By John Lynds
Tuesday night’s Lynn City Council meeting began with a suspension of the rules to allow Council President Darren Cyr to invite newly sworn in Lynn Mayor Thomas McGee up to the podium to say a few words.
“It was a pretty tough week in the City of Lynn,” Cyr began. “We had flooding, gas leaks, unbelievable snow storm and a fire. From the fire (department) to the police to the DPW everyone did an unbelievable job. I want to take this opportunity to recognize our newly elected Mayor Thomas McGee who hit the ground running. I met him Thursday morning and was running around, pointing, yelling, directing everybody of what to do so I just want to thank him.”
Mayor McGee was then invited up to the podium were he began by thanking the Council and City for a great inauguration last week.
“It was a great celebration of this community and of all the people that got elected,” said McGee, “and just as importantly those that didn’t get elected, but put their names on the ballot and really wanted to make a difference in the city. I just want to say that my office door is always open and I look forward to working with all of you. Darren (Cyr) is right we had quite a week but I’m really impressed with the response in this community. Our Emergency Operation Center brought so many different people together and really showed the talent in this community but also showed by coming together and working together we can really take on some pretty big challenges.”
With Lynn experiencing a major winter storm, one of the worst storm surges since the Blizzard of ’78, and a seven-alarm fire Monday that displaced dozens of residents, McGee said the collaboration of city officials and the community should be applauded.
“People were willing to immediately help,” he said. “It shows the what kind of people we are. We are going to continue to work together on challenges that we will face, financial challenges that we are going to face in the next few months. We are going to have to work together to solve those problems. I really feel good of the opportunity we have in the community to work together and draw on the real strength of the people who live here because it really reflects really well on who we are in the city.”
Following the Mayor’s comments the Council unanimously approved a petition of Winthrop Property Services, LLC owner Pedro Maldonado’s plans alter an existing building to allow four residential units and a garage at 426 Boston St.
Maldonado’s attorney Samuel Vitale said the building has been located in a heavily industrial area for over 50 years and abuts Lynn’s Hibernian Hall. However, over the past few years the Council has been focusing efforts on transforming the area, which started with the development of Market Basket as an anchor business to draw more investment around that area of Boston Street.
Vitale said his client plans to take an existing two-family and add two units above the existing structure for a total of four rental units. The proposal also included eight, onsite parking spaces.
“My client has purchased the property for $400,000 and plans to spend another $600,000 on renovations so a $1 million investment will be a benefit for all the people living in the area,” said Vitale.
John O’Neil of the Hibernian Hall requested that the Council hold off a vote for two weeks so he and his fellow Hibernian members could discuss the proposal and make sure there would be no negative impacts.
However, Ward 7 Councilor John Walsh said he had already talked with other Hibernian members and there were no issues.
The Council also voted in unanimously approved Councilor Walsh’s motion to demolish a building at 7 Fuller St. that has been identified and deemed ‘dangerous’ by the City of Lynn.
“This property has been an ongoing problem since I started on the Council,” said Walsh. “There’s been a lot of activity at the building and a recent drug bust at the house opened the door for ISD to go in and look around. It is in really bad condition with needles, buckets of feces and a lot of other things inside. At this time I’m requesting to put a demolition order in. This is a really dangerous building to the neighborhood as it sits. We’ve done this in the past when buildings been problems in the neighborhood.”