, Salem, MA

Local News

January 15, 2013

Topsfield losing an 'absolute gem'

Town administrator to retire this year


Wilder was hired from her native Winthrop, where she had been the chief administrative officer/executive secretary and the town’s director of community development. She had more than 28 years of experience in Winthrop.

Gandt said Wilder has been a success here.

“She’s got us off and running with town administrator, and it’s worked out,” Gandt said.

Gandt, who is the only member of the board left from the one that hired Wilder, said the key initiative that marked her tenure was her ability to organize town government and get everyone talking to one another.

“She started to organize and improve the communication within the various groups within the town, including grouping key functions,” Gandt said. “She has a monthly meeting of all departments, and she has this grouping of the finance team and public safety team. ... The people thing is crucial in my mind, and that effort that she did has helped the town.”

Morrison said Wilder brought an air of professionalism and organization to town government, and she did so in a pleasant, professional manner.

“We can always rely on her for guidance and advice,” Morrison said.

Wilder started working for the town of Winthrop in December 1977, she said, starting in the Office of Community Development. In the 1970s, she also worked as a teacher and an assistant principal at the former St. Mary High in Lawrence. She also worked for 18 months as a grant administrator in Ipswich.

She worked as Winthrop’s chief administrative officer/executive secretary from 1989 until June 2006, when she was not picked as the Winthrop’s first town manager amid a switch to a town council form of government.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

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