Letter to the Editor: Community Meeting, Feb. 21

Dear Residents of Ward Two:
I am writing to alert you to an important neighborhood meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss a recent agreement between the Malden Stadium Commission and the National Spring Football League for use of MacDonald Stadium to host six (6) home games on Saturday evenings from approximately 6:30 p.m.-11:00 p.m. beginning in April, as well as some practices and potential playoff activities.  Their hope is to fill the stadium to its 4,000-spectator capacity. The discussion includes the right to sell beer during games, pending approval from the Liquor Licensing Board.

On January 17, I asked to meet the Stadium Commission asking them to provide me with a list of events that have been scheduled at Macdonald Stadium, other than youth or public school activities.  At that meeting I was told that there was no agreement with any organization as of now. I simply asked the Stadium Commission to follow their rules that they set and not sell alcohol at the Stadium , book events making sure our children come first and to agree on events as if they lived in the neighborhood. On January 30, representatives from the National Spring Football League (NSFL) and the Stadium Commission met to work out details of their use of the field. The Stadium Commission also posted a public meeting with the entire Stadium Commission and the NSFL the following evening on January 31.  During that meeting I expressed my concerns with the sale of alcohol, the closing of streets, and the increase of spectators coming into the Ward.  Despite my personal opinion, I asked that they listen to the community before a vote was made.  Although the representatives of the NSFL were willing to speak with the community, I thought it would be best to do this before a vote was taken.  Despite my comments at that meeting, the Commission voted unanimously on January 31 to approve the contract.

While I am a strong advocate of economic development and appreciate the benefits of having former NFL professionals play in Malden, I am disappointed that my residents were not heard before a deal could be reached. Personally, I love football and would be excited to watch the NSFL play.  However, I am only one voice and your opinion matters deeply.  My job as an elected official is to protect you, your family and your property.  Area residents deserve to be consulted on a decision of this magnitude and your opinions should be given considerable weight when it is they who will suffer potential disruption and inconvenience.

At my request, members of the Stadium Commission and NSFL have agreed to be present at the meeting to hear residents’ concerns.  I hope you will make every effort to attend this meeting.  If you are unable to attend, please contact me at your convenience, so that I can voice your concerns and questions that evening.

As of today, no decision has been made relative to the sale of beer or closing of streets.  I will keep you apprised of the date of the Liquor Board and Traffic Commission hearings and hope that you will make an effort to attend those meetings, as well.

The success of our city and the foundation of my public service rest on providing you with meaningful opportunities for input on issues, especially those that affect you – the residents of Ward Two.  I value your opinion and look forward to the continued efforts to make Ward Two and the City of Malden a great place to live. Thank you again for your time and continued support!

 

Respectfully,
Steven R. Ultrino, Ed.D.
Councillor – Ward Two