BY PAUL LEIGHTON
---- — Editor's note: This article has been edited since its original publication to reflect a correction.
BEVERLY — Tim Flaherty, the former City Council president and mayoral contender, is returning to his roots with the YMCA.
Flaherty has been named executive director of the Cape Ann YMCA in Gloucester. He takes over for Scott Hitchcock, who is now executive director of the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA in Marblehead.
“It’s exciting,” Flaherty said. “I felt my background and the Y’s mission of having a strong sense of community go well together. That’s what I believe in, and that’s what the Y believes in.”
Flaherty, 45, got his start as the youth director at the McPherson Youth Center in Beverly and became executive director of the Cabot Street Y in the 1990s.
He served for 12 years on the Beverly City Council, including two terms as council president, and ran for mayor in 2011, finishing third in the preliminary race.
Flaherty worked for 10 years as a funeral director, including at the Pike Funeral Home in Gloucester, and most recently for a beer distribution company.
“Tim brings great passion and dedication for the Y’s mission to our team and truly lives the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility,” YMCA Chief Operating Officer Chris Lovasco said in a press release.
The Cape Ann Y is one of the oldest of the North Shore YMCAs, having served Gloucester and Rockport for more than 150 years. It has more than 4,300 members.
While Rick Doucette is executive director of teen and camping services at the Cape Ann YMCA, Flaherty will oversee all other operations of the Cape Ann Y.
YMCA of the North Shore CEO Jack Meany has said the Cape Ann Y should be operating out of a new site within five years.
Flaherty said that while the YMCA is known for its fitness and recreation programs, it also provides child care, programs for seniors and affordable housing.
The Cape Ann YMCA provides $450,000 in financial assistance to 2,400 children, adults and families, he said.
“For some people, the Y is going to the gym and working out, but it’s so much more than that,” he said.
Flaherty is the third former or current Beverly city councilor to assume control of a local YMCA. Former Councilor Judith Cronin heads the Greater Beverly Y, while current Councilor Jason Silva is in charge of the Salem Y.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.