Seeking a fourth, four-year term of office; would match mark as longest-serving Mayor if reelected next year
Anyone who has not noticed that third-term Malden Mayor Gary Christenson really enjoys his job probably has not been paying attention for the past 11 years.
He made that sentiment very clear at a political event where he formally announced he would seek reelection to a fourth term of office in the municipal vote in the fall of 2023. Speaking to the theme of the night’s event, “Vacation Time,” Mayor Christenson got right to the point. “People are always asking why I do not seem to ever take a vacation,” he told a large gathering of over 200 at Mixx360 Nightlife last Thursday. “Why would I take a vacation when I am in my hometown doing a job that I love?”
Mayor Christenson was first elected to his post in November 2011, after serving several terms on the Malden City Council and Malden School Committee. He has been reelected twice to successive four-year terms, running unopposed in 2015 and defeating a challenge by former City Councillor John Matheson in 2019.
Mayor Christenson is the first candidate to throw a hat in the ring for the city’s top post in 2023. There have been some unconfirmed reports of other potential candidates and, now, possible challengers for the top spot, but nothing official.
If reelected, Mayor Christenson would match the years (16) as longest-serving Mayor in Malden municipal history in serving out a fourth, four-year term that would run from 2024-2028. Mayor Christenson’s predecessor, former longtime Mayor Richard Howard, is the existing longest-serving Mayor in Malden history. Former Mayor Howard – recently installed in the Malden High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame – served six consecutive terms, from 1996-2012. Mayor Howard served four two-year terms and two four-year terms, when the ordinance was changed to lengthen the mayoral terms in 2003.
Mayor Christenson is the first Mayor to serve three terms and would continue that string at four, if reelected in 2023.
At last Thursday’s event, Mayor Christenson was introduced warmly by Malden State Representative Steve Ultrino, who has announced his bid for reelection to a fifth term. “I know no one who has matched the commitment and determination to serve the Malden community so well as Mayor Gary Christenson,” Rep. Ultrino said. “He has done so much for this city in his time in office and has been a valued partner with our state delegation in ensuring that Malden residents have the resources and assistance they need and deserve.”
Mayor Christenson referenced a few of the accomplishments of his past years in office, such as the construction of a new City Hall and Police Station, the reopening of Pleasant Street in the downtown area for the first time in more than 40 years, as well as increased and enhanced services to Malden’s growing, diverse community. He also pointed to the immediate future, with increased, intensive and ongoing infrastructure enhancements, such as lead pipe replacements and roadway improvements and revamps. Also right in the front of the list are the introduction of a new arts and cultural center in a renovation of the former Malden District Courthouse on Summer Street, and several new park rehabilitation projects around the community.
Beginning in the near future is a comprehensive project that would accomplish two major goals, the Mayor explained: constructing a state-of-the-art park on the banks of the Malden River, and a renovation and rehabilitation which would result in an enhanced Department of Public Works facility on Commercial Street.
Mayor Christenson also made a new major announcement. “We also are soon announcing a major step forward in a plan to address the future of the Malden Hospital site, which has been long anticipated and long overdue,” the Mayor said.
Mayor Christenson also thanked his central cabinet for their continued advocacy and support of the constituents of Malden, including Special Assistant to the Mayor Maria Luise. “We want to continue to serve the Malden community and we appreciate your support,” Mayor Christenson said.