficial to the whole area, so we’re going to do everything we can to make sure we have a successful build-out.”
Aiello added that in his opinion, Southfield’s stalled development is due to the poor economy, bad publicity, and an “aura of uncertainty” surrounding the development ever since LNR sold out to Starwood.
“I think everyone’s taking a ‘wait and see’ approach,” Aiello said, “It’s in everyone’s best interest for Tri-Town and Starwood to find some common ground. They need to start building and marketing and selling…everything will be better after that,” Aiello said.
Franey said he knows Aiello very well, and he’s confident he will do a good job representing the town. “He’s got Abington in his blood,” he said.