Weymouth District 5 is a unique district in Weymouth that extends from Randolph Street and Hollis Street all the way down to Pleasant Street, Columbian Square and directly over to Weymouth High School and over to Rt 3.
This district sits in a location of Weymouth that has a high volume of traffic from both Rt. 18, Rt. 3 and Columbian Square. With a large amount of commercial businesses from South Shore Hospital (their supporting offices) and quite a few residential neighborhoods,
District 5 has a good blend of suburban quiet and “bustling business” and also has Weymouth High School as part of its purview.
As Route 18 cuts right through our district it represents a grave hindrance to our residents — especially with the recent road widening project.
As your councillor, I’ll work with leadership to mitigate and reduce traffic issues by ensuring that our area has enough resources to ensure that our needs are met to reduce the problems and keep you informed.
We’ve seen a considerable growth in town — and there’s more coming. The new overlay district which was passed in 2018 has created the ability to make it easier and more emmendable for a large amount of commercial growth throughout the town. This was viewed as a positive for the town to allow for commercial growth, but as we’re seeing with the Billboards issue, it’s important for our leadership to ensure these new zoning plans aren’t going to create opportunities for developers to take advantage of the town. And for as much as the new zoning can help, the reality is, we have quite a bit of existing space that’s vacant. If you drive around District 5 (and other parts of town), you’ll see vacant storefronts and property that’s blighted or unused. Leadership should be looking at how to address existing empty retail and commercial space before we open the doors for additional growth. Weymouth struggles with revenue issues and our current leadership has decided that growing the amount of residential properties and commercial spaces will increase revenue is going to to be easier (or faster) than investing in our schools.
They’ve embraced “mixed use” as a model to solve revenue issues. This is where apartments are conjoined with retail spaces in the hopes that the sustainability of those businesses can be supported by the population of the added residents is those apartments . I’m not against this “style” of building, but I’m also not an advocate for this when we have plenty of existing blighted retail spaces and the trend for retail is diminished in our culture of online shopping. We have to be very careful about how we decide where these “mixed use” places will be developed and understand we already have many empty retail spaces — and the overall trend is to move away from “stores”.
Leadership has to be cognizant of the pressure that building more apartments and rapid growth will do for the town and how it will put additional pressure on our services and infrastructure — especially water.
Water has become a real problem and as we continue to bring in more commercial businesses and more apartments, we will need to consider a better strategy for our water and sewer needs.
As your councilor, I will ensure we I promote responsible growth that takes into consideration the towns history, its esthetic and more importantly the residents in mind.
LStar, the former developer of Union Point was scheduled to pay for the redevelopment of the traffic and Columbian Square upgrades — When LStar was fired as the master developer, that ended that possibility. Unfortunately, we are now waiting for a new master developer to fund this project.
As a Town Council member representing District 5, I will work towards mitigating the traffic in Columbian Square and work with leadership to address the traffic and congestion.
Working with the town leadership, I would like to help create a plan that has can work directly with SSH for assistance with the expansion of Columbian Square and/or increasing their PILOT payments to help with their growth so that the town doesn’t have to absorb most of that cost which is not being covered by its payments to the town.
I also support having additional resources (for example, a traffic officer) who can direct traffic at rush hour times between Columbian Street, Pleasant Street and Union Street. I believe a stop-gap simple solution is need to be in place until the squares traffic issues are resolved.
South Shore Hospital
South Shore Hospital, although technically in District 6 sits right near District 5.
Quite frankly, SSH impacts District 5 far more than it does District 6 considering you need to travel through District 5 from Route 3 to get to it — Or, navigate your way from Pleasant and Columbian Street, both of which are heavily within District 5.
As your district councillor, I will work for improving accountability by South Shore Hospital to help assist in helping the town reduce our traffic issues in Columbian Square. SSH doesn’t pay the town taxes but pays an optional PILOT payment. Unfortunately, the amount of this payment is by far lower than the amount of services that SSH is utilizing.
I’m a strong advocate for education as I believe the school system is our most important asset a town can have. I believe that the best thing that our leadership can do is to continue the improvements to our school system in every way that’s possible and focus on getting the schools into the top rankings. We need to make sure that we solve the exodus of students leaving the school system and focus on retaining students as well as getting the best talented teachers and educators we can.
Retaining students and keeping them in Weymouth should be our top priority.
The best thing Weymouth can do for its quality of life and improving our town is to build a top school system — this will result in only a positive net effect across the town where people will want to live in Weymouth and businesses will want to come here and be a part of our community.