Dianna Chakoutis

Street closings a Federal case in Lynn

COURTESY PHOTO
Federal Street will be closed to through traffic until 5 a.m. June 5.

By MATT DEMIRS

LYNN — Delays when commuting around Federal Street and Magrane Circle in Lynn are expected to continue through Monday, June 5.

Department of Public Works Commissioner Andrew Hall is asking drivers to seek alternative routes since the roadways will be closed to all through traffic, although access to businesses will remain.

These closures are to allow for a rapid reconstruction of one intersection and one roadway segment in a short period of time.

Police details will be stationed to detour drivers through construction zones, in addition to the variable message signs and well-marked detour signs. The construction will take place in two phases.

In phase 1, Federal Street will be closed from Marion Street to Western Avenue between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Western Avenue will have one lane of traffic in each direction during construction.
South Street will be local access only from South Common Street to Western Avenue.

Roadwork is anticipated to be complete on Friday, June 2.

In phase 2, Federal Street will remain closed from Marion Street to Western Avenue. Western Avenue will be closed to all traffic from Spencer Street to Centre Street.

Medford could become park place

Work begins Friday, June 2 at 7 p.m. and will continue around the clock all weekend with anticipated completion by Monday, June 5 at 5 a.m.

South Street will be local access only from South Common Street to Western Avenue.

Detour locations will be Mall Street and Centre Street for southbound traffic and Summer Street for northbound traffic.

Closures will also affect MBTA bus routes through the construction zones. Hall asked drivers to check with the bus routes to see how they will be affected.

All anticipated completion times and dates are weather permitting.

Ward 5 City Councilor Dianna Chakoutis said people she knows are looking past the traffic snarls to the opening of the new Federal Street Market Basket. The store is scheduled to open in August.

“Everyone’s excited,” she said.

For additional information, the public can visit the city of Lynn Department of Public Works website at http://www.ci.lynn.ma.us/.


Matt Demirs can be reached at mdemirs@itemlive.com

Opposition mounts to Munroe school site

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
KIPP Massachusetts has agreed to purchase this lot on Munroe Street for a 450-student high school.

By THOMAS GRILLO

LYNN — Opposition to a new school in the downtown is mounting.

City Councilors Dianna Chakoutis and Peter Capano met with officials from KIPP Massachusetts, which operates the Academy Lynn Public Charter School, Thursday and let them know Munroe Street is the wrong place for their proposed $20 million high school.

“It’s not the right spot for a school,” said Capano. “It makes more sense to put something there that’s integrated into the downtown, such as a commercial or residential use.”

KIPP has signed an agreement to purchase a former parking lot on Munroe Street that has been used as a community garden. The grades 9 through 12 school would house 450 students.

The parcel is assessed at $211,000 and owned by Munroe Partners LLC, operated by Gordon Hall, president of The Hall Co.

Capano said Munroe Street gets congested at times and a school would exacerbate traffic problems.

“I know space is at a premium in Lynn, but they need to find an alternative,” he said.  “I will work with them.”

Union Hospital to shut down by 2019

Chakoutis said she organized the meeting with KIPP after receiving a handful of phone calls from constituents who wanted to know why workers were doing soil testing on the site.

“I just don’t think a school fits in the city’s arts and cultural district,” she said. “We will sit down with them again and hopefully there are some options they will consider.”

Clint Muche, the city’s deputy building commissioner who also attended the session, said the informal meeting was called to discuss plans for the 29,000-square-foot lot.  KIPP could build the school as a matter of right, he said.

“They wanted to explain how they would locate a school there that would not completely disrupt traffic,” he said.

Before anything moves forward, KIPP would be required to submit a formal plan to the Site Plan Review Committee.

While they did not present written plans, KIPP has commissioned a traffic study and discussed a scheme that would have students dropped off at the nearby MBTA garage where faculty would park.

“I wouldn’t prejudge anything,” Muche said.  “When they have plan, we will take a look.”

Caleb Dolan, the school’s executive director, could not be reached for comment.


Thomas Grillo can be reached at tgrillo@itemlive.com.

 

North Shore has holes to fill

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Pictured is a pothole on North Franklin Street where it blends with Linwood Road.

By LEAH DEARBORN

Rough roads in winter are a fact of life.

But local public works departments are making an effort to put a freeze on potholes.

Danny Diroche of Los V Tires & Auto Service on Chestnut Street said he’s seen a lot of weather-related repairs in the wake of recent storms.

“It’s everywhere, you know,” he said about the cracks and crevices New England winters are notorious for creating.

Diroche cited well-traveled streets in Lynn like Western Avenue and Franklin Street as popular places for potholes.

Ward 5 City Councilor Dianna Chakoutis said she hasn’t had many complaints about holey roads this winter, nor has she hit too many while out driving on her own. She said the city Department of Public Works (DPW) has quickly patched any potholes she’s reported.

“It’s not as bad as a couple of years ago, but there are some,” said Ward 1 Councilor Wayne Lozzi. “I would hope this is an average winter. Two years ago was pretty traumatic for a lot of city residents.”

Lozzi said the record snowfall amounts of 2015 did serve as a learning experience for the city.

He said Lynn is now better equipped to handle snow removal following changes to snow policy ordinances and the purchase of more and better equipment.  

In Ward 7, Councilor Jay Walsh said that part of the difficulty in effectively treating potholes before spring comes from the fact that most hot top plants in the area tend to close during the cold months.

Walsh said that in low temperatures, a huge amount of energy is required to keep the tar heated and prevent it from congealing.

As a result, many communities purchase hot boxes to store, haul and dispense small amounts of hot asphalt for pavement repair.

Gino Cresta, Swampscott’s DPW director, said the town purchased their own hot box last year, which has been out patching potholes three times per week.

He said that while plenty of streets still need serious attention, the hot box was one of the best investments the department has made in the past several years.

Arthur Graves, director of Public Works in Marblehead, said potholes are an inevitability in winter, but his department is also equipped with a hot box and will respond whenever they receive a complaint.

“We get them, we’re trying to keep up with them,” he said.

Aggregate result is space for Saugus


Leah Dearborn can be reached at ldearborn@itemlive.com.

Mayor stands ground on school sites

Pickering Middle School (Item file photo)

By Thomas Grillo

LYNN — The city’s School Building Committee overwhelmingly approved construction of two schools that would serve students in the Pickering Middle School district and West Lynn.

Under the $183 million proposal, a 652-student school would be built near Breeds Pond Reservoir off Parkland Avenue and a second facility to serve 1,008 students would be built on McManus Field on Commercial Street.

The Friday morning vote reaffirmed the decision made by the committee in August. It came in the wake of questions raised about the Parkland Avenue site earlier this week. City attorney James Lamanna said the law department became aware of documents from 1893 last week suggesting the land belongs to Pine Grove Cemetery.

Ward 5 City Councilor Dianna Chakoutis, whose district includes the proposed site, was the sole vote against the project Friday. Prior to the roll call, she spoke against the plan while Pine Hill residents looked on.

Resident Brian Field said the land that the city plans to use for the school on Parkland Avenue was intended to be a cemetery.  

But Michael Donovan, the city’s Inspectional Services Department chief who is also a member of the building committee, told the panel the plan is the best option for the city.

“No matter where you put a public facility, no one wants it,” he said. “What is best for the city may not be the best for one section of the city.”

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy acknowledged that the committee is faced with a series of bad options. She said a proposal to build the school on Magnolia Avenue near Pickering  has its own set of problems.

While officials have said it would cost taxpayers $800,000 to move the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority pipe on the property to make way for the school, the mayor said it would probably cost much more.

“I suspect that the pipe is not in good condition, it’s been down there a long time and soil conditions are not optimal for its preservation,” she said. “I’m afraid when we begin our obligation to reroute the water to Swampscott and Marblehead, we will find it to be far more expensive and time-consuming than we’re thinking of right now.”

In addition, she said a new school in that section of the city would exacerbate traffic problems in an already congested area. She also noted that the Gallagher Park option won’t work because it would be a tight fit in a heavily populated neighborhood.  

Next week, the building committee will make its case to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), the quasi-independent government that funds public schools. If approved, the agency would contribute $114.5 million towards the two schools or 62.5 percent of the cost.

If approved by the MSBA and taxpayers, it would add $163 annually to the real estate tax bill for 25 years.  


Thomas Grillo can be reached at tgrillo@itemlive.com.

Pine Hill stuck in the middle

Pickering Middle School (Item file photo)

By Adam Swift

 

LYNN — Residents in the Pine Hill neighborhood are firmly against building a new school near Breeds Pond Reservoir off Parkland Avenue, as well as a second potential site at Gallagher Park.

Nearly 100 members of the Pine Hill Civic Association and assorted concerned neighbors met at the Hibernian Hall Thursday night to discuss the evolving nature of plans to replace the deteriorating Pickering Middle School on Conomo Avenue.

“This is our little slice of paradise living in Pine Hill,” said neighborhood resident Don Castle. “We don’t want anyone changing or disrupting our neighborhood with a big school.”

While the residents, as well as three city councilors who attended the meeting, are firmly against the building of a new middle school at either the Parkland Avenue or Gallagher sites, the whole issue could be a moot point by late this morning.

The Pickering Middle School Building Committee is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. this morning, with discussion centered on the Parkland site.

The building committee was set to focus on legal documents identified by the city law department tracing historic ownership of land proposed for the school construction.

In August, the building committee approved constructing two middle schools to replace Pickering. One school would house 652 students at the Parkland site, while a larger school for 1,008 students would be built on McManus Field on Commercial Street.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), which would fund a portion of the project, has to approve the potential middle school sites.

City attorney James Lamanna said the law department became aware of documents from 1893 last week suggesting that the Pine Grove Cemetery Commission obtained a loan and purchased the land where the new school could be constructed.

Ward 5 Councilor Dianna Chakoutis, Ward 6 Councilor Peter Capano and Councilor-at-Large Brian LaPierre all reiterated on Thursday night that they are against seeing a new school built at either the Parkland or Gallagher locations.

Castle also brought forward the possibility of a taxpayer initiative legal action against the city to intercede against the taking of the Parkland Avenue land, if that option does move forward.

“I thought Parkland Avenue was off the table, and that’s a move in the right direction,” said LaPierre. “I want a new middle school, and it would be great to have two new middle schools.”

LaPierre said he wants to see a new school at McManus Field, and possibly a smaller school on Magnolia Avenue near the current Pickering School.

A drawback to the Magnolia site is that there is a Massachusetts Water Resources Authority pipe located on the property that provides water to Swampscott and Marblehead. Relocating the pipe could cost as much as $800,000, according to city officials.


Adam Swift can be reached at aswift@itemlive.com.

Union Hospital affected by new legislation

BY GAYLA CAWLEY

LYNN — Healthcare workers testified on Beacon Hill Tuesday in favor of pricing reforms that they say will lower the costs for community hospitals and reduce insurance premiums for consumers.

Proponents say the state’s hospital reimbursement system is unfair because large medical centers, such as Partners HealthCare, receive up to 500 percent more in payments for the same services provided by smaller hospitals, such as Union Hospital.

“It’s time we finally bring greater transparency and fairness to the financing and funding of Massachusetts hospitals,” said Tyrek D. Lee, executive vice-president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, in a statement. “Excessive payments paid to a few hospitals creates a vicious cycle that drives down wages for community hospital workers and puts local services at risk. We need to take action now, so that we can ensure the state’s remaining community hospitals have an opportunity to survive and thrive.”

The measure, and a ballot question in November, would require private health insurers to negotiate new contracts with larger hospitals, obligating them to lower their costs and bring greater fairness to healthcare providers, according to the union and the Campaign for Fair Care, an advocacy group whose mission is to lower healthcare costs for all. They argue that the state’s present system is unfair, threatens community hospitals, drives down wages and increases costs.

Lee said the bill would provide a “level playing field,” because larger networks are able to negotiate higher insurance rates than some of the smaller hospitals. For instance, he said Union Hospital receives lower reimbursement rates than Massachusetts General Hospital.

If the legislation is approved, the union estimates that North Shore Medical Center, including Union and Salem Hospital, could receive an additional $702,455 annually in reimbursements, following renegotiations with insurance providers.

Lee said the bill is about protecting community hospitals and the services they provide. He said access to services is key, and there have been “a lot of closures and consolidations over the years due to how these community hospitals are being reimbursed.”

North Adams Regional Hospital and Quincy Medical Center are cited as hospitals that have been forced out of business.

In a letter to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing — the panel that is considering the reforms — City Council President Dan Cahill, Councilors-at-Large Buzzy Barton and Brian LaPierre, and councilors Peter Capano, Dianna Chakoutis, Richard Colucci and Darren Cyr urged lawmakers to “strongly consider” the proposed hospital pricing system reforms outlined in the bill and ballot question.

The councilors wrote that the large, wealthy hospitals continue to demand an oversized share of medical payments, causing community hospitals to struggle for the necessary funding to maintain jobs, invest in facility upgrades and continue to provide quality care.

“In Lynn, we are seeing tangible effects of what unfair hospital compensation can do, as Partners HealthCare is moving forward in its attempt to reduce services at the only full service hospital in the city,” the councilors wrote in their letter. “Partners has filed plans to proceed with the expansion and renovation of NSMC-Salem, which includes the relocation of 48 medical/surgical beds and 38 inpatient psychiatric beds from Union Hospital in Lynn to the company’s Salem branch — effectively shuttering Union Hospital.”

But not everyone is in favor of the legislation.

Representatives from Mass Hospital Association (MHA) testified against the bill and ballot question.

“We have a diverse board that has examined the issue and has unanimously voted to oppose the ballot initiative,” said Tim Gens, executive vice-president at Mass Hospital Association, a trade group that represents hospitals statewide.

If approved by voters, the ballot initiative would require insurance companies to limit provider reimbursement to no more than 20 percent above or 10 percent below the average price for that service.

“The ballot proposal that’s been put forward by the union won’t work,” Gens said. “It creates more problems than it claims to resolve. It’s not workable. It does not align with the reform system that we’ve been developing in Massachusetts. We don’t believe that a political campaign is the best way to establish sound public policy regarding this issue.”

Rich Copp, vice-president of communications with Partners HealthCare, said Partners is aligned with MHA, and is also opposed to the ballot initiative.


Gayla Cawley can be reached at gcawley@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.

City officials: Senior-center expansion is news to us

ITEM FILE PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy would not comment on Council on Aging Chairman Al DiVirgilio’s proposal to expand the Lynn senior center.

BY THOR JOURGENSEN

LYNN — Expanding the Silsbee Street senior center is a concern city officials said has not been discussed with them.

“No one has brought that to my attention. It’s a surprise to me,” said Ward 5 City Councilor Dianna Chakoutis.

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy offered a similar reaction and would not elaborate on her views concerning Council on Aging Chairman Al DiVirgilio’s proposal last Thursday to expand the center.

“I’m not going to comment on it,” said Kennedy.

Senior Center Director Stacy Minchello said the center is “maxxed out” of available space for activities and DiVirgilio last Thursday said the facility is 40 years old. Economic Development and Industrial Corporation Director James Cowdell said he has spoken with Greater Lynn Senior Services representatives  but only about parking needs.

“Outside of that, there has been no discussion with EDIC about GLSS expanding downtown,” Cowdell said.

The senior center is located across Ellis Street from a city-owned downtown parking lot. The city Parking Department, beginning in 2015, set stricter permit parking and “transient” parking rules for the Ellis Street lot and the lot on Buffum Street.

Department revenue records underscore how city lots are becoming increasingly popular for drivers seeking to park downtown.

The Andrew Street lot in the fiscal year that started July 1, 2012, generated $53,000 in parking revenue compared to $92,000 in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2015. The Buffum Street lot generated $140,000 in 2015 compared to $132,000 in 2014 and Ellis Street generated $61,000 in 2013 compared to $69,000 in late 2014 and the first half of 2015.

The department has taken a number of steps to enforce parking rates and make payment easier.

Parking scofflaws who ignore the dollar an hour or five dollars a day parking rate risk receiving a $20 violation ticket. Mechanical kiosks like the one installed in the city lot between Andrew and Liberty streets are also slated to be installed in other lots.

Employees working in 50 downtown businesses and organizations park in the 200-space Buffum Street lot and demand for monthly parking permits for the lot prompted the Parking Department to post the lot for permit parking only.

The department in 2015 also mapped out a plan to direct “transient” lot users  drivers who pay by the hour or day to park  to the Ellis Street lot located a block and a half off of Union Street and about three blocks from Buffum Street.


Thor Jourgensen can be reached at tjourgensen@itemlive.com.

City land eyed for new YMCA

ITEM FILE PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Salamata Bah and other kids got to practice some yoga at Kids Day held at the Lynn YMCA.

BY THOR JOURGENSEN

LYNN — City Councilors take the first steps tonight to potentially set aside land that could become the site for a new, 21st-century Lynn YMCA.

The Council Public Property and Parks Committee is taking an initial look at how a 35,000 square of Wheeler Street and a large adjacent traffic island could be used as a YMCA expansion site.

“They want to expand their building out onto that property,” said city Inspectional Services Director Michael Donovan.

Donovan and Council President Dan Cahill said YMCA use of city land is a request requiring a multi-step review and approval process. The exact location of the Wheeler Street land must be detailed in an advertised request for proposal inviting a variety of different uses for the land.

Donovan said Planning Board approval is required in addition to a council review.

Cahill said he has joined Councilors at large Buzzy Barton and Hong Net, Ward 6 Councilor Peter Capano and Ward 5 Councilor Dianna Chakoutis in discussions with YMCA officials about a possible expansion and construction plan.

He said a chief concern in the discussions for city officials is ensuring the city will retain control over the Wheeler Street land, possibly through a long term lease.

“We’re concerned about losing future rights,” he said.

YMCA Metro North President Bruce Macdonald called the YMCA’s construction plans “very conceptual right now,” but said the organization has conducted surveys over the last five years to assess the organization’s future needs.

“There is a real strong appetite for a new Y in Lynn,” Macdonald said.

The longtime Lynn institution offers extensive, year-round programs at its Lynn location, as well as fitness programs and maintains a residence in a multi-floor building.

Macdonald said the YMCA’s goal “over the next two or three years” is to build a facility to replace the existing 87,000 square foot YMCA built in 1973.

The new YMCA would have larger recreational and fitness facilities and an expanded youth-oriented complex incorporating part of the existing building with a children’s development component oriented, Macdonald said, to science, technology, engineering and mathematics development.

Macdonald said the YMCA’s surveys have identified the current Wheeler Street site as a popular location for the organization.

Cahill called tonight’s committee discussion a “first step in a long process” that will be punctuated by public hearings with the YMCA taking responsibility for financing the cost of a new facility.

“We’re talking about a new YMCA people can enjoy for many years,” he said.


 

Thor Jourgensen can be reached at tjourgensen@itemlive.com.

A perfect marriage between city, YMCA

The YMCA would like to build a 21st-century complex in the city’s center and proponents want to use part of Wheeler Street for the construction site.

The idea is exciting and forward-thinking and City Councilors Dan Cahill, Hong Net, Dianna Chakoutis and Peter Capano deserve credit for methodically discussing it with Y officials. After the proposal gets its first public airing tonight, councilors and other city officials will move into the details involved in using public land to help a major local institution serve future generations of Lynn residents.

There is precedent for altering the use of public land for a use envisioned to be locally beneficial. The sale of the city’s three branch libraries more than 10 years ago took expensive city assets off taxpayer rolls and put the branches into private hands for business and tax-generation purposes.

Allowing the YMCA to use part of Wheeler Street and a large adjacent traffic island is a perfect opportunity for city leaders and residents to identify expand ways the YMCA can help solve city problems the organization is already tackling.

With expanded recreational facilities, a new YMCA could potentially offer more opportunities to help local seniors improve their health and place local youth on a productive fitness track.

A new facility focused on child development could — as YMCA Metro North President Bruce Macdonald suggested — offer a powered-up focus on increased science and technology training, designed to build on successes in these achievement areas already exhibited in local schools.

The YMCA has a long history in Lynn and a commitment to the organization is reflected in local memberships that, in some cases, exceed 50 years’ worth of allegiance to the organization.

Giving the YMCA an opportunity to build on city property is a perfect potential opportunity to marry city needs with YMCA goals. As with any marriage, making this one work will involve plenty of conversation.

City residents must articulate the most pressing needs they feel Lynn faces. YMCA leaders must pinpoint the ways a new and expanded YMCA can help meet those opportunities. Opportunity rarely knocks but, when it does, the reverberation can echo down decades and across generations.

Lynn seniors will park for free

BY GAYLA CAWLEY

LYNN — Seniors made their voices heard and their efforts were rewarded by the Off-Street Parking Commission, which voted Tuesday night to provide free parking for those who use the senior center.

Pam Edwards, community organizer for the Mass Senior Action Council, said for about a week and a half, seniors who used the senior center and cared about the issue — the Ellis Street parking lot next to the senior center had recently started charging seniors $5 a day — made over 100 phone calls to Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy’s office.

Edwards said Kennedy, Ward 5 Councilor Dianna Chakoutis, City Council President Dan Cahill and Jamie Cerulli, chief of staff for the mayor, made a proposal seniors felt was fair and “would keep in the past practice.” She said the proposal would also mirror what other communities were doing with their senior center.

Edwards said at the Off-Street Parking Commission meeting, which was attended by about 75 people, Kennedy and Chakoutis spoke and adopted the proposal of the Mass Senior Action Council “to have a special sticker for those who attend the senior center.” She said that a sticker would allow seniors to park for free when attending the senior center, including the Ellis Street lot.

Edwards said the new stickers would be issued for seniors 60 and older or for disabled seniors 50 and older. She said seniors would be allowed to park for free with the sticker during regular senior center hours. She said that most of the volunteers with the senior center would also qualify for the parking sticker, as most of the volunteers are seniors.

“It appears that all of the current volunteers will be covered under the policy that was adopted at the meeting,” Edwards said.

Edwards said if there is a special event at the senior center, the center will let the Parking Commission know that vehicles will be there past hours. Those seniors will possibly receive free parking during those events.

“Everyone walked away feeling that their voice was heard. They were very excited that they were able to have a voice in the policy that the city was establishing,” Edwards said.

Chakoutis, who said the parking charge issue was brought to her attention about a week ago, said as long as the seniors attending the senior center are Lynn residents, the Parking Commission will go down to the center to help them fill out their parking papers and get a sticker. She said the seniors won’t have to go to the parking department to fill out any forms. She said the sticker allows for  free parking during senior center hours only.

Chakoutis said she spoke on behalf of the seniors at the Off-Street Parking Commission meeting. She said she also spoke on behalf of Cahill, Ward 4 Councilor Richard Colucci and councilors Buzzy Barton and Brian LaPierre. She said Barton couldn’t be at the meeting but wanted it to be known that he was backing the seniors.

“Some of these seniors, basically, this is the only time they get out,” Chakoutis said. “[For some], it’s the only well-balanced meal they get each day. If they start charging, they’re not going to be able to afford it.”

Chakoutis said the senior center is also a well-being check on some seniors. She said the center provides social hours for seniors. She said she told the commission to consider that the seniors fighting this battle for free parking could be our parents or even us one day.

“We need to fight for them because we need someone to fight for us,” Chakoutis said.


Gayla Cawley can be reached at gcawley@itemlive.com.

 

Stage set for Lynn inauguration

Item Photo By OWEN O’ROURKE
Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy’s Chief of Staff Jamie Cerulli walks across the stage at the Lynn Auditorium with a poinsettia for Monday’s inauguration ceremony. 

By THOR JOURGENSEN

LYNN — The City Council and School Committee inauguration ceremony next Monday night will be a homegrown affair featuring elected officials and a local judge, musician and pastor.

Scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in Veterans Memorial Auditorium, the evening’s formalities will be presided over by Council President Daniel Cahill and represent the first time two new councilors and two new committee members take the oath of office.

Cahill took the oath of office as a committee member in 2004 and was first sworn in as a councilor in 2008.

“No matter how many inaugurations you participate in, each is very special. It’s an honor to be elected by the voters,” he said.

Lorraine Gately and Jared Nicholson won committee seats in November and join Patricia Capano, Maria Carrasco, Donna Coppola and John Ford on the board. Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy serves as committee chairman.

Councilors-elect Brian LaPierre (at-large) and John “Jay” Walsh Jr. (Ward 7) join Cahill and councilors Buzzy Barton, Peter Capano, Dianna Chakoutis, Richard Colucci, Darren Cyr, Wayne Lozzi, Hong Net and William Trahant Jr.

Escorted into the auditorium by Lynn police and firefighter honor guards, the elected officials will take seats on the auditorium stage and watch as the English High School Marine Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps cadets present the colors.

Local musician MaryBeth Maes will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” followed by an invocation delivered by East Coast International Church Pastor Kurt Lange. Following a performance by the Mak’n Step squad and dance team, Lynn District Court Judge James Lamothe will administer oaths of office to councilors and committee members.

Although Cahill will be the evening’s master of ceremonies, Kennedy will deliver the inaugural address. The evening will conclude with a performance by the Angkor Dance Troupe, with councilors meeting after the inauguration to pick a president, vice president and Water and Sewer Commission representative.

Cahill is seeking another term as president, but the other two leadership seats are up for grabs with Council Vice President Rick Ford’s decision not to seek reelection last year and Ward 1 Councilor Wayne Lozzi declaring he does not intend to seek another term representing the council on Water and Sewer.

“I’m proud that in 12 years we helped hold (water and sewer) rates down,” Lozzi said.

School Committee members will also meet following inaugural ceremonies.


 

Thor Jourgensen can be reached at tjourgensen@itemlive.com.