Our Opinions

Thursday, October 3, 2013
By Transcript Staff

TOWN HIRES HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR: DiChiara will help all town employees

The idea of hiring a town human resources director has been discussed in the past, predating Town Manager James McKenna’s arrival. But it was McKenna who, as always, did the thorough research and determined that a human resources director would prove very beneficial to our town employees and bolster the efficiency of our town government.

McKenna advanced the idea, brought it before the Town Council, and Tuesday announced Stacy DiChiara will begin as the town’s first Director of Human Resources on October 21. Ms. DiChiara brings experience as a human resources manager to Winthrop and will have an office right at Town Hall where she will be accessible to all town employees who may have questions about any issue pertaining to their employment in the town.

McKenna was right on he money when he said the Town of Winthrop is the largest employer in town and that its employees deserve a professional and experience advocate working to help navigate some of the personnel issues that may occur in their jobs.

Ms. DiChiara will also be a valuable asset when it comes to the recruitment, advertising, resume review, and ultimate appointment of candidates to their positions. We agree with the town manager that Ms. DiChiara will be a good fit for both the School Department and Winthrop town government and help both departments run efficiently when it comes to town employees and issues relating to their work environment.

So we say thank you, James McKenna, for your initiative in bringing this important position to Winthrop and welcome aboard, Ms. DiChiara, and best of luck in your new job in our town.

MAEL DELIVERS A SOLID PROPOSAL: The time to talk about the ferry is now

You can always count on Councilor Craig Mael to float some interesting ideas at Council meetings — and they’re not spur of the moment ideas, but rather well thought-out proposals and suggestions for review by his colleagues on the Council.

Mael is asking that the town residents attend the next Economic Development Committee meeting and present their thoughts about the future of ferry service in the town (there was a transfer request made at Tuesday’s Council meeting for $187,000 for the ferry acquisition fund).

The specific idea we liked from Mael was the scheduling of 7-8 major events in the town that will draw visitors from Boston via the ferry and the potential hiring of an individual whose job will be to organize those events.

Town Manager James McKenna has given ferry service every chance to succeed and it has been a welcome addition for our townspeople who have recognized the convenience of having this mode of transportation available for their use. The town manager has been open-minded about the potential of ferry service and understands that the vessel and the service itself must be safe and the service be consistent.

Mael is correct in his assumption that for tourists to come to Winthrop, there must be something here for them to do and enjoy and such events as a world-class triathlon, an outdoor “Taste of Winthrop,” major arts festivals, a succession of small shops a la Rockport and Olde Marblehead, or even an outdoor concert — well we’re just tossing out a few of the ideas that might be considered by Mael’s “event organizer.”

HOUSING AUTHORITY ELECTION HEATS UP: Five candidates will vie for two seats

Everyone knows about the election for  Town Council President between incumbent Council President Peter Gill and former Council President Jeffrey Turco on November 5 (the two candidates will participate in a debate on Tuesday, Oct. 8 that will be televised live on WCAT), but the race for two seats on the Winthrop Housing Authority is also creating considerable conversation among the political aficionados in our town.

Any time the number of candidates is greater than double the number of seats available, you have a sizable field and that’s what we have in the Housing Authority election featuring current Chairman Joseph Boncore, board member Lawrence Holmes, and challengers Alan W. Peabody, former Town Councilor Jeanne Maggio, and Jack Dowd.

Boncore, an attorney and son of popular Councilor-at-Large Philip Boncore, is displaying the energy in the campaign that we no doubt will see from all the candidates. Boncore is having a reception Thursday night at the Winthrop Golf Club and he informed us that Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, State Sen. Anthony Petruccelli, State Sen. Katherine Clark (who is running for Congress), and Suffolk Country Sheriff Steven W. Thompkins will be attending the reception. That’s an impressive lineup of officials, headed by our Speaker, who we might add, endorsed Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey in the last two U.S. Senate elections.

SEAN TAKES A KNEE: Players learn a lesson about sportsmanship

Winthrop football coach Sean Driscoll has his Vikings playing some excellent football and they’ll take a 2-1 record into their game against Salem on Saturday.

But what we really like about Sean Driscoll’s leadership became apparent late in the Vikings’ solid 30-13 victory over usual (and still) Thanksgiving rival Revere. Winthrop was driving for another touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but rather than “run up the score,” Sean Driscoll had his quarterback take a knee and not run another play that could have produced a touchdown.

Thank you, Sean, for teaching your players that sportsmanship is an important aspect of their careers in the Winthrop football program. Sean learned from the best, Hall of Fame coach Tony Fucillo, and Winthrop football remains respected throughout this state for always fielding competitive and tough players who play the game of football the way it should be played.

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