[photo caption] Mathias Laurino, a 5-year-old supporter of Mayor-elect Jared Nicholson, got the opportunity to shake the future mayor’s hand after his meet and greet at the Demakes Family YMCA on Tuesday. (Courtesy of Jakob Menendez, The Daily Item )
Nicholson will be sworn into office on Jan. 3, succeeding current Mayor Thomas M. McGee, who chose not to run for reelection.
As he sat down with supporters, Nicholson said that a voice of his administration would come from the community he has built over the past year.
“The vision we are hoping to build as an administration is focused on growth,” Nicholson said to the crowd. “That includes all of us.”
Nicholson took questions from various people at the event, talking about different policy issues common in the city.
The most frequent questions asked were about Lynn’s public-transit system, as people asked the mayor-elect about proposals that would increase the use of transportation. Such projects included the long-desired Blue Line extension into Lynn and reincorporating the ferry service.
Nicholson agreed that these projects would be a priority in his administration, but noted there should be a focus on plans that could be accomplished in the short term. This includes using funds from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed by the federal government to electrify commuter rail trains and refurbish the MBTA garage.
“These are long-term projects,” Nicholson said. “We are thinking about the most we can do with this infrastructure bill and public transit is part of it.”
Nicholson did say, however, that the idea of using more aquatic transportation could benefit the city’s interests, as it would allow for more growth and business opportunities.
“I think the ferry could uplift the city,” said Nicholson. “I think water-based transportation could provide one of those areas of growth.”
Besides infrastructure and transportation, pollution was another conversation starter at the meet and greet. Lynn residents asked the mayor-elect about what should be done about climate change and emissions in the city.
Nicholson suggested that the pollution problem is not just on a big scale, but a small scale too, noting how the streets of Lynn are sometimes scattered with garbage.
“When I think of when people talk about a cleaner city, they think about our streets,” said Nicholson.
He mentioned that the City Council has a litter subcommittee, and he would work closely with them to address concerns regarding street cleanup.
One question that Nicholson was asked was about noise pollution. A resident mentioned that she sits down to dinner every night to the sounds of sirens, trains and fireworks.
“Frankly it’s enough,” she said.
The resident then went on to ask if the city should use more aggressive force to reprimand noise-makers, including creating a fine for those who continue to do so.
Nicholson said he understood her frustrations but suggested that this was not an approach he would take. Instead, he said he would work with the City Council to find a solution that presents a more empathetic approach.
“It’s a good idea,” Nicholson said in response. “We are going to listen and work together to make sure everyone is heard and understood.”
As the event wrapped up, Nicholson said he would continue to participate in more meet and greets, and encouraged residents to continue participating in the city’s comprehensive planning process that is about to launch in the coming months, “Vision Lynn.”
“I hope you can all participate,” Nicholson said.