Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo once again showed his strong commitment to the Winthrop Beach Restoration project with his complete participation in an event held in Winthrop Tuesday night. The Speaker joined Sen. Anthony Petruccelli, Council President Peter Gill, and Councilor Nick DelVento on a tour of the beach where the multi-million dollar project is to be completed.
During the tour, Speaker DeLeo received praise from Bruce Berman of Save the Harbor Save the Bay for being such a “tenacious” supporter of the region’s public beaches and keeping the Winthrop Beach project at the forefront in the legislature.
Following the tour, Speaker DeLeo made a dramatic announcement at the Metropolitan Beaches Commission hearing before a large crowd at the Robert DeLeo Senior Center when he said the Winthrop Beach project would be completed by the end of the year 2014.
The hearing seemed to be a productive one and Bruce Berman, a charismatic and articulate advocate for our beaches, did a great job with his organization at the hearing. Speaker DeLeo, Sen. Petruccelli, President Gill, and some of our town councilors — to their credit — stayed to the end of the entire meeting even though there was a break when the audience members split into groups.
So all in all, the hearing was a success, but there were some, including Dr. Paul McGee, president of the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce, who were not pleased with the format of the meeting, saying that there should have been more information and a comprehensive update given about the status of the Winthrop Beach Project. McGee made some valid points (please see story in this week’s Sun-Transcript) in his remarks about the structure of the meeting agenda. McGee’s comments deserve to be heard and we hope members of the Metropolitan Beaches Commission will reach out to him and react to his concerns.