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Countdown Till Town Meeting

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  Editor’s Note: The 2024 Annual Town Meeting convenes on Monday, May 6. As a special service to our readers and the registered voters of Saugus, we are reaching out to all 50 Town Meeting members, focusing on one precinct each week, in the weeks leading up to the start of Town Meeting, asking members about their expectations for the upcoming Town Meeting. This week, we received responses from three of the five Town Meeting Members in Precinct 7. For next week’s newspaper, we will reach out to the five Town Meeting members from Precinct 8.


Question One: What do you consider the top priority for the town as you prepare for the opening of the 2024 Town Meeting session?

John Chipouras: One of the main priorities is to have a third fire station. We need to preserve one of the closed elementary schools to prevent overcrowding because there are many apartments being built. We need to come under an agreement with Win Waste Innovations.

Frank V. Federico: Ensuring the safety of students in Saugus public schools is paramount. With a recent uptick in violent incidents on school grounds, it’s evident that significant changes are necessary in both prevention and response protocols. The constraints imposed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) have made it exceedingly challenging for Massachusetts school systems to safeguard students effectively. Saugus must assertively address these limitations. While numerous adjustments are warranted to foster a safer learning environment for both students and teachers, implementing a School Resource Officer (SRO) program stands out as a potentially the most impactful measure with immediate results.

Robert A. Palleschi: The traffic is the big town wide issue. It seems that everyone in town complains about the traffic. If you get on Central Street at 3 o’clock, you’re backed up all the way to Lily Pond, pretty much every day. Certainly, I think the town is bursting at the seams. I get a little concerned about overdevelopment. We’re really getting overdeveloped on Route One. It’s going to choke us to death, and I don’t think it’s going to be good for commerce.


Question Two: What do you consider the top priority for residents in your precinct as you prepare for the opening of the 2024 Town Meeting session?

John Chipouras: Many residents of North Saugus want a traffic study on how to alleviate the traffic on Walnut Street coming from Lynnfield to Lynn. Vacant properties need to be occupied on route one, as they are an eyesore. We need to maintain our AA Plus Bond Rating.

Frank V. Federico: The residents in my precinct are among some of the best, sharing common desires with many across Saugus. They seek assurance that the town prioritizes their well-being. As warmer weather approaches, they look forward to venturing out of their homes and walking their neighborhoods and witness well-maintained roads, potholes promptly repaired rather than just patched, and sidewalks that don’t pose a risk of injury when walking their dogs or on a family stroll. Moreover, they desire to feel heard and valued by their local government.

Robert A. Palleschi: Most people in my precinct seem fairly content with the way things are going. I don’t hear too much negativity. Maybe it’s apathy. My precinct is happy that the streets are getting plowed. All in all, I don’t think there’s much for them to get upset about.


Question Three: Are you working independently or in collaboration with other members on articles to be introduced for this year’s Town Meeting? Could you please elaborate? Summarize your article and what you hope to accomplish.

John Chipouras: I’m not currently working on any articles for the annual town meeting.

Frank V. Federico: Presently, implementing a School Resource Officer (SRO) remains one of my foremost priorities to ensure the safety of our students and teachers. I am open to collaborating with anyone who shares the conviction that changes are imperative within our schools and town. Additionally, I am excited about my recent appointment to the policy subcommittee for the school committee and eagerly anticipate the opportunity to collaborate with them in enhancing school safety measures and policy throughout the school system.

Robert A. Palleschi: No. And I haven’t been approached by anyone.


Question Four: Please feel free to share any other views about the upcoming Town Meeting.

John Chipouras: I would like Town Meeting to appoint a charter commission. I would like to see the town officials work together in collaboration. I would like to congratulate Scott Crabtree for doing a great job as our Town Manager and all the employees in the Town of Saugus!! I am proud to say I am a part of Saugus!!

Frank V. Federico: I’m incredibly excited about the upcoming town meeting. I firmly believe it will mark the initial stride toward much-needed changes that Saugus will undergo in the years ahead, ultimately enhancing our town’s livability. I eagerly anticipate collaborating with my colleagues and constituents to devise innovative ways to improve Saugus for all its residents.

Robert A. Palleschi: One thing I want to give Precinct 10 Town Meeting Member Peter Manoogian credit for is dedicating 17 percent of our Chapter 90 money to build handicapped accessibility.

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