By Cary Shuman
Governor Charlie Baker, Congressman Seth Moulton, and Mass. Housing and Economic Sec. Jay Ash joined Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, city officials, and leaders in the business community at a kickoff ceremony for the formation of the Lynn Economic Advancement and Development Team Monday on the steps of Lynn City Hall.
Both Baker and Moulton have stated that the economic development and revitalization of Lynn would be a priority in their administrations.
James Cowdell, executive director of the Economic Development Industrial Corporation of Lynn, served as master of ceremonies for the program.
“To have federal, state, and city officials all here today working for the betterment of our city is truly a great day for Lynn,” Cowdell told the assemblage that included prominent developers Charles Patsios and Joseph O’Donnell and Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Leslie Gould.
Mayor Kennedy, who is in her second term as the city’s first female chief executive, led off the distinguished slate of speakers at the ceremony.
Kennedy noted some of the businesses that have opened in Lynn including Kettle Cuisine, Rosetti’s Restaurant, D’Amici’s, and Market Basket, who will open a store in Lynn in late 2016.
“We have sent a message loud and clear that Lynn is open for business,” said Kennedy. “I want to thank my friend, Governor Baker. He has clearly made Lynn a priority and for that we are deeply grateful. The governor’s appointment of Secretary Ash has already paid dividends for Lynn. He is a frequent guest in our city and is working hard with us in moving Lynn forward.”
Kennedy noted Congressman Moulton’s declaration during his campaign that Lynn was a priority and “he has kept his word.”
Kennedy said that the Moulton congressional office’s economic development director, Jason Denoncourt, has begun to work with Lynn officials in identifying and obtaining federal resources. The mayor added that Lynn’s state delegation is also working hard for the city of Lynn. She thanked City Council President “for working so closely with my office in many initiatives and projects.”
Cowdell said in his introduction of Gov. Baker that “he’s our neighbor and he’s our friend.” Baker resides in Swampscott.
“We’re here today with the mayor and city officials in Lynn, the state delegation, Congressman Moulton, and a number of folks in the Lynn business community and our team – I want to say how much we’re looking forward to pursuing a strategy that’s a little different than the approach we usually take to a lot of economic development activities, Baker said.”
The Governor added that the economic development plan in place in Lynn consists of a group that involves all three levels of government plus a number of key players in local economic and business development “to see if we can construct a strategy that we can get all get behind and work together to support to move Lynn forward.”
Baker said the opportunity exists “to do some great things in Lynn and demonstrate that working together, we can take this model and deliver it in other parts of the Commonwealth as well.”
Moulton thanked Lynn’s state delegation of Sen. Thomas McGee, and Representatives Brendan Crighton, Robert Fennell, Lori Ehlrich, and Donald Wong, Mayor Kennedy, James Cowdell, and LHAND Executive Director Charles Gaeta for their efforts and partnership in the economic development team.
“Real change in a city cannot happen alone,” said Moulton. “Successful cities today are addressing the social needs of the people and integrating private sector investment with strong public governance to achieve common goals. It’s in this spirit that we are forming the Lynn Economic and Advancement Development Team with Governor Baker and Mayor Kennedy.
“This group, however, is not about making more plans. It’s about getting things done.”
Moulton noted the economic progress that has been made in the city already, citing the commuter ferry, the updating of Wyoma Square, a robust arts and culture scene, a thriving restaurant scene, and the many events at the Lynn City Hall Auditorium.
“Economic development in Lynn is my No. 1 priority for the district,” said Moulton. “We will on the city’s top priorities.”
Moulton said that economic development director Denoncourt will be his office’s project manager for Lynn’s highest priorities: market-rate housing, attracting new businesses, better transportation-to-work opportunities, and work-force training.
Using a Thanksgiving analogy, Ash said, “Lynn has the right ingredients to be successful. We have what it takes to make this community as great as it’s ever been. You have everything you need to continue be in a position to enjoy great success. And today is a signal that
we have all the ingredients to cook up something really special here in Lynn.”
After jesting about his height [6-feet, 7-inches] compared to that of the diminutive Mayor Kennedy, Ash said, “What I have seen in the mayor is a real passion for Lynn and for its future development. I very much appreciate her willingness to lead this initiative and to bring the rest of us in to help support all of you.”