Metropolitan Beaches Commission Hearing: DeLeo Shines in Key Role

Thursday, September 12, 2013
By Transcript Staff

Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo once again showed his strong commitment to the Winthrop Beach Restoration project with his complete participation in an event held in Winthrop Tuesday night. The Speaker joined Sen. Anthony Petruccelli, Council President Peter Gill, and Councilor Nick DelVento on a tour of the beach where the multi-million dollar project is to be completed.

During the tour, Speaker DeLeo received praise from Bruce Berman of Save the Harbor Save the Bay for being such a “tenacious” supporter of the region’s public beaches and keeping the Winthrop Beach project at the forefront in the legislature.

Following the tour, Speaker DeLeo made a dramatic announcement at the Metropolitan Beaches Commission hearing before a large crowd at the Robert DeLeo Senior Center when he said the Winthrop Beach project would be completed by the end of the year 2014.

The hearing seemed to be a productive one and Bruce Berman, a charismatic and articulate advocate for our beaches, did a great job with his organization at the hearing.  Speaker DeLeo, Sen. Petruccelli, President Gill, and some of our town councilors — to their credit — stayed to the end of the entire meeting even though there was a break when the audience members split into groups.

So all in all, the hearing was a success, but there were some, including Dr. Paul McGee, president of the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce, who were not pleased with the format of the meeting, saying that there should have been more information and a comprehensive update given about the status of the Winthrop Beach Project. McGee made some valid points (please see story in this week’s Sun-Transcript) in his remarks about the structure of the meeting agenda. McGee’s comments deserve to be heard and we hope members of the Metropolitan Beaches Commission will reach out to him and react to his concerns.

  • Bruce Berman

    The purpose of this round of Metropolitan Beaches Commission hearings is
    to give the region’s residents the opportunity to express their concerns about the
    current status of their public beaches and to share their suggestions
    about how to make our beaches better going forward.

    As all who attended last weeks hearing will agree, Winthrop’s residents took full advantage of the opportunity to share their thoughts, concerns and suggestions with the MBC.

    So far this summer the Commission has held public hearings in Lynn,
    Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Quincy and Hull
    with an additional hearing scheduled for later this month in Dorchester.

    More than 100 people attended last weeks hearing in Winthrop, and
    clearly expressed how much the care about Winthrop Beach. They also
    clearly expressed a number of concerns and a desire for more information
    about the beach renourishment project which is presently underway.

    Commissioner Samantha Overton, who represents the Department of
    Conservation and Recreation on the MBC, agreed to find ways to improve
    communications between the DCR and Winthrop residents.

    DCR will be sending a representative to an upcoming council meeting to
    provide an update about the status of the project. Commissioner Overton
    indicated a willingness to schedule follow-up meetings with residents to
    share information about the project as well.

    Save the Harbor / Save the Bay has been asked by the Commission to
    help lead and manage the current round of hearings, and to coordinate
    the Commission’s findings and recommendations.

    We want to thank Co-Chairs Senator Thomas
    McGee and Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein as well as MBC
    Commissioner Barbara
    Bishop of Winthrop and all the other Commissioners
    for their time and commitment to all our region’s waterfront
    neighborhoods and beachfront communities.

    We especially want to thank
    Speaker Robert DeLeo for his leadership and tenacious advocacy on behalf
    of Winthrop Beach and the region’s other public beaches.

    As we said at the hearing, the Commission will hold an additional public
    meeting early next year to give the hundreds of people who have taken
    part in the hearings a chance to review our work and to make certain
    that our final report reflects your concerns and suggestions.

    The Metropolitan Beaches Commission welcomes your comments and
    suggestions. Please send them to us by email at info@savetheharbor.org

    Residents with specific questions or comments about the beach
    renourishment project should send them to DCR at mass.parks@state.ma.us

    Thanks again to all participated.

    Bruce Berman

    Director of Strategy, Communications, and Programs

    Save the Harbor / Save the Bay

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