We need to work together
We need your help. As many of you know, and many of you may not know, there has been heated debate over the future of the old Muffin Town location at 15-17 Walden St. Right now, we have an empty warehouse sitting in the middle of a beautiful residential neighborhood. At the same time, we have a huge need to increase residential density and tax revenue to support both the local businesses and the school system. The logical conclusion here is to build a visually appealing, responsibly designed residential building on this location.
This is where you come in. As of right now, one person is blocking the project from becoming a reality. My request of you is that you become informed about this project, and stand by me as I continue the fight to make this a reality. We cannot allow one individual to stall the progress that so many of your friends and neighbors have been working on for so long.
Let’s talk numbers for a minute. As you know, I am the listing real estate agent on the 142 Pleasant St. Project. I have unique insight into the way these developments come to be, and what the financial benefit would be to the community. The Muffin Town developers are requesting 14 units be built on the site. Estimating an average sale price for each unit at around $450k (conservative) and an initial assessment of the same, we are looking at an annual tax benefit of $90,000. That’s $90,000, each year, from now to long into the future. In 10 years we are looking at almost $1,000,000 towards teachers, firefighters, police, DPW, and all of the other agencies that make Winthrop what we all love so much.
We cannot allow one person to block almost $1 Million in tax revenue over the next 10 years. The only way that the community will prevail is if each of you come to the Planning Board meetings for the next couple of months. We need every voice we can get. Please reach out to me at [email protected] if you’d like to learn more about becoming involved.
Stephen C. Hines
Secretary, Transportation Advisory Committee
Business Manager, Robert Paul Properties
Never Let a Good Crisis go to waste.
At our most recent council meeting on Aug. 15, 2017, the council president put forth the idea that within 120 days, it was essential that the council choose Winthrop’s next town manager. We then heard it had already been decided that the council should move forward with securing the Edward J. Collins Center for public management as the search firm.
This emergent decision to choose Winthrop’s next town manager prior to a newly elected council taking office was reinforced with a familiar rationale from our current town manager James McKenna. The outgoing town manager emphasized that “time is of the essence,” and if we do not act now, we will miss the opportunity. Mr. McKenna then explained that if we want to choose the next town manager during this council session, it is his recommendation that we move forward with securing the Collins Center’s services immediately.
Mr McKenna and the council have been operating in a crisis mode for far too long. The council receives information at the last minute with little time to review or discuss, and then the council is asked to vote or Winthrop will lose out on something if we do not meet a looming deadline. I am not sure if this is because of management’s lack of direction or lack of foresight but it has become a pattern that has not allowed us the proper debate on several issues.
While I have voted expeditiously on infrastructure funding because of imminent deadlines, I only see an artificial deadline being imposed by this current council. I do not see the need to push forward with a process that had already been decided prior to its announcement on Aug. 15, 2017. If this closed process goes forward it is a slap in the face of our citizens.
Instead, I propose we as a municipality focus on best practices and request quotes from the Collins Center and similar firms. Included in these quotes, the council should inform these firms they may be invited to present in front of the full council and the citizens of Winthrop regarding how their firm will help the town of Winthrop select their next town manager.
We cannot afford to cling to the stale practices of the past, we must insist that this process be open and transparent to the citizens.
There is a motion that sat with the finance committee on Aug. 24, 2017 to authorize $15, 000 to secure the services of the Collins Center. I would urge the citizens of Winthrop and all candidates running for the Town Council to go to this meeting and hear why the council should rush to decide on one option, the only option currently available to us. You will hear that because the Collins Center is a public organization, the council is allowed to bypass municipal rules and regulations requiring three quotes for services valued at more than $5,000. Just because the council can do it does not make it right. The council should insist on higher standards to restore the integrity of our governmental process and to pick the best candidate for our next town manager.
I have also submitted a motion to the Town Council, requesting that the council solicit at least three quotes with the afore mentioned stipulations.
Richard Boyajian APRN, NP
Winthrop Town Councilor At-Large
NOT SEEKING REELECTION
As the Winthrop Town election draws closer, I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that I will not be seeking re-election to the Winthrop Town Council.
I have had the honor and privilege of working with a dedicated group of councilors, a visionary town manager, and town employees who have rolled up their sleeves to devote their time, energy and commitment to the work of managing and maintaining our beautiful town. Everyone involved has the best interests of the community at heart. I thank all of them; we have all witnessed much improvement in the last eight years.
I would also like to acknowledge the people who bring their passion for our community and work tirelessly on the many boards and committees that make up our town government. They serve an important role in exercising and maintaining the right of citizens to participate in the conduct of public matters and I acknowledge the fervor and energy it brings to town politics. Local government is democracy at work.
I appreciate the support that I have been given over the years by not only the residents of Precinct One, but the entire town. It has been my honor to serve you and the needs of our precinct and the town. I would also like to thank the numerous people who continue to encourage me to seek re-election. Their kind words are very influential, however, after two terms of office and nearly eight years of countless meetings and conversations, I feel it is time to focus on my family and my future endeavors.
The Town of Winthrop is on the brink of a new and exciting chapter, which will require long hours of debate and discussion. I want to encourage the talented citizens of Winthrop to step forward and embrace town affairs and to continue to be a part of the decision-making process. I sincerely trust that the voices and opinions of everyone in the town will continue to play as large a role as ever. Together we will continue to improve the town and properly address future needs.
Winthrop Town Council
HEALTH IS NOT ‘SILLINESS’
I am taking this opportunity to respond to comments made by Board of Health Chairman Nick LoConte in a recent story, “Board of Health looks at changes to tobacco sales.” According to a text message from LoConte reported in the article, he considers discussion about raising the tobacco minimum legal sales age to 21, “silliness.” I feel this is a most unfortunate comment by Mr. LoConte.
One hundred and fifty-one communities in the Commonwealth, including Boston, Chelsea, and Revere, that have raised the age to 21, do not consider it “silliness.” The American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, and the American Heart Association, which have endorsed the effort, do not consider it “silliness.”
Even the current Winthrop Board of Health Regulations Restricting the Sale of Tobacco Products states that, “more than 80% of all adult smokers begin smoking before the age of 18; and more than 90% do so before leaving their teens”. We know that those under 18 are getting their tobacco products from those who are older than them, and in many cases the older buyers are high school seniors.
Raising the minimum legal sales age to 21 will reduce tobacco use initiation, particularly among youth 15 to 17 years of age; improve the health of residents across the lifespan, and save lives. A similar strategy was highly successful in addressing alcohol sales.
Mr. LoConte also allegedly states in a text message that he has long advocated for the Board of Health to focus its effort on combatting the opiate crisis that grips our town. I would like to report on the board’s activities during the past year.
Winthrop has continued its partnership with Chelsea, Revere, and Saugus to develop and implement strategies across the region to combat the opiate epidemic. Board of Health member Susan Maguire and I attended the Metro Mayors Coalition Meeting on the Opioid Epidemic held in May at the Winthrop Senior Center. I did not see Mr. LoConte in attendence at the meeting.
At the Town Council’s Spring Forum on the FY2018 Town Budget, I addressed the council supporting a proposal to have recovery coaches working in the community become town employees. Mr. LoConte attended the Forum, but did not speak.
At the Board of Health’s Aug. 8, 2017, meeting, I did not see Mr. LoConte in attendence, the other board members heard a presentation from the Health Department’s summer intern who compiled data on the Recovery Coach Program regarding substance abuse and mental health issues, particularly relating to opioid addiction in the community.
Councilor Phil Boncore also attended the July Board of Health Meeting and stated that he believes the board should get more involved in issues related to the airport. I share his concerns about Logan Airport. During the past year, I have twice written to the Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs about noise and air pollution, and the parking project, which calls for two new garages for 5,000 parking spaces.
The Winthrop Board of Health can accomplish much to improve the health of our community, even when there are differences of opinion on the board on how to do so.
Winthrop Board of Health
Committee thanks fireworks sponsors
The Winthrop Fireworks Committee would like to thank our many sponsors that help to make this fireworks display such a great success! The Winthrop Fireworks display is funded 100 percent by donations, and this tradition would not be possible without the generosity of the businesses and individuals that donate every year! We strive to continue and improve our 4th of July celebration and thank you, once again, for contributing to this treasured tradition here in Winthrop.
Special thanks to Massport for their exceptional generosity and to the Winthrop Lodge of Elks for their support of the Winthrop fireworks through the years.
Also, a special thank you to the Winthrop Market Place, the Winthrop Yacht Club and the Winthrop Pro Shop for their help with T-shirts, as well as all the residents and visitors that purchase them year after year!
Winthrop Yacht Club
Mutual Beef Co
Crystal Cove Marina
James Bruce Sr
The Arbors of Winthrop
Committee for Bob Deleo
John Biggio Insurance
Dennis and Sue Gaughan
Classic Harbor Line
Paul W. Marks
Commercial Street Pilots Inc.
Cottage Park Yacht Club
Cottage Hill Real Estate
Jim and Ginny Noiles
Barry and Lynn Kepnes
Barbara Wright (In memory of Ed Wright)
Joseph and Renee Pike
Century 21 Mario Real Estate
Iris Lee Bagwell
Furlong Auto Sales & Service
Crest Ave Wine
Pettee Oil Company
Winthrop Farmers Market
MacFarland Insurance Agency
Winthrop House of Pizza
Anthony and Minnie Martucci
Walter and Geraldine Cash
Mally’s Hair Expressions
Belle Isle Seafood
East Boston Savings Bank
Crystal Cove Apartments
James and Kathy Nelson
Alvin and Karin Chavis
Maurice W Kirby Funeral Home
Robert and Paul Degregorio
Greg and Janet Lepke
Gagin Insurance Agency
Marr Real Estate
Edward and Jean Wall
Winthrop Emblem Club No 15
Champion Physical Therapy
Robert and Ann Capprini
Sticky Molasses/Blackstrap BBQ
Winthrop Country Day
Alfred Bell & Patricia Connors
Falbo, Solari & Goldberg
Elliot Whittier Insurance Services
Ciminos Meat Market
Michael and Michele Balian
Dorothy and Thomas Donofrio
Ed and Karen MacDonald
Robert and Peggy Smith
Brian and Linda Hurley
Peter and Jane Fenlon
Jon and Shannon Poulos
Kevin Foley and Yole Morocco-Foley
Barry T Cohen DDS
Thomas and Donna Reilly
Cummings Physical Therapy
Edward and Betty Conley
Ann and Eugene Carver
Arthur and Barbara Flavin
Joe and Brenda Bertino
Mel and Rona Mael
Gary Skomro and Carina Campobasso
Deborah Vecchio Osborne
Peter and Maureen Gill
Michelle Fluet (In memory of Roland & Phyllis Fluet)
Gary and Janet Willwerth
Peter and Rosemarie Ottaviano
Richard and Joanne Letch
Edward and Jean Wall
Jane and John Kelleher
Richard and Kathy Gill
Richard and Lisa Davella
Paul and Dona O’Donnell
Elizabeth and Ernest Maylor