By SCOTT JACKSON
Ward 5 City Councillor Kirsten Hughes will not seek re-election in the fall, ending her eight-year tenure on the City Council.
Chuck Phelan, a former city councillor, will run for the seat in this year’s municipal election.
Hughes was first elected to the seat representing Ward 5 – which includes portions of Norfolk Downs, Wollaston, Hospital Hill and Quincy Center – in 2011 and she had been re-elected every two years since. She served as the president of the City Council in 2016 and 2017.
Hughes announced she would not run in a statement on Monday, calling her time on the City Council one of the great privileges of her life.
“After much thought and discussion with my family, I have decided that this will be my last term as Ward 5 city councillor. I will not be a candidate for re-election in the November city election, Hughes said.
“It has been one of the great privileges of my life to serve the city I love and to represent on the City Council the same neighborhoods where I grew up and where today Phil and I are raising our own family.
“Our city is strong, growing and poised for a great future, and I am incredibly proud to have worked with my colleagues on the [city council] and members [of] our community on so many important issues these past eight years. From the opening of our new Central Middle School, to fostering new life into our downtown to providing critical funding for major infrastructure and flood-relief projects across the ward, we accomplished much by working together. And much work remains. I’m looking forward to working as hard as I can these next several months on behalf of all the neighborhoods of Ward 5, as we continue to the move Quincy forward.
“I will always be filled with extraordinary gratitude for the opportunity and privilege to serve. Thank you.”
Phelan is the first candidate to enter the race for the Ward 5 seat. He served as Ward 5 councillor from 1998 to 1996 and was council president in 1992 and 1993.
Phelan, who is not related to former mayor William Phelan, also served two stints as Quincy’s information technology director. The first was from 1997 to 2002 and the second from 2008 until his retirement from the position last summer. In between, he worked for the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds in a similar position.
Phelan’s wife, Michelle Lydon, is the owner of Hamel-Lydon Chapel in Wollaston. He said his experience in both the public and private sectors would serve him well as a city councillor.
“I am running to give a strong voice to the neighborhoods in Ward 5,” Phelan said. “My experience in the public and private sectors gives me a unique perspective on what it means to be a city councillor.”
Phelan said he plans to begin campaigning for the seat in May and will be meeting residents throughout the ward while on the campaign trail.
“I am going to be as accessible and responsive to the needs of the residents as a I can be,” he said.
Nomination papers for the offices up for grabs in this year’s municipal election are available starting May 7. The mayor’s seat, all nine seats on the City Council, and three of the six School Committee seats will be on the ballot.
The deadline to submit completed nomination papers to the Board of Registrars of Voters is July 19 at 5 p.m. Certified nomination papers, including a statement of candidacy, would then need to be filed with the City Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m. on Aug. 6.
The signatures of 50 registered voters are required for each office in a municipal election. Residents running for one of the six ward councillor seats must obtain the signatures from within their ward.
A preliminary election would be required if more than two candidates run for mayor or any one ward council seat, or if more than six ran for either councillor at-large or the school board.
The preliminary election would be held Sept. 10 and the final election on Nov. 5.
By SCOTT JACKSON
The owner of the land on which the Wollaston Theater once sat is proposing to build a six-story, 63-unit condominium building on site.
Ward 5 Councillor Kirsten Hughes will host a community meeting on the proposal Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m. inside the auditorium of Quincy High School at 100 Coddington St.
Miao Kun “Michael” Fang plans to invest upwards of $20 million in Wollaston Center. Fang’s proposal would re-develop the former Wollaston Theater site at 10 Beale St., which has sat vacant since it was demolished in 2016. Fang said he hopes to leverage existing MBTA infrastructure and work in tandem with the city’s efforts to revitalize and redevelop Wollaston Center.
“This project has the potential to be a center piece to Wollaston’s economic revival,” Fang said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the city and the neighborhood in their efforts to reimagine and redevelop Wollaston Center. The neighborhood’s Red Line stop make it prime for revival and make it perfect for the inclusion of transit-oriented living.”
The proposal calls for 73,000 square feet of residential development on the site of the former Wollaston Theater. Plans call for 63 “for sale” condominium units in a six-story building. The project would include 29 one-bedroom units and 34 two-bedroom units, according to Fang’s attorney, Robert Harnais.
The project also includes a private gym and Fang plans to utilize memorabilia from the former theater in the building’s lobby.
“The magnitude of redeveloping such an iconic site is not lost on me,” Fang said. “This project needs be a catalyst for economic development but will also maintain some past history. This plan will add a significant amount of patronage to Wollaston’s local business community that can push Wollaston’s renewal forward.”
The parcel at 10 Beale St. includes 18,790 square feet of land in a Business C zoning district, according to the city assessors’ online database. The project is subject to review by the city’s Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals.
The Wollaston Theatre last opened its doors to the public in 2003. The building opened in 1926 and was home to a vaudeville theater before being converted to a cinema in the 1930s.
Fang purchased the property for $600,000 in 2012 from Yvonne Chandler. Chandler and her late husband, Arthur, had owned the Wollaston Theater since 1979.
Prior to selling the site to Fang, Chandler had reached an agreement in 2009 to sell the building to Street-Works, the city’s previous master developer for Quincy Center. The New York-based company exercised an option to opt out of that agreement after it was estimated that renovating the building would cost upwards of $7 million.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for the Stop & Shop workers who are striking throughout New England as they fight for fair wages and benefits.
The GoFundMe was started less than 24 hours ago and has raised more than $10,000.
In a statement about the GoFundMe campaign, a press release stated:
“Hard-working Stop & Shop employees all over New England are standing together for a contract that protects their health care coverage, retirement funds and, most importantly, their ability to provide you with the very best in customer service.
“After months of negotiating with Stop & Shop without reaching a deal to protect these benefits, 31,000 Stop & Shop workers walked off the job on April 11th. As long as they are on strike, they will not be collecting a regular paycheck.
“Your donations to this strike fund will be used to assist Stop & Shop strikers facing hardships.
“Our goal is to reach an agreement as soon as possible and secure a strong contract that honors the 31,000 hard-working women and men who have helped make Stop & Shop the most successful grocer in New England. Until we reach that agreement, we are standing strong on the picket lines together. Thank you for supporting us as we are on strike.”
Can I legally contribute?
Most individuals can contribute freely to this UFCW Strike Hardship Fund. Contributions are not tax deductible. All contributions will be used to benefit members and no money will be used by the UFCW for any other purpose.
Because this fund is UFCW-affiliated, the fund cannot solicit or accept money from employers whose workers the UFCW represents, seeks to represent, or would admit as members in the future.
To learn more visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/supportstopandshopworkers
Former Quincy Mayor Francis X. McCauley will hold a book signing for his newly published autobiography Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m. at the Quincy Historical Society, located at 8 Adams St. in Quincy Center.
Copies of “FRANK: From Bootlegger to Bank President and Beyond” will be available for purchase at the event for $20 (sales tax included). Those who have previously purchased a copy of the book are welcome to bring it to the event and have it signed.
In his autobiography, McCauley details his improbable rise from so-so student and aimless clam digger to bank president and mayor of Quincy. Along the way, the book offers an illuminating look at life in Quincy from the 1920s through the early 21st century.
“FRANK: From Bootlegger to Bank President and Beyond” is available from Amazon.com at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1795420847.
McCauley was the guest speaker at the Quincy Lions Club meeting Thursday at the Neighborhood Club of Quincy. McCauley, who joined the Quincy Lions nearly 60 years ago, reminisced about some of his memories growing up in Quincy and entering local politics. He also signed copies of his new book.
The 30th annual “Cleaner, Greener Quincy” city-wide cleanup will be held Saturday, May 4. The cleanup will take place from 9 a.m. to noon.
Mayor Thomas Koch is seeking community volunteers to participate in this year’s cleanup at parks and open spaces throughout the city. The mayor will host an appreciation cookout following the cleanup at Pageant Field.
In past years, thousands of volunteers have cleaned school grounds, parks, playgrounds, marshes, and open space areas. Volunteers have planted flowers, shrubs, and trees. Countless yards of mulch have been spread and weeds and winter debris removed. Each year, this event has served as Quincy’s community-wide “spring-cleaning.”
“Quincy remains a beautiful place to live in part because of our residents’ commitment to keep it looking beautiful,” Koch said. “Whether it be their own properties or pitching in for community events like Cleaner, Greener Quincy, we have thousands of people committed to helping Quincy stay beautiful. As someone who has seen this program up close for each of its 30 years, I am extremely grateful for the hard work our resident put forth.”
The City Department of Natural Resources (Park, Forestry, Cemetery, Recreation and Conservation) will support community groups interested in helping out by providing tools, mulch, bags, gloves and other supplies. Interested parties can form their own groups or join other established groups at locations around the city.
For more information, call Program Manager Paul Doherty at (617) 376-1251 or email Paul at email@example.com.
The first 1,500 volunteers will receive a commemorative 30th anniversary Cleaner, Greener Quincy t-shirt. The shirts are sponsored by the Quincy Parks Conservancy, a local non-profit that advocates for our parks and open space areas.
Cleaner, Greener Quincy was started by then-Mayor Jim Sheets as a way to get the community involved in the upkeep of our park system. Since then, it has created a generation of stewards that take an active interest in the condition and appearance of our public park system.
It is estimated that Cleaner, Greener Quincy has generated more than 250,000 community volunteer hours since its inception. It has reached more than 60 different locations throughout neighborhoods of the city.
Added Mayor Koch:
“The most important component of Cleaner, Greener is getting our young people invested in their community. These youngsters take an active interest in keeping their neighborhood parks and playgrounds in great shape. That has tremendous value to the future of our city.”