Page 6 THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, June 7, 2019 ~ OP-ED ~ The facts don’t support Matheson’s fiction on housing O By Mayor Gary Christenson nce again, the voters of Malden find themselves in the unfortunate position of being misled by John Matheson’s desperate attempt to mask his lack of any meaningful accomplishments over eight years of being a Councillor by misstating my record as Mayor. It’s politics at its worst. You deserve the truth, and here it is. As your Mayor, I am one of 15 Mayors on a Metro Mayors’ task force that deals with many regional issues. One of these issues is housing. Many of my colleagues feel like their communities have the appetite for additional housing production, and I respect that and the mission of the group as a whole. But let me be clear. When the vote was taken asking specifically for Malden to commit to additional housing production, my vote was no. In fact, I was the ONLY Mayor to vote no. Let me state that again; I voted no to committing to additional housing production in Malden. In any City, the type of building that a developer can do is dictated by zoning. Zoning truly sets the stage for everything that goes on in a city. Zoning is controlled entirely by the Malden City Council of which Matheson is a member. Cities that want to encourage certain types of development and discourage others do so through zoning. The Mayor is not able to dictate zoning nor override zoning. Given Matheson’s position on this issue, one would assume he has been proactive in proposing zoning changes to support his ‘vision.’ Yet in eight years, Matheson has not filed one meaningful piece of legislation that would change the nature of development in the City. Matheson wants you to believe that while he’s failed in his current role to impact something he has direct control over, if you SABATINO INSURANCE AGENCY Call for a Quote 617-387-7466 Or email Rocco@sabatino-ins.com We cover: * Auto * Home * Boat * Renter * Condo * Life * Multi-Policy Discounts * Commercial 10% Discounts * Registry Service Also Available ATM on site elect him Mayor, he will change something he has no direct control over. Much of the development that Matheson now states he objects to requires the issuance of a ‘special permit.’ These special permits can only be granted by the Planning Board or the Malden City Council. The Mayor has no authority to issue a special permit. Matheson as City Councillor has never opposed a residential development special permit request before the City Council and has rarely appeared before the Planning Board in this or any other matter. In fact, while many of his colleagues have been active in making their voices heard at a variety of Planning Board meetings, Matheson has been a consistent no show. When a developer came to me last year looking for my support for an 800-unit residential development, my answer was clear. I did not support it and told the developer I would be interested in commercial development on the site. I also want to set the record straight on Malden Hospital. I made it clear last year to Melrose Wakefield that I did not support a dense residential development on the site. The continued lack of any Gary Christenson Mayor meaningful progress over the last eight years is therefore simply attributable to the lack of leadership by Matheson, whose hospital committee meetings have resulted in more open meeting law complaints than results. While his colleagues solved difficult development challenges with properties like High Rock and McFadden Manor, Matheson has continued to fail completely in providing the leadership Ward 3 needs on the Malden Hospital site. Interestingly, one of the issues Matheson brings up as his concern with development in Malden is the impact on traffic. Almost two and a half years ago, Matheson was named the chair of a newly formed Traffic Mitigation Committee, charged with addressing traffic citywide. He cites his work in this area as among his accomplishments. Yet despite all the hope we had, Matheson failed to deliver. Over the next 30 months, Matheson’s committee met three (3) times, while other committees met over 50 times during the same period! This shocking lack of effort resulted in one of Matheson’s colleagues creating a new committee with the same mission to compensate for Matheson’s failure. There is a term in sports called ‘false hustle.’ It’s when an athlete gives effort only long after the ability to impact the outcome has passed. What voters are seeing now is the political equivalent. Matheson wants voters to believe his lack of production and results as Ward 3 councillor would be resolved if the voters just gave him more responsibility and power. But the Ward 3 residents have seen firsthand what happens when responsibility and power isn’t matched with effort. The voters should know that what you see is what you get. SKATING CENTER www.Roller-World.com | 781-231-1111 Located adjacent to Honey Baked Ham in Saugus Plaza, South Bound Route 1 MBTA Bus Route 429 FREE WI-FI - 2 WIDE SCREEN TV’S FULLY AIR CONDITIONED Fall-Winter Skating Schedule ATTENTION! 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