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Saugus Over Coffee

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Precinct 1 resident offers some advice for making better use of Stackpole Field as recreational resource

Mark Stevens, a retired letter carrier who worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Saugus for 30 years has a recommendation on how to get the best use of Stackpole Field.

“Probably the best thing we could do would be just tear down those big iron stands, and open it up view wise,” Stevens told Precinct 1 Town Meeting members last month during a “Saugus Over Coffee” forum held in the Community Room of The Saugus Public Library.

“I think people who are using the park would feel more secure. Just cosmetically, it would look a lot nicer to remove those stands that would probably never be used again. The more space we have, the better off,” he said.

Stevens was one of a handful of residents to offer advice on how to improve the precinct. He got to drink coffee and talk to Precinct 1 Town Meeting Members Susan C. Dunn and Mark J. Bell.

The forum was the first in a series of 10 that are being cosponsored by The Saugus Advocate and The Saugus Public Library.

Precinct 3 will be the focus of the next forum, which is set for 6:30 p.m. March 13 in the Community Room of the Saugus Public Library. All town residents are welcome to attend, but Precinct 1 residents will be given the chance to question and offer advice to their Town Meeting members, who talk about what they consider to be priority issues. Those who attend will get to drink coffee with their Town Meeting members.

During the Jan. 30 forum, Precinct 5 Town Meeting Member Ronald M. Wallace, a former resident of Precinct 1, offered some advice on how to make the precinct better.

Wallace suggested it was time to clean up Appleton’s Pulpit, a historic landmark on Appleton Street that he called “a mess.”

“I think it would be awesome if we had a cleanup day there. Maybe give it a little respect,” he said.

Wallace grew up in Precinct 1, attended the Roby School, skated on Prankers Pond and enjoyed concerts at the Saugus Ironworks National Historic Site. He said his mother still lives in the precinct.

He also suggested that Precinct 1 residents should monitor future development in the Mill District.

He said development “is really going to change that neighborhood … 222 Central St. could potentially be a ton of apartments.”

Regarding potential uses of the old Roby School Administration, Margaret Young said she would like to see a restaurant or “a little ole breakfast place there.”

Town Meeting Member Bell said he’s concerned about a potential dumping problem at Stackpole Field. He mentioned a bumper discarded there.

“We don’t want to see Stackpole Field turned into a place where people throw things,” Bell said.

“One person mentioned to me that they’d like to see it turned into Veterans housing because it’s right near the Legion Post. And people said they’d like to see it turned into a restaurant,” he said.

Bell provided an inspirational moment to shy people who lack confidence in their ability to speak out on issues publicly.

“I’m a lifelong stutterer,” Bell said.

“I’ve stuttered since I was 3 or 4, and I still stutter to this day. Those people who don’t want to get into Town Meeting or any kind of public policy, if I can do it, you can do it. Please don’t be intimidated by it,” he said.

Town Meeting Member Dunn is a lifelong Saugus resident who worked for four town managers in 23 years before retiring. She said she got involved with Town Meeting to give back to her hometown.

“We’re working to make Saugus what it should be,” she said of the role of her and others in Town Meeting.

Dunn said she shared many of the same views as Bell about what the precinct’s most pressing challenges are.

Dunn stressed that it was important for citizens in Precinct 1 to work through their Town Meeting memes to address important issues in their neighborhood.

“When we start to have Town Meeting, let us know how you feel, because if we don’t hear anything, we vote by our hearts and what we think is right for the town,” Dunn said.

“We’d like to know your opinion. Because unless we hear, we might not think of it,” she said.


Keeping an eye on potential harmful development in the Central Street Mill area, protecting what’s left of Prankers Pond, considering possible reuses of the Roby School Administration Building, the future of Stackpole Field

 Town Meeting Members of Precinct 1

Susan C. Dunn 781-233-7844

Anthony Roger Arone 781-443-4650

Christopher Jones 617-851-9554

Mark J. Bell 781-454-8210

Sue Palomba 617-877-4553

Saugus Public Library Director Alan Thibeault
Saugus Public Library Director Alan Thibeault gives the introductions at a recent filming of “Saugus Over Coffee.” The forum is cosponsored by The Saugus Public Library and The Saugus Advocate. (Courtesy photo by Saugus TV to The Saugus Advocate)
Left to right, retired postal worker-2
Left to right, retired postal worker Mark Stevens shares his views with Town Meeting Members Mark J. Bell and Susan C. Dunn during a “Saugus Over Coffee” forum last month. (Saugus Advocate photo by Mark E. Vogler)

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