I would like to sincerely thank the Winthrop Sun Transcript for the honor of being named Woman of the Year for 2017. I am truly honored to have receive this title. I would like to clarify a few things that were written. As mentioned, I have been an advocate for public health and safety long before being elected to the Town Council and am proud of my partnering and involvement with the Police, Fire and Health departments. First and foremost I would like to take this opportunity to whole-heartedly thank my wonderful husband Steve, formally president of Calla Roofing and Sheet Metal for 30+ years, and my family, who have all been extremely supportive of my community involvement and Town Council’s demanding schedule all these years. Unfortunately, the original article didn’t elaborate on details/highlights of the many years of community service and Precinct 6 development improvements that helped turn my precinct area around over the past 12 years. The numerous neighborhood meetings with developers, residents and abutters were extremely important to the success of the development of the Dalrymple School and Temple Tifereth Isreal projects. I would like to correct a few incorrect statements that were printed in the article. I was not a Winthrop HS graduate, I graduated Chelsea HS in 1969 when Andrew Quigley was mayor of Chelsea. I was one of two female voices on the first council along with former Councilor Jean Maggio. I conducted precinct meetings with Police, Fire and area residents to address neighborhood issues as a result of absentee landlords and alleged drug activity in the beach area, not point Shirley. I am pleased to say over the past 12 years some new businesses have opened up along Shirley Street (in both directions of Washington Avenue) and major residential rehabs have taken place throughout the beach area, thereby improving the area aesthetically and increasing property values and generating additional tax revenue. I had previously (not currently in the process) spearheaded a successful fundraiser for the Fire department approximately five years ago. Speaker DeLeo was instrumental in obtaining a former Coast Guard fireboat at no cost to the Town. The boat needed repairs, electronic equipment and safety gear. With budget constraints looming at that time, I initiated a fundraiser that raised approx. $8500.00 to help the Fire department update and equip the fireboat ultimately named the “Sentinel.” For those who have not seen the beautiful plaque in the shape of the Firefighter’s Maltese Cross (compliments of Matt and Richie Honan), it hangs proudly on the first floor of Town Hall in memory of all who donated to it and/or in memory of a loved one.
Another very important project I had initiated and organized was the Child Safety ID Program. After receiving permission from then Superintendent of Schools, Steven Jenkins, and support from the School Committee I was able to make arrangements with the Molly Bish Foundation and our Winthrop Police department to provide Safety ID kits free of charge to over 800 children in our elementary schools. The Bish Foundation provided the kits and a photographer and our police officers fingerprinted all the children. It was a very successful event, community service at its BEST! Each child brought home a kit with their photo and fingerprints in it. Should a child become lost or go missing, this kit would be invaluable.
Most recently, I am extremely proud of the work and research that was done and grateful to former Town Mgr McKenna and the Town Council for supporting a motion I presented from the Public Health and Safety Committee to support the hire of two full-time, recovery coaches and adopt the CLEAR program making Winthrop the first community in the state to offer full time recovery coach positions. Winthrop is ahead of the curve in fighting substance abuse and Opioid addiction. We have a lot of dedicated and hard working people to thank for that including our Police, Fire, Health department nurse Deanna Faretra and CASA. The Public Health and Safety committee’s next charge is to see if the public will rally behind our Fire/Police departments in the hope of finding a suitable location and creative way to fund a new state of the art public safety complex which is long overdue.
Lastly, I am so proud of my three sons. Glen, my oldest son, is a civil engineer, currently a project engineer for the City of Malden, Steven is the director of Public Works in Winthrop who’s projects have dramatically improved the town’s infrastructure, roads, sidewalks, streets, cemetery, playgrounds, etc and my youngest son Jason has a masters degree in financing currently employed at BNY Mellon. I have two wonderful daughters-in-law, Lori, GLEN’s wife is a Department head at Boston Water & Sewer and Nadine, married to Jason, has a Law Practice in Winthrop specializing in Real Estate. Steve and I have been blessed with nine incredible, loving grandchildren: Matthew, Michael, Nicholas, Gianna, Glen Jr, Steven, Emma, Madelyn and Mila the newest addition to our family! Seven of our nine grandchildren currently attend all of the Winthrop Public Schools.
Thank you for printing this, it was important for me to correct some of the misprinted information and to add some detail to the original article.
Linda J. Calla
Winthrop Town Council
Councilor Precinct 6
REALTOR for 34 years