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Here’s what selectmen say they would give as Christmas gifts to Saugus – if they could

SEASONS GREETINGS FROM SAUGUS Members of the town’s Board of Selectmen stand in front of the Christmas tree set up on the first floor of Saugus Town Hall
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~ The Advocate Asks ~

  For this week’s column, we reached out to each of the members of the Board of Selectmen and asked them if they would like to send a holiday message to our readers. All five selectmen responded. Their individual holiday wishes to the residents of Saugus follow.

  Q: Please share your thoughts on your Christmas gift for the town this year – something you hope to work for. One gift you want to give the town if it’s in your power as a public official.

Board of Selectmen Chair Anthony Cogliano

  I would love to give the Town a much needed West Side Fire Station and cleaner air for all to breathe….something I’ve been working on for the past two years. There are those that continue to attack and bash Wheelabrator every step of the way. Not me. Increasing the height of the monofill is the least of my concerns. Lowering the emissions, updating the exterior, controlling the noise and finalizing a host community agreement that will bring millions in much needed revenue to Town are the most important issues. Let me present the plan to the Town before condemning it. If the residents don’t think it’s in our best interest, and the Board of Health doesn’t endorse it, we move on. It’s time we move away from the obstructionists and develop a better path to our future.

  Aside from that, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy, safe and healthy New Year. God bless.

Board of Selectmen Vice-Chair Debra Panetta

  We need to complete our Town’s Master Plan. This process started in 2020 where our Town Manager hired a project consultant, the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC), to coordinate this project. The MAPC conducted a kick-off vision forum in September 2020 and asked Saugus residents to fill out an online survey. They received approximately 700 responses over the several weeks the survey was open to the public. This survey was consolidated and presented to the Town as a base to move forward. The Master Plan coordinates the community’s goals & vision by incorporating strategies and actions to move our Town into 2035 (and longer). It will be used as a guide for managing future growth and change in Saugus and create a framework for future policy decisions. Land use and zoning, housing, economic development, transportation, open space and recreation, arts/historic/cultural services, climate resiliency, community facilities and services, and clean energy and sustainability are all part of the Master Plan. Several public meetings were held, and everyone’s concerns and ideas were incorporated into the plan. The Advisory Committee, where I am a member, met this month to review the draft plan. This plan is to be rolled out during a public meeting in early 2022. I want to sincerely thank everyone who participated in the survey and in the public meetings that were held.

  I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy Holiday season. I hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2022! Thank you.

Selectman Jeffrey Cicolini

  Obviously there are many pressing issues for our town, most of which are at the forefront and are being addressed as priority items. The one item I would like to focus my attention on, once the school buildings are turned over to the town, is to have the dog park committee begin to meet, identify a location for a dog park and begin the process of exploring grants that are available etc. This has been long discussed. However, with COVID, many items were put on the back burner. 2022 will be the year we get the ball rolling.

  Thank you and happy holidays!

Selectman Corinne Riley

  One gift that I want to give the town as a Selectman is to continue working toward a vibrant, Cliftondale Square that would be looked at as a modern, thriving area. The other is to update the Capital Improvement Plan along with the Master Plan to follow through with the 3rd fire station that the people in the west side have needed for too long. It’s time to get it done. Covid is still in the forefront for all of us, but we must work diligently to make up for time lost during the pandemic. I wish more than anything, I could give the gift of Covid being a nonentity in everyone’s life and to go back to living our lives as it was pre-Covid. It has gotten better but I wish it was further along than it is. I know it will continue to improve, but I wish I had the means to end it now. The effort that has been taken by family and friends to keep each other safe by testing, wearing masks, etc. has helped in having more normalcy in the holiday season than a year ago. And, that is great. Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and I wish everyone a healthy, happy, peaceful 2022.

Selectman Mike Serino

  What I would like to give the Town in the coming year is to continue to work with the Town Manager and my fellow Selectmen in helping guide our residents and our employees through this highly contagious new Covid crisis. I want to wish all Saugonians a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season, along with a safe and healthy New Year.

  God Bless.

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