• January 11 2019,  Malden

    Sica announces new City Council appointments

    By Barbara Taormina   A new leadership team in city government emerged this week with City Council President Jadeane Sica’s announcement of 2019 City Council committee appointments. “It has taken weeks to come up with who would sit on which committee,” said Sica before reading a long list of committee assignments. The Finance Committee, which oversees the city’s spending and the annual city budget, will be led by Ward 6 Councillor David Camell with Councillor-at-Large Stephen Winslow serving as vice chairman. Ward 7 Councillor Neal Anderson, Ward 5 Councillor Barbara Murphy, Ward 4 Councillor Ryan O’Malley and Councillor-at-Large Debbie DeMaria will also serve on the committee. The Rules & Ordinance…

  • December 21 2018,  Malden

    City Council supports a proposed deposit on nips

     By Barbara Taormina   City Councillors this week unanimously backed and passed a resolve to have the city’s legislative delegation pursue a new five-cent bottle deposit on nips, flasks and other miniature containers for alcohol. “Anyone who lives near a liquor store or package store knows that nips are pervasive in our community,” said Ward 4 Councillor Ryan O’Malley, who sponsored the resolve. “They are thrown all over the street, the sidewalks, in our yards, and when it rains, they end up in our culverts, the Malden River and eventually in Boston Harbor.” O’Malley, who has heard complaints about discarded nips from many residents, said the empty bottles are an…

  • December 21 2018,  Malden

    Sica elected as 2019 City Council President

    By Barbara Taormina The City Council voted unanimously and enthusiastically to elect Ward 8 Councillor Jadeane Sica as council president for 2019. “We have some big things happening in 2019, and I’m proud to be able to serve as council president during this time,” said Sica. “As council president, I see my role as one of fostering open and respectful dialogue with the recognized need to achieve results that move this city forward. It’s going to be a great year, and I can’t wait to get started.” The support for Sica and the votes to elect her came quickly from fellow councillors; many of them have served with her since…

  • December 07 2018,  Malden

    City Council approves new tax rates

    By Barbara Taormina   City Assessor Jim O’Brien was in his office Wednesday afternoon waiting on a phone call from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR). Before the new property tax rates that the City Council approved this week become official, the city needs an approval from DOR. It’s a formality, but O’Brien, who is all about details, stressed that everything is pending until he receives an OK from the state. The residential tax rate for 2019 will be $13.27 for every $1,000 of assessed value of a home. That figure is down slightly from this year’s rate of $14.09. The new commercial property tax rate will be $20.53, down…

  • December 07 2018,  Malden

    City Council plans to protect city land from development

    By Barbara Taormina The city has taken the first steps toward preserving more areas of open and undeveloped space. City Councillors were quick this week to jump on board Ward 6 Councillor David Camell’s proposal to designate 8.36 acres of city-owned land as conservation land. The proposal involves about three dozen separate parcels, many located off Hurd, Blake, Canyon and West Canyon Streets, Olive Avenue, Nichols Road and Beachview Terrace. The City Council voted unanimously to refer the proposal to the Public Properties Committee for further review. “We live in a great, vibrant, fairly dense city, but we are also blessed to still have a number of places that are…

  • Malden,  November 30 2018

    City to review lead pipe replacement program

    By Barbara Taormina   Lead water lines were back on the city’s agenda this week as city councilors discussed the progress that’s been made on replacing pipes, and the work that still needs to be done. Councillor-at-Large Steve Winslow proposed a meeting with the City Council, Mayor Gary Christenson’s office and the Water Department so that the city can develop a strategy to complete the work of replacing all lead water pipes. Winslow said a new report from Christenson’s office shows some great successes. The city is under a consent decree with the state to replace 150 lead service lines each year. Both lead water lines on city property and…

  • Malden,  November 30 2018

    New height restrictions proposed for downtown development

    By Barbara Taormina   A new and improved version of a proposal to limit the height of buildings in downtown Malden is back on the table with plenty of support from the City Council. Ward 5 Councillor Barbara Murphy this week proposed limiting the height of multifamily residential buildings in the central business district to seven stories. Murphy asked that the proposal be referred to a joint hearing of the Ordinance Committee and the Planning Board. “Last year, I had put in a paper to limit the height of residential buildings in the central business district to six stories,” said Murphy. “We almost passed it; we were short by one…

  • Malden,  October 19 2018

    Councillors eye a free and simple parking sticker program

    By Barbara Taormina   City councilors were back at the table this week trying to develop a residential parking program, and this time around, it might work. Residents have repeatedly rejected residential parking plans at public hearings and voted against it on a ballot question, but the margin of those who oppose seems to be getting thinner. And the proposals now being discussed include some selling points that could convince the city it’s worth a shot. One major difference is that the city now has former Strategic Planner Ron Hogan heading Malden’s new Parking Department, which includes a new parking enforcement team. Those investments laid the necessary groundwork for residential…

  • June 29 2018,  Malden

    Public comments on hospital fail to sway City Council

     By Barbara Taormina   Malden Hospital was back in the spotlight this week thanks to the City Council’s new public comment segment at the start of each meeting. Several supporters of the Fellsmere Housing Group’s bid to build roughly 250 condos on the hospital site used their two minutes at the podium to ask councillors to revive a proposal to have the Ordinance Committee explore a possible overlay district that would allow clustered multifamily housing on the 18-acre parcel. Two months ago, Councillor-at-Large Craig Spadafora proposed having the Fellsmere Housing Group and the Friends of Fellsmere Heights present their visions for the hospital site and an overlay district to the…

  • June 29 2018,  Malden

    City Council approves 2019 city budget

    By Barbara Taormina The City Council signed off on next year’s budget, which included a last-minute change geared toward diversifying the city’s workforce. Councillors unanimously approved the $177.9 million budget with amendments that will allow the city to spend $24,000 to hire a part-time public health nurse, and $50,000 to install a snow catcher at Forestdale School. The city will also channel $5,000 to the Human Resources Department to help Director Anthony Chiccuarelli advertise and recruit more talent to fill city jobs. “I’m hoping we will be working harder as a community to diversify our workforce,” said Councillor-at-Large Steve Winslow. Finance Committee Chairman Paul Condon said the money to cover…