By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Although she was born in Chelsea, the Winthrop Transcript Woman of the Year for 2017 is all about Winthrop, from her career to family to her public service Precinct 6 Councillor Linda J. Calla is Winthrop.
For the past 40 years she’s devoted herself to the town, most recently serving as the Precinct 6 representative on the Town Council. In the past year Calla’s work has focused focused on the health and well-being of the town.
She has pretty much touched every corner of Winthrop from the PTA, to youth hockey
Calla is a former member of CASA’s Board of Directors and a member of the Emergency Operations Center.
“In reflecting back, I feel the town has made tremendous strides,” Calla said.
She has successfully volunteered for numerous town endeavors while also working in the real estate industry in Winthrop, she’s a certified paralegal and a seasonal tax examiner for the Department of Revenue.
Calla, is known as the first female voice on the town council when it was formed 12 years ago. Also joining her on the first council was Russ Sanford, Nick DelVento, Phil Boncore and James Leterrie. Sanford and Delvento have retired. Calla herself has run in four elections, all unopposed. Not bad for the girl who graduated from Winthrop High School in 1969
“Prior to that I was a town meeting member for years,” Calla said in her Almont Road home.
Calla and her husband Steve have three grown sons (Glen, Steven, and Jason), daughter-in-laws and nine grandchildren (ranging in age from 22 years old to nine- months). All three generations live in Winthrop.
Lately, Calla has been working on the helping the town find a new home for a public safety building for the town.
“We need to find a location,” Calla said.
She also feels strongly about growing businesses in town and has long been a supporter of the Shirley Street businesses.
“It has finally come around,” Calla said. “A once hopeful Crystal Cove development along the waterfront was what I had hoped would breathe new life into the Shirley Street area both directions. The area is bound to be a successful waterfront area. There is much hope for Shirley Street.”
“I want to see responsible growth and development in town,” she added.
Calla’s goals for the upcoming year is to continue separating the Health Department from Inspectional Services. She also played a role in having the town make two recovery coaches town employees. She would also like to a fundraiser for the new boat for the fire department.
“I’m always trying to do what I can do,” Calla said.
Here’s just a few more things Calla has done over the years: bicycle rodeos handing out helmets, participating in the DARE program, child safety id kits for the town children, the renovation of the Darlyrmple School, the development at 101 Veterans Road.
She also worked with police, fire and the Point Shirley Neighborhood to crack down on absentee landlords and their poor choice of tenants.
“The area was finally cleaned out and the neighbors could once again enjoy their homes without fear,” Calla said.
Calla can think of no better place to live than Winthrop.
“Winthrop is a beautiful town. We have all new schools, a new state of the art Miller Field, spectacular views, miles of beautiful shoreline, fabulous restaurants, marinas, yacht clubs, a nine-hole golf course and a ferry that takes us to Boston in 20 minutes,” Calla said.