THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2021 Page 5 S-2 permit sought for two six-story buildings Selectman Riley discloses appearance of confl ict of interest on Wong family permit, but says she has clearance to vote on plans for mixed-use project featuring 130 apartment units By Mark E. Vogler S electman Corinne R. Riley said she has received a verbal opinion from a state Ethics Commission attorney that it would not be a confl ict of interest for her to vote on an S-2 permit request by the Wong family on land at the Kowloon Restaurant site. Riley, who worked as a former campaign manager for state Rep. Donald Wong (R-Saugus), was concerned about a potential confl ict. “Atty. Mallam said voting on this hearing regarding the Kowloon property – she gave her opinion that it was not a confl ict,” Riley told colleagues at last week’s (Nov. 16) Board of Selectmen meeting. “She advised me to submit a Disclosure of Appearance of Confl ict of Interest, which I fi led with the town clerk this afternoon,” she said. M&W Trust, William and Madeline C. Wong and WM Realty, owners of land at 920-950 Broadway, have requested a NOTHING TO HIDE: Selectman Corinne R. Riley recently disclosed her former ties to state Rep. Donald Wong (R-Saugus) as his campaign manager – a volunteer position she resigned from in 2019. Despite the past relationship, she insists “I will be fair and impartial during discussion and vote.” (Courtesy photo) Special Permit (S-2) to allow two buildings to exceed four stories and 55 feet in height. Both buildings planned for the ~ LETTER TO THE EDITOR ~ We’ve come a long way Dear Editor: Happy Thanksgiving! It’s been a tough year, but there’s so much to be thankful for this season. In fact, I have a lot more good news to share since the last time we connected. To start, in many states – including right here in Massachusetts – cases of COVID-19 are at their lowest point in months; more than 70 percent of U.S. adults have both doses of the vaccine and 80 percent have at least one; 900,000 kids have received their first dose of the vaccine, and good-paying jobs are available everywhere to put Americans back to work. Every day, we get closer and closer to putting this pandemic behind us, along with the annoying precautions that have come along with it. If you think it’s absurd that you’re often asked to wear a mask when you enter a restaurant, only to take it off when you sit down, I’m with you! Yet slowly but LETTER | SEE PAGE 9 area would be six stories and 67 feet and 8 inches in height. One would include 90 apartment units in addition to a new Kowloon Restaurant. The other building would include 40 apartment units and retail space. In her Disclosure of Appearance of Confl ict of Interest, Riley said that neither she nor her family will benefi t from any fi - nancial gain and that “I will be fair and impartial during discussion and vote.” “I signed this disclosure with this statement: ‘Taking into account the facts that I have disclosed above, I feel I can perform my offi cial duties objectively and fairly.’” Riley said at Tuesday’s meeting. Riley noted in the document she fi led with the town clerk that she resigned as Rep. Wong’s campaign manager in 2019 “as I felt it was a confl ict of interest being a Selectman if I should earn a seat.” “I am fi ling this disclosure to disclose the facts about this relationship or affi liation and to dispel the appearance of a confl ict of interest,” she wrote. It requires a four-fi fths vote for the board to issue an S-2 permit. Selectmen approved a request by Attorney Richard M. Magnan to continue the hearing that was set for last week so that he could provide additional information about the mixeduse development planned for Route 1 North. Selectman Debra Panetta questioned Magnan as to whether the timeline for the project had been shortened from what the town had originally been told. Magnan said the project had initially been expected to take three to four years. But, recently, the Wong family has been looking at the project happening within two years, he said. No date has been set for resuming the hearing.

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