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News

Strike a pose

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Josie Sarni is about to enjoy a game of bowling with her son, Luca during the Recreation Department’s Annual Mother & Son Bowling Day, held at Kings Bowling at MarketStreet in Lynnfield on Sunday, March 26. See more photo highlights on pages 10 & 11. (Advocate photo by Ross Scabin)


 

Senator McGee announces candidacy for mayor of Lynn

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Lynnfield Democratic State Senator Thomas McGee announced on Monday, March 27 that he is running for mayor of his hometown and current place of residence, Lynn. McGee currently serves Lynnfield, Lynn, Saugus, Swampscott, Marblehead and Nahant as senator. He will be facing tough competition in incumbent Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, who has served as mayor since 2009.

“I am running because we need a strong, focused leader with a vision that ensures that Lynn’s path forward takes us to a better future,” McGee said on his Facebook page. “I will be a Mayor who is informed and engaged, works hard, always listens, and wakes up every morning determined to create that better future for all Lynn residents.”

By running for mayor, McGee does not lose his right to run for reelection to the senate if he chooses to do so; his absence would be noticeable, his having served Lynnfield as senator since 2002. McGee has served in the Massachusetts State House for a total of 22 years, beginning as a state representative in 1995. He comes from a family of politicians, most notably his father, Thomas W. McGee, who served as speaker of the house in Massachusetts from 1975-1984. McGee the younger is an attorney by training, and is married with two children.

The senator is known for his work on many pieces of legislation, including the “Safe Communities Act,” a bill aimed at preserving civil liberties in Massachusetts. He also has a history of impacting Lynnfield in a positive way. The senator, whose grandfather owned a house on Upton Lane, and who spent a lot of time in Lynnfield as a youngster, was just recently present to welcome a “Community Compact Agreement” from the state that awarded Lynnfield $20,000 towards capital improvements. He was also active during the planning of MarketStreet and made sure that construction went “as smoothly as possible” and that there were enough access points in and out. He credited his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Brad Jones, for working with him to make sure that local cities and towns like Lynnfield receive as much local aid as possible, and that adequate investments are made in areas such as roads and infrastructure.

He characterizes the years he has spent serving Lynnfield as “a pleasure” and said that he will continue to be available to support Lynnfield in the event that he wins the race, both as a former senator and mayor.

By Melanie Higgins


 

Lynnfield history: new Fire and Police Stations approved in late 50s

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In the 1950s the population of Lynnfield surged from 3,927 to 8,398 according to U.S. Census figures. This growth put heavy demands on all public services, including the Fire and Police Departments. So after the March 1958 Town Meeting, a committee was formed to plan the “construction of a building to house the Public Safety Departments of the Town.” First, let us glance back at the fire and police facilities before their modernization.

Fire Department

The town’s initial appropriation for firefighting was the purchase of “24 hand held chemical extinguishers” and “24 water pumps” allotted to volunteer firemen in 1900. Soon the town bought a “horse drawn chemical wagon” for $1,500 that was installed in “Chemical House No. 1,” the old Meeting House on the Common. In 1908 a wooden firehouse was built in South Lynnfield at the corner of Salem Street and Broadway (Route 1), called Chemical House No. 2. Gradually staffing and equipment improved, but the two firehouses remained totally inadequate for modern needs.


Police Department

Lynnfield’s first Police Chief was Albert G. Tedford, who was appointed in the 1920s. He operated out of his house on Lowell Street and only wore his uniform on Sundays. His major concerns were liquor “stills” (during Prohibition) and managing the traffic from 100 vehicles on the streets. He served until his death at age 84 in 1940. In 1941 the town purchased a police cruiser. By the early 50s, the force had increased to five full-time patrolmen. Traffic duty on the “Pike” (Route 1) was particularly onerous because many cars just “slid off” in bad weather before the roadway was properly “banked.” Meanwhile, the force operated out of the “dingy, crowded rooms of the old Town Hall” (built in 1892) until the new facility was ready.

New digs

The 1958 Building Committee, charged with planning the new “Public Safety Departments,” worked quickly. They held 28 meetings with officials from the Fire and Police Departments, town boards, and architectural consultants among others. Wisely, they factored in the potential population growth in Lynnfield, “estimated to be between 10,000 and 12,000 persons.” The Committee believed that for “sound economy, better to provide for this growth now … rather than add on to at a later date.”

Site visits were made by members to many local towns with new public safety facilities, including Wakefield, Reading and Wilmington. Five different plans were reviewed. Price was a paramount consideration in an attempt to “strike a realistic balance between adequate facilities and reasonable costs.” After members decided on a one-story structure, questions remained about the roof. Finally a “pitched roof” was chosen over a flat one. Although costing $5,000 more, the design would “complement the surrounding architecture in keeping with the character of the town.” An attractive cupola was designed to house the fire alarm horns used in those days.

Plans approved

The proposed firehouse included an Apparatus Room to accommodate four engines and a ladder truck, along with a bathroom, kitchen and supply and compressor rooms. The Police Station featured the Chief’s Office, Lockup (three male, one female cell), Interrogation Room, Matron’s Room, Target Range and space for a Civil Defense Office. Total cost was estimated at $250,000, including architect’s fee. Voters were urged to authorize the building because construction costs would increase by about 7% in the near future. “Sound economy,” they concluded, “should dictate that this project receive top priority in 1959.”

Voters did approve. And so the Fire Department was removed from the Meeting House, which was then taken over and renovated by the newly formed Lynnfield Historical Society. Another new Fire Station in South Lynnfield was built in 1960. The Police Department left behind their grimy quarters in the Old Town Hall. Soon after, a new “Town Hall” was added on to the fire/police facilities, making the attractive and functional complex which still serves Lynnfield today.

(From “Lynnfield, a heritage preserved, 1895-1976,” edited by Marcia Wilson Wiswall, and the 1958 Lynnfield Town Report.)

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By Helen Breen



   

Beacon Hill Roll Call

THE HOUSE AND SENATE: Beacon Hill Roll Call records the votes of local representatives on the only roll call from the week of March 27-31. There were no roll calls in the Senate last week.

 

$200 MILLION FOR LOCAL ROADS AND BRIDGES (H 2783)

House 154-0, approved and sent to the Senate a bill authorizing $200 million in one-time funding for the maintenance and repair of local roads and bridges in cities and towns across the state. The $200 million would be borrowed by the state through the sale of bonds. The funding would be allocated using the same formula that is used for distributing Chapter 90 transportation money annually.

Supporters said this would help cities and towns keep their roads and bridges safe. They noted that the money will be delivered early in the construction season and allow many vital municipal road projects to move forward.

Although no one voted against the proposal, the Massachusetts Municipal Association had urged legislators to increase the funding to $300 million per year and have it in effect for several years to allow communities to plan ahead and use the funds more efficiently.

(A “Yes” vote is for the $200 million.)

Rep. Stephan Hay           Yes

Rep. Bradley Jones         Yes

Rep. Theodore Speliotis  Yes

Rep. Thomas Walsh        Yes

 

HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION? Beacon Hill Roll Call tracks the length of time that the House and Senate were in session each week. Many legislators say that legislative sessions are only one aspect of the Legislature’s job and that a lot of important work is done outside of the House and Senate chambers. They note that their jobs also involve committee work, research, constituent work and other matters that are important to their districts. Critics say that the Legislature does not meet regularly or long enough to debate and vote in public view on the thousands of pieces of legislation that have been filed. They note that the infrequency and brief length of sessions are misguided and lead to irresponsible late night sessions and a mad rush to act on dozens of bills in the days immediately preceding the end of an annual session.

During the week of March 27-31, the House met for a total of five hours and 3 minutes and the Senate met for a total of 23 minutes.

Mon. March 27

House11:02 a.m. to11:12 a.m.

Senate 11:03 a.m. to11:16 a.m.

Tues.March 28

No House session

No Senate session

Wed. March 29

House 11:02 a.m. to 3:46 p.m.

No Senate session

Thurs. March 30

House11:02 a.m. to11:11 a.m.

Senate 11:05 a.m. to11:15 a.m.

Fri. March 31

No House session

No Senate session

Bob Katzen
welcomes feedback at
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

Lynnfield Community Connections to partner with Lynnfield REC

Lynnfield Recreation is pleased to announce that we are working with Lynnfield Community Connections to provide recreational activities for children of all abilities. As part of this relationship, Lynnfield Recreation will be taking over the administration of existing programming, such as Open Gym, Game Club and Kings Bowling. Lynnfield Community Connections is excited about this change, as the REC will be able to reach a broader audience and provide a wider range of activities.

We will be expanding and broadening existing programming for children and adults of all ages and abilities. We are adapting our programs to meet everyone’s needs. Children of all abilities are encouraged to participate in REC programming. It is our mission to have proper staffing so all children can feel safe and enjoy our wonderful school programs, summer programs and field trips, and parents will have the peace of mind that their children will be supported.

   

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