Page 16 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – Friday, June 28, 2019 ASKS | FROM PAGE 1 A: Yes, we got the signatures for that; it was all set to go. I presented it to the town attorney, and he, in turn, said that it was not within our realm to ask the selectmen to pursue this. I did not understand it, but I take him at his word that this can’t go forward in the way it was. So, at one point, I decided that I was going to introduce a nonbinding resolution to the Annual Town Meeting, just asking that the selectmen stay the course and try to do something positive to lower speed limits within the town. Q: What happened to the nonbinding resolution? A: Well, before I had a chance to introduce any nonbinding resolution, we got into this whole brew-ha with the custodians, and the town moderator determined that any future nonbinding resolution would have to be put on the warrant in advance of the meeting. Q: You had a nonbinding resolution set, but at that point, the town moderator wouldn’t allow discussion of the nonbinding resolution by Precinct 5 Town Meeting Member Ron Wallace to oppose privatization of school maintenance and custodians. A: Yes, that’s right. Q: So, how many members now in the group? And these are mostly people on Essex Street and other areas where they have had some major traffic safety issues? A: It’s hard to say. There’s a few members on Essex Street. Let’s see, the last meeting we had, there were six or seven people there. Q: So, you may have a couple of dozen people in the group? A: Across the town, there are probably a couple of dozen people who have a keen interest in this and want to see a change, and they’re part of our group. Like I said, we’re very loosely knit, and I just think there’s so much more that can be done, even before the Department of Transportation steps in and says it’s okay for us to lower the Speed Limit to 25. Q: This whole issue – traffic safety – it seemed like it was going to be a main item at this year’s Annual Town Meeting. There was going to be this study done at the direction of the town manager that was supposed to be unveiled and discussed before the Annual Town Meeting. A: When I asked about the study at Town Meeting, the manager told me that they needed another couple of weeks to wrap it up. We haven’t heard anything on that study yet. As far as I know, it’s wrapped up and it’s probably already on a shelf somewhere. Q: So, you’re aware that somebody was actually paid and the work was done to complete the study? A: Yes. I believe the cost of the study was around $39,000. The manager told us at the time that there was some kind of money available for that and that the town was going to have to pay for this. Everybody just seems to be waiting on this study, and in the meantime, there’s been a fatality on upper Main Street – there’s been a rollover. There have been two other serious crashes, one of them took place right outside my kitchen window … an accident where people were treated for life-threatening injuries. I hope that they are all right. Q: So that was right on Essex Street. A: Yes, and another one, I believe, occurred on Lincoln Avenue – not too long ago – a lady crossing the street. Q: I’m not sure that the one on upper Main Street was a fatality. From what I’ve heard, the lady did suffer very serious lifethreatening injuries and was not in good shape. The police haven’t released anything more on that. But the rollover you mentioned back in April, a Tewksbury man did die. A: Yes. But I have to wonder, how many more serious accidents do we have to have here? And when you hear about those accidents involving serious and life-threatening injuries, you don’t hear anything more about them. Like, how is the person doing? Are they doing okay? Hopefully, they are doing okay. But we haven’t heard anything beyond that, or about any investigations into the accident or about any kind of criminal charges that might come from any of this. It all seems to go dark after the initial reporting of the accident. Q: Where is your group right now at this point? Are you going to wait until the study is produced and discussed publicly? Or are you in the process as a Town Meeting member, drafting articles for future meetings? A: Well, apparently, we are not going to be able to tell the selectmen that they have to do something. That’s not in our purview, according to the town attorney. I think that all we can do is have a nonbinding resolution, and where we are right now … I think we will probably be getting together again at some point in the near future and try to hash out our next step, but I think that for the time being, we are waiting to hear on this traffic study, and in the meantime, people all across the town are facing the possibility of being injured on the roads of Saugus. Q: What do you see as your blueprint, moving ahead? What would you hope the town would do? A: Well, first of all, I’d like to encourage the Board of Selectmen to keep pursuing the Department of Transportation on the 25 mph speed limit. Q: And you understand the reason why the state Department of Transportation invalidated the votes by the Board of Selectmen to set lower speed limits for several main town roads? It wasn’t because of the idea. It was because they didn’t accompany the votes with studies that documented the need. A: Right. They didn’t have a traffic study done; they didn’t have their ducks all lined up. I don’t think that the selectmen fully realized what was necessary here. I think that they should be applauded for their effort, but we’re going to have to do a lot more work, and I’d like to see us all working toASKS | SEE PAGE 17

17 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication