The Chelsea Licensing Commission has put on hold the ban of small liquor bottles (100 ml) after a hearing Tuesday night where numerous package store owners from the City came forward to protest the change.
The hearing came on the heels of the ban of “nip” bottles last month, with Chelsea being the first municipality to ban the sale of the one-shot bottles of liquor. That was to be followed up with the potential ban of small liquor bottles too. However, Chair Mark Rossi said the strong turnout from the liquor licensees in the City caused the Board to pause.
“They told us this would essentially put them out of business,” said Rossi. “The sales of small liquor bottles have been up since the ban on nips and the liquor stores were supplementing the lost income from nips with the 100 ml bottles. The positive on this is there was actually a dialog. This is the first time that has happened. Chelsea is the first municipality that has pub in a ban on nips. Based on that, it showed the community is serious about this issues. All parties considered this a problem.”
He said about half of the 16 package store license holders were at the meeting, which lasted more than two hours.
The result is the ban has been put on hold, but a special meeting has been called for Aug. 28 and a voluntary ban has been called for.
“We are calling a special meeting to address this and pick up where we left off,” Rossi said. “This is the first time I’ve ever seen something like this.”
He said the liquor license holders were asked as a show of good faith to meet with the Police Department and voluntarily ban 100 ml bottles (particularly McCormack’s and Ruble) within 30 days. While the License Commission rarely meets in the summer, Rossi said they would call the special meeting for an update, with the hope being the ban can work informally.
Police Chief Brian Kyes said he is still for the ban, but was encouraged by the willingness of the liquor license holders during the meeting.
“Although the Chelsea Police strongly encourages the commission to proceed with the ban as proposed, I am encouraged that these licensed businesses are engaged in dialogue with the commission, the community and understanding their role in this serious issue,” he said. “Moving forward, we will continue to focus enforcement on any business that violates City licensing rules and state law, especially those that have such an adverse effect on the community.”
But not all was lost in the matter, which is an issue pushed by residents and several city councilors, including Councilor Roy Avellaneda.
Rossi said it was impressed on the liquor license holders that they need to be more connected to the community. He said it was interesting to note that none of them were as involved as they thought they were – particularly in things like the Chamber of Commerce or the local non-profits.
“The idea is we’re not looking to push anyone out of business, but to address a systemic, decades-old problem everyone agrees exists in Chelsea,” he said. “This is a positive step forward to address that issue…It’s important liquor store owners realize they are members of the community and aware of their actions on others. No one wants to go to the hair salon next to a liquor store where they have to step over the urine-soaked body of a perons passed out in the doorway.”
The Top 100 City employee earners list (below) from 2017 was released this week and it showed that, as has become routine, that it is dominated by police and fire personnel.
A total of 41 of the top 100 came from the Police Department, though it should be noted that some of those earnings come from paid details which aren’t paid for in total by City funds. In the Fire department, 31 members were on the Top 100 list. That rounded out 72 police and fire earners in the Top 100.
The School Department came in third with 24 members on the Top 100 list, but most of them falling in the bottom one-third of that list.
The highest paid City employee in 2017 was Chief Brian Kyes, who said he was grateful for being able to serve as chief in his hometown. He made $219,752 in 2017 – the first year that he did not work details as the chief.
“My current salary is based on an employment contract that was negotiated between the City Manager and myself last year in an effort to allow me to finish my career here in Chelsea,” he said. “Based on the terms of the contract I have agreed to serve as the Police Chief for an additional five-year term and continue to do the job that I absolutely love. Although there are lucrative opportunities beyond the borders of our city whether in the legal world or public safety, my commitment remains here in the city of Chelsea.”
Kyes said his is now beginning his 32nd year with the Chelsea Police, with the last 11 as chief. He said others have recruited him from outside the city and state, but he has decided to stay here under his new contract.
“Over the past few years I have been recruited by other agencies both within Massachusetts and outside the state to either lead or compete to run their departments,” he said. “I have also had offers from the private sector as well. This all being said I honestly know that there is no police department like the one that we have here in Chelsea with the enduring partnerships that serve as the life-blood of our agency. This is in no small part to the dedication and commitment of the men and women, sworn and non-sworn who make up our department.”
City Manager Tom Ambrosino appeared at number eight on the list, making $180,209. He said the list is dominated by police and fire because they work hard for their money in Chelsea.
“Public safety officials are paid good money and in this city they earn it,” he said. “This a difficult city to be a police officer and a firefighter. They put their lives on the line all the time. I don’t begrudge the salaries they earn. They work hard for it here.”
Name Job Location Gross Pay
Kyes, Brian Chief of Police Police Department 219,752.46
Fern, Joseph Sergeant Police Department 205,227.09
Dunn, Thomas Captain Police Department Police Department 203,853.47
Batchelor, David Captain Police Department Police Department 196,668.15
Quatier, John T Deputy Chief Fire Department 194,200.46
Houghton, Keith E Captain Police Department Police Department 191,969.00
Dana, William J Captain Police Department Police Department 183,002.94
Ambrosino, Thomas G City Manager City Managers Office 180,209.33
Bourque, Mary Superintendent 225 Superintendent’s Office 178,697.92
Houghton, Robert Deputy Chief Fire Department 171,818.69
Delaney, Daniel Lieutenant Police Department Police Department 167,164.94
Moschella, Robert F Patrolman Police Department 166,551.53
Addonizio, Michael J Sergeant Police Department 165,570.61
Giancola, Paul R Deputy Chief Fire Department 159,609.20
Krasco, William N Patrolman Police Department 159,422.55
Eaves, Paul Deputy Chief Fire Department 157,387.51
Cameron, Robert T Deputy Chief Fire Department 157,286.42
McGarry, Edward J Deputy Chief Fire Department 157,039.03
Masucci, Michael F Deputy Chief Fire Department 155,518.72
Conley, Scott Patrolman Police Department 155,203.52
Purcell, Stephen M Lieutenant Fire Department Fire Department 153,053.03
Albanese, Leonard A Fire Chief Fire Department 152,062.60
Nelson, Edwin Lieutenant Police Department Police Department 151,547.85
McCue, Gerald A Director Exempt Business Office 149,881.45
Thompson, Michael Captain Fire Department Fire Department 147,058.30
Doherty, Paul W Captain Fire Department Fire Department 146,525.98
Abell, Lyle Robert Patrolman Police Department 146,403.33
Denning, Robert Captain Fire Department Fire Department 146,005.01
Gurska, Michael P Captain Fire Department Fire Department 145,917.85
Brizuela, William F Sergeant Police Department I45,799.72
Carroccino, Richard Captain Fire Department Fire Department 143,729.68
Noftle, John Sergeant Police Department 143,399.35
D’alba, Anthony F Sergeant Police Department 142,601.43
Rizzuto, David M Lieutenant Police Department Police Department 142,577.35
McLain, Thomas H Lieutenant Police Department Police Department 142,257.64
Dunn, Brlan A Lieutenant Police Department Police Department 142,075.70
Flibotte, David A Sergeant Police Department 139,282.59
Breau, Linda Deputy/Asst. Superintendent Curriculum & Instruction 138,723.52
Johari, Priti Principal 220 Chelsea High School 137,504.49
Betz, David K Lieutenant Police Department Police Department 136,752.02
Merritt, Philips Captain Fire Department Fire Department 135,078.38
Bevere Maloney, Jacqueline Principal 220 Early Learning Center 134,399.98
Gonzalez, Hector L Sergeant Police Department 134,150.63
Tarraza, Luis 0 Patrolman Police Department 132,435.96
Keefe, Edward P Deputy City Manager City Managers Office 131,692.35
Ulwick, Wayne Deputy Chief Fire Department 131,310.43
Lubarsky, Adele Principal 220 Edgar Hooks School 130,524.94
Ramirez, Emilio Patrolman Police Department 130,435.94
Wilcox, Richard J Lieutenant Fire Department Fire Department 129,511.67
Nee, Michaela Sergeant Police Department 129,262.60
Tiro, Anthony J Lieutenant Fire Department Fire Department 127,929.36
Lee, Michael W Captain Fire Department Fire Department 127,554.60
Gobin, Rony R Captain Fire Department Fire Department 126,838.72
Rogers, Philip R Captain Fire Department Fire Department 126,715.84
Rosenberg, Cindy D Director/Sped Special Education Office 126,704.50
Bower, John C Lieutenant Police Department Police Department 126,621.69
Lam,Longt Patrolman Police Department 126,017.51
Torres, Jose Firefighter Fire Department 126,016.67
Grajal, Randy A Teacher Edgar Hooks School 125,460.58
O’Brien, Joanne M Patrolman Police Department 122.517.49
Bellomo, Richard R Patrolman Police Department 122,434.05
Barber. Linda Assistant Principal 220 Days Chelsea High School 122,340.06
Andreottola, Miguel Director- Admin Union Information Technology 122,263.17
Martinello, Michelle Principal 220 Eugene Wright School 121,300.01
Schmidt, Ronald L Assistant Principal 220 Days Chelsea High School 120,863.05
Bevere, Joseph Sergeant Police Department 120,723.24
DeleiDi, Adam M Principal 220 William A Berkowitz School 119,725.05
Sanchez-Gleason, Magdalena Principal 220 George Kelly School 119,725.05
Chung, Starn Patrolman Police Department 119,622.05
Fisher, Cheryl W City Solicitor Law Department 118,212.79
Kent, Sarah A Assistant Super 220 Superintendent’s Office 118,180.01
Casucci, Augustus M Patrolman Police Department 118,042.21
Talbot, Michael Principal 220 Clark Avenue School 117,799.89
Noone, Michael J Patrolman Police Department 117,652.42
Sanchez, Miguel Lieutenant Police Department Police Department 117,208.79
Crowley, Kevin M Lieutenant Fire Department Fire Department 116,736.44
Griffin, Robert E Lieutenant Police Department Police Department 116,607.77
Perisie, Rjchard Captain Fire Department Fire Department 116,068.89
Almquist-Cevallos, Kristen L Assistant Principal 220 Days Chelsea High School 115,766.02
Cooney, Joseph F Director Of Buildings & Grounds Buildings & Grounds 115,378.83
Maldonado, Jonathan Patrolman Police Department 114,386.68
Valdes, Reinaldo Firefighter Fire Department 113,953.54
Dent, Sarah E Assistant Principal 220 Days Chelsea High School 113,563.97
Rodriguez, Luis R Patrolman Police Department 113,325.68
Vazquez, Sylvia E Teacher George Kelly School 113,032.18
Ostler, Ryan P Patrolman Police Department 112,945.35
Glass, Carter R Lieutenant Fire Department Fire Department 112,886.11
Conlon, Joseph Lieutenant Fire Department Fire Department 112,711.04
Stutto, Joseph C Patrolman Police Department 112,582.33
Peters, Albert W Lieutenant Fire Department Fire Department 112,509.80
Griffin, Kevin M Assistant Principal 205 Days Joseph A. Browne School 112,400.07
Shea. Julie C Principal 220 Joseph A. Browne School 112,196.08
Davis, Cove J Assistant Super 200 Superintendents Office 112,086.00
Meyers, Nathaniel S Principal 220 Frank M. Sokolowski School 111,946.05
Caissie, Arthur J Lieutenant Fire Department Fire Department 111,895.39
Taverna. Bertram Director Of Public Works Admin dpw 111,811.66
Vega. Carlos J Patrolman Police Department 111,585.26
Aliberti, Mark A Lieutenant Fire Department Fire Department 111,494.68
Lawlor, John W Lieutenant Fire Department Fire Department 111,374.27
Garcia, Stephen Patrolman Police Department 111,132.25
Following a six-alarm fire last Wednesday afternoon, May 2, on John Street – where two dwellings were a complete loss – Chief Leonard Albanese warned this week for residents to be extremely careful with activities on back porches – though he said the cause last week wasn’t yet determined.
Chelsea firefighters fighting the John Street blaze on May 2 with heavy smoke.
The fire last week originated on a second-floor, back porch of 10 John St.
“We haven’t determined the official cause yet,” he said. “We know it’s not arson, and it’s accidental. I want to emphasize that porch fires are a significant threat to our community and residents need to use extreme caution with the fire load on their decks, not smoking on their decks and not cooking on decks. No one is allowed to use a grill on any floor above the ground level.”
Chief Albanese said the firefighters and mutual aid partners did a great job with the fire on a day that was extremely busy in Greater Boston, as there was a fire in Cambridge and Somerville on the same day.
The fire came in on the afternoon of May 2, and it originated on the second-floor rear porch of 10 John St., a three-story multiple wood frame dwelling. Companies arrived with heavy fire conditions on all three rear porches at 10 John St., extending into the structure with fire threatening the immediate three-story exposures to the left (6 John St.) and right (12 John St.). The end result was the total loss of both 6 and 10 John St.; along with minor damage to 12 John St.
A large three-story, six-unit building at 68-70 Clark Ave. also sustained water damage. The home at 66 Clark Ave. sustained radiant heat damage only in the rear. Also, 56 Parker St. had exterior radiant heat damage only to the rear; and 50 Parker St. had a damaged fence from fire operations.
At 6 John St., 18 residents were displaced, and at 10 John St., 12 residents were displaced. Both structures were considered a total loss by fire officials.
The Red Cross provided immediate assistance to displaced residents.
There were no reported civilian injuries.
There were three immediately reported firefighter injuries, and all were treated and released. There were multiple other injuries sustained with the extreme conditions in which this fire was fought. All firefighters were exposed to smoke and products of combustion inhalation with an estimated three to five additional injuries being evaluated after the fire.
“The members of the Chelsea Fire Department along with our mutual aid partners engaged in a major fire operation under extreme conditions, which led to the containment of the fire to the loss of two structures only,” said the chief. “Without their valiant efforts, we could have lost several other structures further devastating the effected neighborhood. This was without a doubt a great job done by all.”
He also praised 9-1-1 dispatch for coordinating all six alarms.
“Additionally, Chelsea 911 did a great job allocating resources for the six alarms and guiding them to the scene,” he said. “This is difficult on a normal day, but Somerville had a multiple alarm fire that was tying up companies in the Metro Fire region at the same time, making this task a challenge.”
A heated discussion between the candidates for Suffolk County District Attorney took place in a packed room at Suffolk University Law School on Thursday, May 3.
The event was moderated by Meghan Irons, the social justice reporter at The Boston Globe, and was hosted by Boston Wards 3, 4, and 5 Democratic committees, Suffolk Law School, Boston NAACP, MassVOTE, and the Mass. Dems Latino Caucus.
Candidates Evandro Carvalho, Massachusetts state representative from Dorchester, Attorney Linda Champion, Greg Henning assistant district attorney, Shannon McAuliffe director at Roca, an organization that disrupts the cycle of poverty, and Rachel Rollins, Chief Legal Counsel to the Massachusetts Port Authority, were ready to answer questions during the forum.
“About 77 percent of DA races go un-contested across the U.S.,” said Rahsaan Hall, Director of the Racial Justice Program and “What a Difference a DA Makes” campaign for the ACLU of MA, to a crowded room. “There is a lack of opportunities for communities to engage but, this is what democracy looks like.”
Hall said that many folks don’t even know what goes on in a DA’s Office and most don’t even know that it is an elected position.
“We are working to make sure the country and residents of Suffolk County are engaged and active,” said Hall.
Candidates were allowed 90 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds for rebuttal. Questions ranged from are you too much of an insider or outsider to change things, to how to stop cycle of repeat offenders to how will the candidates make the office more diverse?
Champion said she has three areas she will focus on as District Attorney beside safety: education, housing and jobs.
“When you have all of these things you can have an environment that everyone can feel safe,” she said. “I’m in this race to focus on what is the problem and that’s the lives of our residents.”
Henning said his goal as DA would to make sure that everyone is protected, and to re-connect the community with law enforcement.
“I will not only ensure community policing to keep the streets safe but to help people to not to engage and re-engage with the justice system.”
Rollins said that to make a real difference more people of color and women need to work in the justice system.
“To get fairness, equity and justice you need more diversity in the people that serves those decisions,” said Rollins.
McAuliffe distanced herself from the pack by focusing on her current work at Roca, a non-profit that takes young adults who have a high chance of repeat offense and steers them in a different path by providing job training and other opportunities.
“I’m the only one here that hasn’t worked for a job opening,” said McAuliffe who took on the current DA during the last election. “Reform needs a reformer, and that’s who I am.”
Carvalho said that in order to seek justice you need to look at who is making the decisions. He pointed out that the people making the decisions are largely white and those going in and out of the DA’s office are largely people of color.
“I live in Dorchester and my constituents deal with it every day,” he said. “They are trapped without help every day, and that has to change. As DA I will be sure to change things.”
Current DA Dan Conley announced earlier this year that he will not be seeking re-election. Conley has held the office since February 2002.
This will be the second open candidate forum of the year. The primary for the Suffolk Country District Attorney race will be on Tuesday, Sept. 4. The general election will be Tuesday, Nov. 6.
The Chelsea City Council passed a unique pilot program by a vote of 8-2 on Monday night that would allow qualifying students at Chelsea High an opportunity to finish their Associate’s Degree after high school on the City’s dime.
The program is a partnership with Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) and was championed by City Manager Tom Ambrosino this year in his State of the City. It is seen by him and the School Department as a logical extension of the dual enrollment program at the high school that allows students there to take college level courses at BHCC.
The problem with the program in Chelsea, Ambrosino and others said, is that many students after graduation don’t have the financial resources to continue on and finish the Associate’s Degree they have been working towards.
The pilot program would use $150,000 in the first year, and would be open to students who have completed 12 credits while still in high school within the dual enrollment program. They also must remain Chelsea residents while receiving the benefit.
If a student applies for and gets a Pell Grant, BHCC will provide a subsidy as well and will waive tuition for the student as part of their end of the bargain.
“I had concerns at first, but I did some digging and it’s a good program,” said Councillor Leo Robinson. “I will be supporting this.”
“Many of the students in dual enrollment can’t complete their degree by the time they graduate high school, and they just don’t have the resources to complete it afterward,” said Council President Damali Vidot. “I think now is a great time to invest in our young people.”
But not everyone was on board, and some who voted for it had concerns as well.
Councillor Luis Tejada ended up voting for the matter, but said he was challenged by it.
“My challenge is with the money going to just Bunker Hill,” he said. “What I have a bigger problem with is you take care of your household first before you take care of your extended family. If you take care of everyone else before your household, you will tank…We have a $3 million deficit in our school system and Free Cash should be devoted to that first…If there is excess cash, maybe it should be devoted to the public schools.”
The chief detractor, however, was Councillor Bob Bishop, chair of the Finance Committee. Bishop said it’s a good program, but shouldn’t be funded by the taxpayers.
“To me, it’s a big problem because we’re using taxpayer money on something we’re not required to spend it on,” he said.
“This $150,000 is a pilot program and next year it could possibly be a lot more money,” he said. “I don’t understand how we can get involved in the business of paying for college for a select few…I suspect this is a misuse of taxpayer dollars. This is $150,000, but it will be $500,000.”
Councillor Giovanni Recupero agreed with Bishop, saying it should be funded by private money and not taxpayer dollars.
Councillor Roy Avellaneda said it was about investing in the future of students in the modern era.
“The school education system we have is outdated,” he said. “Everyone knows you need more than a 12th grade education in this economy. You need advanced courses beyond high school. As a City, we have to prepare them. It only makes sense to prepare them for today. Unlike 30 or 40 years ago, a college education is required for that.”
Councillors Judith Garcia was absent for the vote, but had vocally supported the matter in previous meetings.
- On a related note, the Council voted 10-0 without much discussion to approve a $50,000 program to help City Hall employees pay for courses to advance their education. That program was also proposed by Ambrosino and championed by the Council.