By Joshua Resnek
Representative Anthony Petruccelli has promised he is going to work hard in the tradition of former State Senate President Robert Travaglini to improve the condition of local beaches, and that includes Winthrop Beach.
Petruccelli, chair of the Beaches Committee in the House, said the beaches are his district’s most important assets, and as such, should be treated as important assets.
“These beaches are Cape Cod to the local folks using them. I am promising those local folks that I am going to work hard and long to make our local beaches as good as they can be.” In addition, Petruccelli echoed the words of nearly all those who use the local beaches.
“They are dirty. They are greatly abused. The Department of Conservation and Recreation is woefully underfunded and understaffed to do the right thing. I am going to make the effort for the right thing to finally be done for our local beaches so they can be used and so all of us can be proud of them,” he said.
A recent report issued about the metropolitan beaches done by a commission created by the legislature, has indicated there isn’t enough staffing or equipment for the job of keeping the beaches clean.
State Representative Robert DeLeo, who represents Winthrop and Revere and chairs the influential House committee on Ways and Means, has also made the local beaches a priority in his budget efforts.
“Obviously, the beaches are a priority for the chairman,” said DeLeo spokesman Jim Eisenberg. “Throughout his tenure, he has advocated for additional police details and maintenance of Winthrop and Revere beaches. He was involved during the Beach Commission’s study of the issue and we are in receipt of their final report, it is something that we are going to be looking at as we move through the budget process.”
The situation has greatly affected Winthrop and Revere beaches as well as Constitution Beach in East Boston.
Sand sifters responsible for sanitizing the beach aren’t available to the extent that all the beaches can be cleaned properly before the beach opens every day during the summer.
Inventories of equipment taken by representatives who wrote the report found gross lack of equipment leading to dismal conditions at the beach.
“I discovered that there is only one sifter to be used throughout the beach district which is outrageous,” said Petruccelli. “One beach sifter for all the beaches makes absolutely no sense. No wonder so many people complain about our beaches. It isn’t fair and it isn’t right,” he added.
Petruccelli believes much can change as time passes and the state comes back to fiscal solvency.
“We recognized as a commission that we are in fiscal difficult times. This isn’t something we can fix in one year, but we know we can fix it over the next few years. At least we are beginning,” he said.
Petruccelli predicted more new equipment being purchased and more care being given to the beaches as a result of the commission’s findings.
Petruccelli spoke of setting new standards and new requirements with the DCR to revolutionize how the beaches and surrounding areas are taken care of.
“These are our treasures, but they are not treated like treasures,” he added.
The East Boston state representative is running against Revere City Councilor Dan Rizzo for the state senate seat vacated by former State Senate President Robert Travaglini.