SAUGUS — A Saugus resident with a background in private investigation, who is known for writing books that caused a stir in town, hopes to sneak up on his opponents in the 9th Essex state representative race.
If elected, Michael Coller said he would focus on promoting school safety, retaining retail jobs in a changing economic atmosphere, improving school curriculum at Saugus High School, retaining jobs at Saugus Town Hall, and alleviating traffic.
“Traffic is not just a Saugus issue,” he said. “It has started to become a situation. Alternative routes to reach a final destination are now being clogged in Melrose, Wakefield, Lynn, and even north of that.”
To find a solution, Coller said he would propose meetings to hear from people in each community.
Coller was born and raised in Saugus and graduated from Bridgewater State University with a degree in management.
He has worked as a security professional for 24 years, focusing specifically on large retail firms, criminal investigations, and asset protection. He owns a private investigation firm, MAC Investigation, and is licensed as a private investigator by the Massachusetts State Police, he said.
Massachusetts State Police confirmed the license, which is not set to expire until October 2019, Monday.
Coller served on the Conservation Commission and Library Board of Trustees. He resigned last year after a slew of letters were sent to selectmen and Town Manager Scott Crabtree accusing Coller of attacking people on social media. The letters alleged he made inappropriate comments about town officials and their families on Facebook and that he lashed out at them at a post-election celebration at Prince Pizza on Nov. 7.
In an interview with The Item last November, Coller said he didn’t consider his social media posts a personal attack on anyone and said that he was accosted at Prince Pizza on election night by two women.
Coller ran for Town Meeting for Precinct 8 in 2015 and initially came in fifth by one vote, but a recount knocked him out of the seat.
Two years later, Coller finished sixth in the race for five seats on the Board of Selectmen.
The hardships didn’t hold Coller back. Now, he wants be a state representative. He’s vying for the seat currently held by State Rep. Donald Wong (R-Saugus).
“I want to partake in change,” he said. “That’s not to say that I don’t feel things are running or operating smoothly, but I want to be part of the process that generates awareness with the voters. I really don’t have anything else in the game but the folks in District 9.”
The 9th Essex District encompasses precincts 1, 2, 4-9 in Saugus; precincts 1, 2, 3 and 7 in Wakefield; and Ward 1 precincts 1 and 2 in Lynn.
Coller said he strongly believes precincts 3 and 10 should be included in the 9th Essex District.
“I’m in it for nothing more than to create a level of awareness of what’s happening in the community and to better the communities, based on soliciting ideas and thoughts from the folks that are in the district,” he said. “I’m not soliciting or asking for donations. I’m not asking you for (a) generous donation or for you to come to my meet-and-greet.”