Letter: Reader States Her Case for McGee

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LynnHappens is an open platform welcoming letters to the editor. From here forward, all letters pertaining to the upcoming election will have links to all the previous letters on the election, including all positions and viewpoints — of course, to make it easier to follow the discussion. LynnHappens itself is neutral territory and does not write articles of a political nature. The election takes place Tuesday, November 7th, with polls open 7am to 8pm.
Tell us what you’re thinking! Opinions are welcome either in short-form in the comments below or long-form to editor@lynnhappens.com.

From Michelle Griffin –

I chose to purchase my childhood home in Lynn in 2006. Since then, I have been waiting for Lynn to live up to its potential.

Recent news only underscores a lack of leadership at City Hall: Eight months after the failed vote on Pickering Middle School, our mayor stated that she “suspects” the location chosen for Pickering was “one of the biggest reasons for the failure of the vote.” The main opposition group to the proposal, Protect Our Reservoir, Preserve Pine Grove, made it clear that the site was an issue; this was reinforced through public meetings and media coverage – before the vote. Yet the city failed to take advantage of an opportunity to request that the Mass. School Building Authority (MSBA) reserve funds already set aside for Lynn by proposing a new plan within ten days of the vote, under the MSBA’s failed vote policy. Had such a plan been proposed and accepted by the MSBA, residents could have considered a new site on the ballot this fall. Lynn must now begin the process again, and, if successful, hold numerous public meetings – and a new vote. All of this requires resources – at a time when Lynn faces a substantial budget deficit (projected at $8.5 million), a recently downgraded bond rating, inadequately staffed police and fire forces, and a city hall “running on a skeleton crew” (per the mayor). In addition, it is well-known that Lynn has had trouble meeting its local contribution to required net school spending with the 26 schools it already has, despite the fact that the state funds about 75% of this spending.

Senator McGee has spent decades fighting for Lynn and has often filled a void at City Hall. For example, the Senator was present with dozens of other state and local officials at a state legislative redistricting committee hearing in Lynn City Hall a few years ago; the mayor was not. Senator McGee’s accomplishments for Lynn are wide-ranging: He was instrumental in moving the power lines on the Lynnway, which made the waterfront more attractive to new investment; bringing the state’s Arts and Cultural and Gateway Community designations to Lynn (which have the potential to bring many more funds to the city, if applied for); securing record levels of funding for our schools, numerous transportation improvement projects, the expansion of North Shore Community College, and the E-Team Machinists Program; and fighting for the Lynn to Boston ferry service. Senator McGee’s recent proposal to ensure that communities OTHER than those on the north shore pay tolls to fund much-needed infrastructure investments in the Commonwealth exemplifies his advocacy for Lynn (and other north shore communities) to be treated equitably. He voted against transportation bills in 1997 and 2009 because they did not address Lynn’s inequity with the rest of the state. The current mayor was critical of this new proposal on her campaign Facebook page, stating she is strongly opposed to new taxes – yet residential property taxes have continued to rise under her leadership and her administration considered a Proposition 2 ½ override as recently as last November!

The current mayor has had eight years to help Lynn reach its potential. A handful of restaurants, a Market Basket and an overwhelming deficit does not signify success. For Lynn to thrive we must elect Tom McGee as mayor on November 7.

Michelle Griffin
Lynn, MA

Tell us what you’re thinking! Opinions are welcome either in short-form in the comments below or long-form to editor@lynnhappens.com.

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