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SAVE asked candidates for Board of Selectmen to provide a brief statement addressing their environmental vision for our Town. The following was submitted:



Matthew A. Canterbury:

I would like to thank the Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE) for this opportunity to introduce myself to your organization and share my environmental vision for Saugus.


I recognize the importance of environmental stewardship and sustainability, which is why my wife and I strive to procure, use already recycled products and recycle and reuse the containers of the products we purchased and encourage others to do the same. Word of mouth isn’t enough, only through the efforts of groups like SAVE creating awareness, communication, education and extending its reach into the environment where the residents live, work, and play.


A key to any successful environmental plan is the commitment and involvement of the people…Town Government, Volunteer Organizations, and Residents alike.


My Key Issues and Views are:


If elected Selectman I would make a motion that every spring, the Selectmen and board members from SAVE meet at the Christopher P. Dunne Visitor Center at Breakheart Reservation for a half-day “retreat” to first of all create, because we don’t have one already that I’m aware of, the Town of Saugus Environmental Vision Statement and subsequently to review and update it each year. The Vision Statement should outline what the Selectmen and SAVE envision our community looking like and being, one, five and ten years from now. The Vision Statement should also include strategies to help guide the Town in achieving this vision. The strategies become the basis for new initiatives that are incorporated into the upcoming fiscal year’s budget, as resources permit.

Waste Collection and Recycling

I have gone on record many times stating that I am a PROponent of Single Stream recycling, although I believe we’ve made great strides in reducing our trash tonnage with our current two bin system, we can do better. I would also like the Town to explore and eventually implement the recycle bank program which promotes recycling and provides incentives for residents to recycle.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation

I have also publically announced that we need to explore conserving energy usage in all municipal buildings, public housing and schools some implement simple cost effective methods include switching from incandescent to florescent bulbs as well as exploring alternative energy options, like solar hot water and electric panels, this could be done at LITTLE to NO COST to the Town, just like Swampscott is doing with their schools. I personally have been working with a company called Sungevity to install solar panels on my private residence and my rental real estate.

We also need to pursue Energy efficient and Conservation Block Grants as well as others. This would allow us to perform a comprehensive energy audit and assemble a team that is dedicated to performing Preventative Maintenance (PM) on all Town-owned properties.


Water and Ecological Conservation

I’ve had a Rain Barrel for years which I purchased via the Town Hall at a reduced rate; I would endeavor to repeat this program annually. I also have had a bat house for years that I purchased on my own and installed on my garage. I would like to explore ways to make them available to residents; perhaps they could be constructed by high school students and sold for fundraising, a win/win situation.

Open Space

Open space provides us places to play, exercise, relax and learn, that is why I am in favor of the Bike to the Sea community bike trail along the old railway bed and also a dedicated skate park in Saugus. I understand that parks and bike paths do not build nor will they maintain themselves but we need to work together and find a way to do both. These projects would be eligible for Grants and Private Funding at little to no cost to the Town. Once built, I would advocate for the monitoring and maintenance of these as well as the other various parks and trails throughout Town to be done in cooperation with local business partnerships and groups like SAVE and Neighborhood Watch Programs. The DPW and users of these facilities cannot do it alone, residents MUST GET INVOLVED.

Bottle Bill

I believe we need to update the bottle bill to include water and juices.

“The Bottle Bill, the nickel deposit on beverage containers, is the state’s most successful recycling and little prevention program. Since the Bottle Bill’s passage in 1983, over 35 billion containers have been redeemed, contributing to a healthier environment, cleaner and safer communities, and a stronger economy. But to keep up with the times and consumer’s tastes, the bottle bill must be updated.

An Updated Bottle Bill would expand our container deposit system to include “new age” drinks such as non-carbonated beverages, water, iced tea, juice, and sports drinks. It would decrease litter – and increase recycling.

An estimated 3.3 billion beverages are consumed annually in Massachusetts, of which 1.3 billion are “new age” (e.g. water, sports drinks, flavored teas), and this number is only expected to increase. As consumers purchase more of these beverages, an increasing number of containers are finding their way to landfills.” – Source: the Sierra Club of Massachusetts


Again, I THANK YOU for this opportunity, I am #5 on the ballot and I respectfully ask for 1 of your 5 votes!



Stephen L. Castinetti:

Thanks for the opportunity to address my environmental vision for Saugus. As I have stated in the past, the environment is something that many think about but few address. Today, more than ever, environmental issues affect each and every one of us across the country, not just here in Saugus.


In Saugus, we have diverse opportunities to appreciate the many benefits of just what our environment offers. From the forests and trails of Breakheart Reservation to the vast marshlands of Rumney Marsh to the shores of the Saugus River, Saugus has more environmental treasures that offer its residents the ability to appreciate what nature has to offer than most of our neighboring communities.


We need to ensure that these resources continue to be available without the threat of pollution, development and misuse. One of the things that make me sad is when I am out walking through our town. Trash and litter are commonplace on our streets. Residents who live on main streets relate that they are constantly picking up trash from people in vehicles disposing of their litter while driving through town. Although difficult to control, we need to stem the tide of littering through education, information and even prosecution, where necessary.


In a related topic, recycling is also something that must be increased and made easier for our residents if we expect a greater degree of participation. Single stream recycling will do that. It will make it easier for those who currently recycle to recycle more and, for those who do not, facilitate their move to join those of us who do. In addition, this environmental issue also impacts financial issues in the town. By reducing trash, we reduce cost and, in effect, protect ourselves from potential tax implications.


Finally, a by-product of the environmental protection is the wildlife that have been reintroduced, revitalized and encouraged to return to our natural resources over the years. Today, it is not uncommon for me to watch deer, coyotes, turkeys, Great Blue herons, egrets and more just outside my back door. It is very encouraging to know that even bald eagles, no longer endangered, have recently been spotted in Saugus.


It appears that we are on the road to increasing the environmental resources that we all enjoy. We cannot, however, let down our guard. More work must be done to protect, for the long term, our valuable assets. From the air to the seas to the mountains and beyond, we only get one environment. We need to make sure that we do the best job that we can do to protect it.



Robert J. Cox:

Saugus is a community rich in precious natural resources which are expensive to preserve but much more costly to restore once they are squandered away. I cite as examples the Pranker’s Pond and Rumney Marsh Reservation as obvious examples of what can go right and what can go wrong.


During the most recent Annual Town Meeting this spring, members discovered hidden within the proposed 2012 Budget a change in the line entry for a park ranger to patrol the Pranker’s Pond trails. The change being proposed by the Town Manager, with the blessings of the Selectmen and Finance Committee, was to eliminate in its entirety allocation for the ranger, even though the part-time position bore a cost of a mere $6,000. Although not the sponsor of the amendment to restore the position, so critical to maintaining the safety and conservation of the grounds, I spoke out in favor of restoring the ranger’s position, and voted in the affirmative in passing the restoration of these funds.


Rumney Marsh, on the other hand, is an area where conservation efforts have gone on tirelessly to rectify the negative impacts of the aborted Route 95 extension and the disposal of ash residue generated by RESCO, as confirmed by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s recent investigation and subsequent ruling. Restoration and recovery is the objective for this area of environmentally sensitive wetlands. The first step has been the implementation of a regularly scheduled inspection of the RESCO plant facility by independent engineers dedicated to environmental conservation.


Since Saugus accounts for just 6% of the total tonnage burned at RESCO with the remaining 94% coming from 40 surrounding communities with Saugus absorbing the 100% of the impact of ALL of the hazardous by-products (ash waste and air born pollutants), I have proposed in several public forums that Saugus create a by-law assessing RESCO a nominal fee for the disposal of hazardous by-products within our town. My rough calculations show the potential of creating nearly $1 million with just a $1 per ton of raw refuse consumed by the plant. If elected as one of your selectmen I plan to explore the legal ramifications and overall feasibility of this potential revenue stream.


This past summer a new recycling program was proposed that puts limits on the amount of trash collected for free from each household. After asking residents to absorb an increase in water charges and an increase in real estate tax to cover last winter’s snow removal along with the up coming debt exclusion vote for the renovation of the Belmonte Middle School, I could not justify enforced recycling with the institution of a monetary penalty (hidden tax) for trash disposal. I would like to see a new single stream recycling program combined with other positive incentives that make recycling easier for Saugus residents.


Looking forward I see the creation of the Bike-to-the-Sea recreation area along the currently abandoned railway track, which runs from Malden to Lynn. Currently this overgrown pathway is the home of trash, vermin and a multitude of illegal activities within our Town. This proposed project will clean up the trail at no cost to taxpayers and return a problem region to one of recreation and community enjoyment. I have followed the development of this effort from its initiation, even having participated in several family Bike-to-the-Sea fundraisers. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only town meeting member who has shown his support by speaking in favor before Town Meeting as of this date.


One of my current projects involves obtaining State and/or Federal grants to clean up several properties identified by the Department of Environmental Protection as contaminated with hazardous waste and return them to useful parcels for either housing or public uses.


Saugus once was a rural community prided with its open space. I remember picking blueberries with my grandfather and hiking the trails with my parents. I feel that, with a concerted effort, these memories can be recreated for our children and grandchildren for years to come.



Scott C. Crabtree:

As a fourth generation Saugonian, my re-election is based upon restoring Saugus in all forms. My concern for Saugus fully extends to our Town’s environmental issues and concerns. Growing up in Saugus, and particularly in my own neighborhood, there are far fewer trees and overall growth due to significant development. I believe in continuing to move forward to restore Saugus values.

I believe in protecting our environment for ourselves and for the future generations of Saugus. I support protection of our natural resources, particularly wetland preservation. As an attorney and former law enforcement officer, I find it important to enforce our state and local zoning laws to protect our Town’s property. We need to ensure safe and proper growth and development, considering all the factors that will impact our Town, including the environmental impacts. I also support conservation efforts and the Saugus Conservation Commission. I believe we need to increase recycling in Saugus and to be open to using more sustainable resources.

Personally I had a home energy assessment completed a couple of years ago. As a result of their recommendations, I replaced the light bulbs in my home with energy efficient bulbs (CFLs), purchased a new energy-efficient refrigerator, and installed water and energy-saving showerheads. In addition, I installed an ultra-efficient boiler system and indirect water heater in my home. Furthermore, at my business office, I use an electronic filing system to cut down on energy and paper use.

I believe Saugus needs a complete environmental green plan for its future. I ask for your support and one of your votes on November 8th. I am number 7 on the ballot.



George A. DeDomenico:

My opinion regarding our care and custody of the environment, globally and locally is simple.



No person, company, government or generation has the right to leave their debris, pollution and destruction to the next generation. We speak of how our children are our most precious possessions yet often cannot recognize the danger we are bestowing on them by ignoring our responsibility to leave the planet, the most precious resource, intact and healthy so our children’s children will thrive and prosper.


Global change for better or worse is often in our hands. Our choices locally, resonate globally, the good and the bad.


A small act, performed by many, like recycling or cutting energy use, has an enormous impact. We cannot stop trying. We owe it to our children.


One extremely easy and effective act can be practiced by all Saugus residents with a minimum of effort. Recycling and re-using is simple yet has enormous long term benefits. If people genuinely care for future generations, then take the few minutes a week to minimize your refuse load. I think your kids and grandkids are worth it. Don’t you?



Michael P. Downing:

Clean water.

Clean air.

Clean land.

If people do things to pollute, hold them accountable.


Stop as much development in town as the law allows.



Stephen M. Horlick:

As a Selectman for the past eight years, I have been concerned about environmental issues in Saugus.


One of the biggest environmental issues is upgrading the sewer system. This will be completed over the next two to three years, making the system more efficient and helping to eliminate raw sewage from entering the environment.


The town has completed a multi-year restoration project of the lakes in Golden Hills. This will help to alleviate the overgrowth of weeds and vegetation, and restore this environmentally sensitive area. Completion of the Shute Brook Culvert Project has helped to eliminate flooding and erosion through a large portion of the town.


As a Selectman, I pursued the use of volunteers to help with our brook cleaning program, and these volunteers have also been used in our brush cutting program. Along with establishing weekly recycling, which has decreased the amount of trash that is sent to Resco, these are some of the ways that I have helped save the taxpayers' money. These funds can then be spent elsewhere in the budget.


I have supported transfer of land to the Conservation Commission, along with supporting the Tree Committee in their efforts to replace and plant additional trees throughout the town. Some examples of this are World Series Park, re-planting trees at our schools, and Hamilton Street road project. I have also attended Tree Committee meetings and volunteered at the Tree Farm.


I also support:

  • The Town's Hazardous Waste Recycling Programs.

  • Single Stream Recycling

  • Recycling using Recycle Bank, which allows our residents to be rewarded for recycling

  • The Elm Street Brook Project to reduce flooding in this area

  • The new Environmental Park on Bristow Street as part of the Resco settlement


I have motioned the Board on several occasions to send a letter to the State Delegation not to support the use of material that contains asbestos to cover a landfill or to be used in any other projects.


I also motioned the Board to send a letter to the State Delegation supporting the CRT Take-Back Bill to force manufacturers to recycle their consumer electronics.


As a member of the Board, I have not supported Mass Highway’s spraying of herbicides along Route 1. These chemicals can damage the environment.


I have not supported, and will continue not to support, Resco’s third burner or expansion of the ash landfill. I am very concerned that Saugus has elevated cancer rates.


The Selectmen are currently involved with the AG's Office regarding Resco's settlement offer for alleged violations, which is one more reason I do not support Resco's expansion. I will not settle for the current offer that has been placed on the table. I know we can do better.


As a Selectman, I have shown you, the voters, that I am concerned about the environmental issues of our Town.


I ask you the voters for one of your 5 votes, Tuesday, November 8th, for Stephen Horlick, Selectman, ballot position #4.



Sean A. Maltais:

My name is Sean Maltais and I reside on Adams Ave with my wife Lauren and our 4 daughters, Marissa, Savannah, Gabriella and Lylah. I am currently serving my 3rd consecutive term as a Town Meeting member in Precinct Six. As the only candidate with a child in our public school system, I know first-hand the importance of having schools that are environmentally friendly. Currently Saugus is lacking in that department. For instance, our children at the Waybright School can’t use the drinking fountains due to the high levels of lead found in the drinking water there. This is an issue that should have been brought to the forefront years ago and, if elected, it is a conversation I plan on having. Also, many of our children are walking on asbestos-laden tiles at most of our schools, with only 3 coats of wax separating them from this poison. Whether it is one school at-a-time or one tile at-a-time, we need to look into a long term capital improvement plan of removing the asbestos from all our schools.


Our quality of like is linked to our sensitivity regarding important environmental issues. Fighting for clean air and water is vital for our children and grandchildren, as well as future generations. Not to mention noise pollution, something I made sure was alleviated by replacing the dilapidated fence along the high school property with a sound barrier, much to the enjoyment of the surrounding neighborhood. I am also proud to announce I am the only candidate the Sierra Club, MA Chapter has decided to endorse and their endorsement can be read below as well.


The Massachusetts Chapter, Sierra Club Proudly Endorses Sean Maltais:

The Sierra Club proudly endorses Sean A. Maltais for Saugus Selectman. With his solid record of supporting environmental issues, he will work to protect the air we breathe and stop development in sensitive wetlands. His knowledge, and commitment on the community makes Sean a candidate that we hope all environmentally focused voters will support.



Julie Ann Mitchell:

I am committed to protecting the natural resources necessary for the survival of our ecosystem. By preserving the environment and working to eliminate pollution, we are contributing to sustaining a healthy planet. Simple solutions like decreasing trash and increasing recycling can improve the physical condition and well being of our residents. Careful planning for the utilization and preservation of our remaining open space is essential. I am committed to protecting our waterways, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and salt marshes.


The Town of Saugus is fortunate to have environmentally concerned groups such as Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment, the Saugus River Watershed Council, the Friends of Breakheart Reservation and the Tree Committee. They have collectively contributed much to the environmentally friendly nature of our town.


The Town must come to terms with many issues having a direct or indirect effect on our environment: the advantages and disadvantages of having a trash to ash facility Route 107, the eventual use or non use of the Curley Property, and the Quarry closure. Issues concerning trash collection and improving recycling must constantly be reviewed. Our streets and roads need to be adequately maintained and cleaned in a timely fashion. Updating and improving our town buildings and facilities should be made with an environmentally friendly outlook, and “going green” concept.


The town’s alternative energy committee is exploring the use of wind turbines on Route 107 as a possible source of energy for the future. The open space committee is busy studying maps and collecting information relating to the remaining parcels of land existing in Saugus today. The benefit of people working together is a powerful force for the survival of generations.


The Town of Saugus has 3.5 miles of Route 1 running through it increasing pollution in the air, land, and water. The volume of commercial trucks using this highway is a concern as was evident in the recent accident at the Essex Street overpass. The state needs to be more vigilant in monitoring and improving the inherent problems of this roadway and the town needs to be more active in advocating for solutions.


Protecting the town’s 11 miles of land and .8 miles of water is a necessary and important task. I am committed to preserving the natural environmental of Saugus for future generations. I will listen to all points of view on environmental issues and make sound judgments based on all the facts.


We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”.

Native American Proverb



Debra C. Panetta:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to give you my environmental vision for Saugus.  My environmental vision for Saugus would include, but not be limited to these following six core beliefs.

 1/ Having a clean, pristine Saugus River and wetlands

The Saugus River and the adjacent wetlands require conscious and deliberate stewardship by all elected appointed officials. The Selectmen must see to it that the environmental consent order with the DEP is completed so that there will be no more dumping, or threatening of dumping, raw sewage into the Saugus River.

 2/ Saugus Should Achieve and Then Exceed Recycling Expectations

As past Chairman of the Saugus School Committee, I worked with my colleagues to establish recycling in the Saugus Public Schools. Currently, Saugus recycles about 30% of its solid waste. I am confident that number could reach at least 50% with the development of a plan that is clear and easy for residents to use. As one of your five Selectmen, I would enlist my colleagues to establish a policy that Saugus move toward single stream recycling when our disposal contract is renewed during my term. I am also in favor of allowing businesses to recycle.

 3/ Open Space – Permanent Committee Established by Selectmen

Saugus must have a serious approach to acquiring and maintaining open space.

Currently, there is an Open Space committee consisting of various people from different aspects of town trying to determine a new five-year plan.  I believe we need to appoint a permanent Open Space committee consisting of Saugus citizens along with some (if not all) of the current members on the existing committee. The plan developed by this committee should be part of an updated Master Plan.

 4/ Disposal of Solid Waste – More oversight

Saugus must be treated respectfully for all those who use our town to dispose of their solid waste, including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  I will dedicate myself to protecting the public health of Saugus residents and preserving our natural resources. There must be no additional increase in air or ash emissions from RESCO.   I have opposed and will always oppose any expansion of RESCO and its toxic ash landfill. I do not want Saugus to exceed expected incidents of any cancer or any other health problems. I would ask my fellow Selectmen to meet with state officials and insist that the RESCO ash dump close. The people of Saugus, and especially East Saugus, deserve no less. 

 5/ Smart Growth Concept

My vision includes a community where zoning and land use encourages a smart growth concept that balances economic growth with preservation of open space and natural resources  Our small business districts such as Cliftondale and Saugus Center could become vibrant, attractive, and engaging community centers with focused planning and follow-through. This would result in less dependence on vehicles and an increase in interpersonal contact among our citizens. Saugus needs to focus on its small commercial areas and I would expect the next Board of Selectmen to work with the Town Manager and the Planning Board on this.

 6/ Preserve Recreational /Historical / Natural Sites in Saugus

The historical and recreational areas of Saugus must be linked both physically as well as conceptually.  The connection of Breakheart, the Saugus River, the Iron Works, Round Hill, and the East Saugus Marshes will require a deliberate as well as deliberative policy that includes our Historical Commission, Planning Board, Recreation Committee, and the Board of Selectmen. Our ability to discuss and resolve issues in a positive and constructive manner is crucial to ensuring long-term protection of our open space, parks, and natural areas.   I am ready to begin that process.


Finally, my environmental vision is dependent on having both appointed and elected officials collaborating professionally and cooperatively on policy goals.  My 25 years in public life includes my service as President of SAVE, being a Board member of the SRWC, serving on the Tree Committee for 12 years, and being a member of the North Shore Coalition for Health and the Environment. These experiences have taught me that things are possible when people work together and do so in a respectful way. Our community can only improve when we have an environment among elected and appointed officials that is respectful and professional. As a member of the Saugus Board of Selectmen, I will work diligently to ensure that our precious natural resources are protected for future generations.



Michael J. Serino:

I believe the residents in Saugus, thanks in part to SAVE, are more aware of the environmental issues we face as a society today. Environmental visions I would continue to advocate for in our Town are:

  • Expanded tree planting program

  • Increased recycling program

  • Street sweeping two times a year (Spring and Fall)

  • No expansion of the RESCO facility and the closing of the RESCO toxic-ash landfill

  • Windmill farm and other efforts to lower municipal energy costs

  • Continued sewer system upgrades which will eliminate discharge into the Saugus River

  • Continued leak detection and water-line replacement programs which will conserve water

  • Educational programs in our schools

  • Increasing our open space

  • Scenic Rail-Trail