By Adam Swift
Change was in the air in Winthrop in 2022.
In April, the Town Council selected Tony Marino to take over as the new Town Manager. Marino’s appointment helped take some of the pressure off Police Chief Terence Delahanty, who had also been serving as the interim Town Manager.
Marino previously served as the Ipswich Town Manager for four years. Marino grew up on the South Shore in the town of Pembroke. “My father [Leo Marino] was a Boston firefighter and moved us down there from Dorchester when I was 3 years old,” said Marino.
Marino served in the United States Navy for four years and received his college degree from Bridgewater University.
During his first year, Marino gave regular updates to the Town Council, and presented a plan for the town to enact the Community Preservation Act.
In June, Scott Wiley officially took the oath of office Tuesday as the new chief of the Winthrop Fire Department. Wiley had been serving as the interim fire chief following the retirement of Chief Paul Flanagan.
In July, Marino appointed lifelong Winthrop resident Phil Ronan as the new town veterans services officer.
The Ordinance Review Committee and potential charter changes took up a good amount of time and discussion over the past year.
By the end of the year, the Town Council began holding public hearings on the 13 proposed charter and ordinance changes. Any potential changes to the town charter will eventually be brought before the town for a vote.
While many of the proposed changes revolved around legal language, proposals that would change the composition and length of terms for town councilors, as well as one setting recall provisions for elected officials, were expected to draw more debate and discussion through the beginning of 2023.
The Town Council also approved new parking regulations for the Central Business District. There will now be two hour street parking allowed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in downtown district street spaces, with a handful of 15 minute spaces in front of several local businesses.
Other big changes could be on tap in the near future, as the council was updated on the progress of a $6 million Revere Street reconstruction project.
The current timeline for the reconstruction of half a mile of Revere Street is for it to go out to bid next summer, with construction beginning either in the late fall of 2023 or the early spring of 2024.
The spring saw the return of town ferry service between the town, Boston, and Quincy, although the service ended a little earlier than expected in the spring due to problems with the ferry’s engines. Marino said the ferry is currently out for repairs and service should resume on schedule in the spring.
In the schools, it was in large part a return to a routine closer to pre-Covid times.
The School Committee settled several contracts, including a three-year deal with the Winthrop Teachers Association which runs through August 31 of 2025. Teachers received a two percent raise per year over the duration of the contract, as well as some additional market adjustments and longevity pay.
The end of the year also saw continued negotiations between the committee and the paraprofessionals union, with a number of paraprofessionals and their supporters attending committee meetings to lobby for pay more in line with what education support professionals receive in other cities and towns.
The planned runway safety area improvement project for Runway 27 at Logan Airport continued to be an area of concern for the town in 2022. In the summer, the Town Council signed onto a letter asking Massport to provide additional remediation efforts in relation to the project.
The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) Certificate was issued by the Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) on August 29. The public comment period on the report, which is available online and at the Winthrop Public Library, runs through Jan. 23.
During the state general election in November, state Senator Lydia Edwards and state Representative Jeff Turco were both easily returned to office for new terms.
There was good news on the Winthrop business front in 2022, including the Wallerce family purchasing the building where it operates its grocery business, the Winthrop Marketplace.
It was also a big year for Boston Pride captain and former Harvard ice hockey star Jillian Dempsey of Winthrop, who received the Hockey Legacy Award at the Sports Museum’s The Tradition, a gala celebration of Boston sports, that was held Dec. 6 at the TD Garden. Dempsey, along with Boston Pride co-captain Mary Parker of Milton, also served as the honorary Grand Marshall for the 126th Boston Marathon.
On November 1, in a ceremony at Worcester’s Mechanics Hall, Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy presented the 39th Annual Trooper George L. Hanna Memorial Awards for Bravery. The Hanna Awards honor the memory of Massachusetts State Police Trooper George Hanna, killed in the line of duty in 1983, and recognize members of law enforcement for exemplary acts of bravery. Among those receiving the award was Winthrop Police Sergeant Nicholas C. Bettano. During the summer, the town also held a tree-planting ceremony to celebrate the lives of David Green and Ramona Cooper, two beloved residents who were shot and killed by a gunman on June 26, 2021.