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~ Political Announcement ~ Vecchione runs for Charter Commission

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At 32 years old, I am the youngest candidate in this 27-candidate race. For those who don’t know me, I’m Joe – I bought a home on Baker Hill in 2015 with my wife Katie after growing up on Essex Street and graduating from Saugus High in 2009. I currently work in Boston as a registered Architect. I have two young daughters, Amelia and Aurora, and a Boston Terrier named Porter. I got involved in local politics in 2019 serving as a two-term Town Meeting member in Precinct 2, member of the Planning Board, member of the Economic Development Committee, Chairman of the Cliftondale Revitalization Committee, and member of the Sidewalk Committee.

I believe meaningful, periodic discussions and debate about our charter is healthy. We last considered changes in the charter in 2009 and even then, a considerable number of residents and the commission itself felt it was antiquated, narrowly failing the at-large vote. That was 14 years ago. There were some great ideas in that proposal that are still relevant today and I think there are some further refinements that can help us improve the function, agility, efficiency, accountability, and temperature of our government and its associated bodies.

A charter revision will affect an entire generation of Saugonians that are moving here, raising young families, and will shape what Saugus will become the most long term. I feel that voice is a critical one in this race as one in a nine-member body and I am committed to representing this perspective.


‘I don’t support people, I support ideas.’

That statement, one that I have said to many over the past 4 years, rubs some people the wrong way in a Town where skepticism and cynicism looms large and political connections run deep and carry weight, but it’s something I’ve never been interested in, even at the expense of an idea that I bring forward.

While I’m resistant to prescribe specifically what I think should be changed in the charter as that collaboration and compromise needs to happen between the nine of us carefully over the next 18-24 months, I can tell you where my focus is and the questions I’ll be asking:

1. How can we make our government more agile and efficient?

2. How can we simplify and clarify our processes and structure to increase citizen participation and engagement?

3. How do we better delegate authority beyond a single individual?

4. How do we promote better collaboration and cooperation between and across boards and committees?

5. How can we increase accountability, visibility, communication, and access to our town officials?

6. How can we promote more consistently competitive elections where people know their representatives and what they stand for?

7. And how can we best communicate these proposed changes to the residents of Saugus to be informed as to why this change improves our government?

These questions each have nuance and complexity associated with each of them, but I do believe they are the right ones to ask. This debate needs to be more than who will be the next chief executive in town, who’s on what “side”, or what hot political issue is being debated at the moment. This is a long-term change that will profoundly affect generations of Saugonians and ultimately how we function. I ask that you vote YES for the Charter Commission and humbly ask for one of your nine votes to be a collaborator in this process.

Thank you.

Joe Vecchione

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