Dr. Paul McGee, president of the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce, said the Metropolitan Beaches Commission public hearing for Winthrop Beach did not provide enough information about the physical state of the beach or the ongoing Winthrop Beach Renourishment Project.
The Commission, led by co-chairs State Sen. Tom McGee and State Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein, hosted the hearing Tuesday night at the Robert A. DeLeo Senior Center. Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, State Sen. Anthony Petruccelli, Town Manager James McKenna, Fire Council President Peter Gill, and town councilors joined a large contingent of Winthrop residents and town officials at the hearing.
McGee said he didn’t feel the format of the meeting served Winthrop residents well. Elected officials opened the meeting with brief remarks before participants “broke out into small groups to share their thoughts on the conditions on Winthrop Beach.” Those thoughts were then summarized
Interestingly there were four groups at the start of the “breakout session” but two of the groups merged during the session, leaving just three to report back their findings to the assemblage.
McGee expressed his dissatisfaction with the meeting’s entire format.
“I was disappointed,” said McGee. “I was looking forward to more factual information and a give-and-take regarding the present condition of the beach and when the project will be completed. I don’t feel breaking off into small groups I going to really accomplish anything because essentially were looking for information from the DCR why the beach is in this condition.
“One of my big concerns is the sand. I know they talked about taking sand from Saugus which doesn’t have the same consistency as the sand on Winthrop Beach now. I know they took that type of sand and put it on Revere Beach and I know they’ve had problems for years.”
McGee said he was always disenchanted by the fact there was no representation for the residents of Winthrop Shore Drive at the meeting.
“As many representatives as they had there, I didn’t see anyone that had a representation for Winthrop Shore Drive. I saw Nahant, I saw Revere, but I didn’t see anyone from Winthrop.”
DeLeo announced at the meeting that the Winthrop Beach Project will be completed by the end of 2014.
“That would be great,” said DeLeo. “Bob has been a wonderful representative for Winthrop for many years but they didn’t see exactly when in 2014 and I also want to find out more details. Because if they are going to be trucking in sand, we would like to know when that phase of the project is going to start.