Legislature Approves Sales Tax Holiday Weekend Aug. 10-11

The Massachusetts Legislature has approved Aug. 10 and Aug. 11 as a sales tax holiday weekend for Massachusetts. On those days, the Massachusetts sales tax of 6.25% will be suspended for most items that retail for less than $2,500.

The holiday welcomes Massachusetts residents to visit retailers and small businesses around the state. A spike in consumer activity routinely boosts indirect tax revenues. According to the Department of Revenue, during the 2023 sales tax holiday, indirect tax revenues due to increased economic activity were approximately $3.54 million.

“Each year, the Legislature’s temporary suspension of the sales tax aims to boost revenue for small businesses and enhance affordability for consumers,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D Quincy). “I want to thank my colleagues in the House, along with Senate President Spilka and our partners in the Senate, for their annual support for this economic development initiative.”

“The sales tax holiday is a great opportunity for residents to get out and support the local businesses in their community and get some shopping done during a time of year when people are gearing up for the fall,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “I’m glad we worked together in the Legislature to get this done for residents again this year. I’m thankful to Senator Moran for leading the initiative in the Senate, all of my Senate colleagues, Speaker Mariano, and our partners in the House.”

“We hear so frequently, both from constituents and those living across Massachusetts, about the continued interest in offering sales tax holidays. I’m so glad we were able to work together to make this possible,” said Sen. John F. Keenan (D-Quincy). “Thank you to my colleagues in the Legislature for creating this opportunity to save shoppers a bit of money and encourage the support of our local businesses.”

“The annual August sales tax holiday brings much-needed stimulus to our retailers, especially our local small businesses,” said Rep. Tackey Chan (D-Quincy). “I’m glad that the Legislature prioritized setting a date for this annual event.”

“The sales tax holiday weekend is an annual economic driver for Massachusetts, generating millions of dollars in economic activity,” said Representative Bruce J. Ayers (D-Quincy). “It’s an important way for the Legislature to support small businesses, as well as consumers, and I’m grateful to legislative leadership for once again bringing it forward for our constituents.”

Adams National Historical Park to Host Guided Walks for the Battle of Bunker Hill Anniversary, June 15 and 16

Join a National Park Service park ranger at Adams National Historical Park on Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for a guided walk following the footsteps of the Adams family as they witnessed the Battle of Bunker Hill. This event is free and does not require registration.

Abigail Adams and her children walked from their home to the top of Penn’s Hill on June 17, 1775. There, they saw the destruction of Charlestown during the Battle of Bunker Hill. Park rangers will retrace the steps of the Adams family that day. Walks will start at the Adams Farm at Penn’s Hill (the John Adams and John Quincy Adams Birthplaces) located at 141 Franklin St., Quincy, MA. They will proceed to the Abigail Adams Cairn. Park rangers will tell the story of the Adams family, their experience witnessing the Battle of Bunker Hill from Penn’s Hill, and the effect the battle had on the family.

The walk is half a mile uphill, with uneven sidewalks, limited shade, and steep inclines. Attendees are advised to bring water and dress appropriately for summer weather. This event may be cancelled in the event of excessive heat or rain. Alerts and updates are available on the park website.

The Adams National Historical Park Visitor Center and historic Adams homes are open Wednesdays through Sundays, May 1 through October 31. Guided and self-guided tours are available. Entrance passes and tour reservations can be acquired in advance online at recreation.gov or on a first-come, first-served basis at the Visitor Center at 1250 Hancock St. in Quincy. Park grounds are open daily dawn to dusk and are free to visit. For information regarding tours and programming, call the Visitor Center at 617-770-1175 or visit the park website:

www.nps.gov/adam

Cornhole Tournament June 22 To Benefit Mental Health Services

On Saturday, June 22nd, the 4th Annual Matthew;s Crew Cornhole Tournament and Fundraiser will take place at Fontbonne in Milton from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The tournament will once again be run by Boston Baggo Co and is always a fun, seamless event with participants of all ages. There will be activities for the kids, delicious sandwiches from Pasaini’s Food Truck, and ice cream from Ellie’s Treats available for all players and spectators to enjoy.

This year, organizers are excited to announce that they are hosting a raffle with some terrific prizes including a private party brought right to your home by the Wandering Druid Mobile Irish Pub, tickets to sporting events, Story Land theme park, restaurant gift cards, and so much more.

In the spirit of the event, they will be joined by a variety of local and national mental health organizations to provide valuable information about important mental health services that are offered within our communities, including NAMI, Aspire Health Alliance, New Direction Counseling Center in Quincy, and the Fontbonne chapter of the Yellow Tulip Project.

Within the past year, Matthew;s Crew has continued to support and encourage the ongoing growth of the Yellow Tulip Project throughout Plymouth Public schools, which has expanded into seven schools and is expected to be brought into two more schools next year. Matthew;s Crew has also sponsored the launch of a new mental health ministry, Magdalene Healing Ministry, at St. John’s in Quincy.

“We are so thankful for all the support shown to us and are honored to continue working toward improving the conversation and information related to mental health,” the tournament organizers said. “Please join us on June 22nd for a fun, family day. All are welcome!”

BBB Tip: Father’s Day Shopping

Father’s Day is on June 18, and consumers are actively searching for and purchasing gifts for the father figures in their lives. The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates a total spending of $22.4 billion on Father’s Day gifts and celebrations this year, with the most money spent on special outings, clothing, gift cards, and electronics. According to NRF, 19% of Father’s Day shoppers will be searching for a unique or different gift, and 52% for one that creates a special memory. While shopping online for Father’s Day purchases, BBB reminds consumers to be wary of online purchase scams and all-inclusive packages advertised at steep discounts.

“If it’s too good to be true, it is,” one Texas resident reported to BBB Scam Tracker. “I tried to order my husband a gift for Father’s Day and got taken for $98. I ordered some tools I found online and paid through PayPal, then my receipt said I was paying a person instead of a company, which seemed strange. I contacted PayPal immediately, but they could not return my money. It was that fast! The website was no longer active the very next day, but they already have a new one that looks the same and they always say 80% off.”

When purchasing gifts online for Father’s Day or any other celebration, it is essential to exercise caution and carefully read the limitations of purchase, expected delivery date, and source of the product. BBB’s 2023 Scam Tracker Risk Report identified online purchase scams as the third riskiest scam affecting consumers in North America across all age groups, with a median loss of over $70. Scammers often capitalize on marketplace trends, and Father’s Day allows fraudulent sellers to advertise products and services disguised as gift ideas.

While shopping for Father’s Day gifts this year, BBB recommends the following guidelines to avoid scams:

  • Read the fine print. When buying gift cards or outing packages, check the terms and conditions before purchasing to ensure that the expiration date and other limitations will not be problematic. Pay close attention to any policies that may void the transaction if not followed, such as arrival times, cancellation or rescheduling processes, and if there are physical restrictions or requirements. If you give a gift card to someone who will make online purchases, be sure it is valid for in-store and online purchases.
  • Do your homework. Before ordering electronics, clothing, or other gifts for Father’s Day, check out the company’s BBB Business Profile at BBB.org. Be sure to check for the ‘lock’ icon in the web address and that it begins with ‘HTTPS,’ which indicates a secured system before placing an order or inputting credit or debit card information. Gifts that include personalization options, such as names, are popular purchases for Father’s Day but can sometimes be made with low-quality materials that will not last. Read reviews and complaints from previous customers before placing an order to ensure the product received is similar to the advertised product.
  • Allow time for shipping and delivery. Check with the retailer or website to ensure you have been allowed enough time to deliver any purchased gifts. Ensure your preferred delivery date is clearly specified and guaranteed when you order. For expensive items, you may consider requiring the package signed for on delivery to prevent package theft.
  • Be responsible with rentals. Sometimes to create a unique gift, rentals are involved. Before renting ATVs, campers, motorcycles, or other recreational equipment for excursions this Father’s Day, be sure you get a written contract that includes details such as the base rental cost, daily fees, insurance, and time restrictions for any equipment. Also, take the time to visually inspect the rental and get written proof of any existing damage to avoid disputes over unexpected maintenance and repair fees.
  • Have a backup plan. Take the time to understand a store or service’s guarantee and other policies. Find out how the business handles customer complaints and what options you will have if the arrangement is unsatisfactory. It is best to use a credit card when ordering online due to the added protections credit cards have to dispute charges. Charges made on a debit card, wire transfer, or mobile banking app are often the same as cash, and you may not be able to dispute charges if there is a problem.
  • Don’t click online coupons. If you see a post on social media or receive an email with an offer, don’t click on the link unless you’re sure the source is legitimate, as it could take you to a malicious website. Suppose you see a product or sale advertisement online, especially on social media. In that case, search for it independently by going directly to the company’s website to verify the offer is legitimate. Learn more about social media scams on BBB.org.

Quincy Flag Day Parade, Fireworks Celebrate ‘Old Glory’ Saturday

FIREWORKS over Black’s Creek will culminate the Quincy Flag Day celebration this Saturday, June 15. The fireworks show will start around 9 p.m. following a flag raising at Pageant Field at 8:15 p.m. The Flag Day Parade steps off at 7 p.m. Saturday. Photos from last year’s parade appear below. Quincy Sun File Photos/Robert Bosworth

Mayor Thomas P. Koch announces Quincy’s Flag Day Parade will take place on Saturday, June 15th.

The parade will step-off at 7 p.m. and be followed by a flag-raising ceremony at Pageant Field at 8:15 p.m. The night will culminate with fireworks over Black’s Creek at approximately 9 p.m.

The parade will launch on Coddington Street by Spear Street, head north up Hancock Street, turn onto Merrymount Parkway and wrap up at Vietnam Veterans Drive and Adams Field. This year’s parade will feature bands/drum corps, specialty units, public safety and veterans’ color guards, floats, classic cars, and more than 1,000 flag-waving youngsters.

Musical performers this year will include Boston Crusaders Sr. Drum Corps, Crusaders Junior Corps, Defenders Sr. Drum Corps, Quincy/North Quincy Marching Band, Uncle Sam’s Patriotic Band, Roma Italian Band, North Star Alumni Drum & Bugle, OC Highlanders Pipe Band and Branches Steel Band.

The Flag Day Parade was started by Richard (Dick) Koch, Sr. in 1952 when he led a group of youngsters around Norfolk Downs and finished with a flag-raising at Cavanagh Stadium. The parade has grown significantly through the years and fireworks were added in the 1990s.

“There’s no greater tradition in our city than the Flag Day Parade,” said Mayor Koch.  “It is an incredible community celebration of our flag and the values that it represents. It is the unofficial kick-off to summer and always the best day of the year. I am looking forward to seeing the thousands of people that join in the celebration that evening.”

At Pageant Field, the 50’ x 80’ flag will be raised over the crowd to the tune of “Grand Ol’ Flag.”  A ceremony recognizing the grand marshal and the Richard and Simone Koch Award winner will follow.  The Crusader Junior Corps and singer Dan Clark will entertain the audience with a medley of patriotic tunes.

The Quincy Flag Day Committee will honor Richard “Ratt” Kennedy as this year’s grand marshal. For the past 26 years, Richard has served as president of the Angel Fund for ALS research and has organized the annual “Squirrel Run” in memory of his brother, Jimmy “Squirrel” Kennedy, who lost his courageous battle with ALS in 1997, at the age of 31. The race brings the community together and helps build awareness for this terrible disease.

This year’s Richard and Simone Koch Award will be presented to the Honorable William G. Farrell, an Associate Justice of the MA District Court. In his adopted home of Quincy, he has served as a long-time youth coach in baseball, basketball and softball. He is the longest serving board member of Quincy Youth Baseball & Softball. He also coached for Quincy Catholic Academy and Sacred Heart North Quincy. Eight years ago, he collaborated with former Quincy youth coaches, QYB&S, the City of Quincy and the Martin Richard MR8 Foundation to create the first adaptive baseball program for special athletes in Quincy called Bambino Buddy Ball.  The program teams up volunteer Buddies from the leagues of Quincy Youth Baseball & Softball with special athletes ages 5 to 19.

The evening will commence with a fireworks show over Black’s Creek from Pyrotecnico Fireworks, the same company that performs the July 4th show at the Esplanade.

“It’s great to see so many new faces enjoying our City’s traditions,” the mayor said. “This event represents the best of our community with so many local organizations, youth groups, and residents participating in the parade.  I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy this wonderful event.”

Quincy Access Television (QATV) announces the 2024 Quincy Flag Day Celebration will be shown live beginning at 7:20 p.m. on QATV-8, QATV-HD 1072 and online at www.QATV.org on Saturday, June 15th.

QATV’s Joe Catalano and QATV member/volunteer Krystyne Cheever will anchor coverage of the parade, followed by coverage of the flag raising ceremony and fireworks from Pageant Field.

Replays of the Flag Day celebration will be shown the during week on QATV-8 and QATV-HD 1072.  The celebration will also be posted to QATV.org for viewing on demand.

For more information about QATV’s Flag Day celebration coverage, visit www.QATV.org or call 617-376-1440 ext. 224.

Summer Safety Guidance From MA Dept. Of Public Health

With summer approaching, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) reminds residents to take recommended commonsense precautions to keep everyone, especially young children and those working outside, safe this summer.

“Summer in New England means spending time outside in the sun, in the water, on the beach, in the mountains, or in the park or backyard,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Robbie Goldstein, MD, PhD. “It is also a time to be aware of the importance of taking seasonal precautions that can make this fabulous time of year safer and more enjoyable.”

Prevent Tick Bites 

Certain kinds of ticks can bite and make you sick with diseases such as Lyme disease and Powassan virus. Ticks are most commonly found in damp, grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, including your own backyard. Ticks only attach when you come into direct contact with them — they cannot jump or fly. Follow these steps to help protect yourself from tick bites:

  • Check yourself for ticks once a day — it’s the single most important thing you can do.
  • Use repellents with an EPA-registered active ingredient; always follow the directions on the label.
  • Weather permitting, wear long-sleeved, light-colored shirts and long pants tucked into socks. This will help keep ticks away from your skin and make it easier to spot ticks on your clothing.
  • After spending time outdoors, a shower can help rinse off a tick before it becomes attached and putting your clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes can help kill ticks.
  • Pets that spend time outdoors are exposed to ticks, too, and may bring ticks back inside. Talk to your veterinarian about the best ways to protect your animals from ticks and tick-borne disease.

Prevent Mosquito Bites

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus (WNV) are two mosquito-borne diseases that occur in Massachusetts. While there were no cases of EEE in Massachusetts last year, there were six people with WNV. Mosquito surveillance is essential to monitor activity as the summer unfolds. DPH posts updates about activity throughout the season on the Massachusetts Arbovirus Update page.

While the risk for human infection of EEE or WNV won’t occur until mid to late summer, people have an important role to play in protecting themselves from these illnesses which can be very serious. To prepare for mosquito season:

  • Drain standing water in and around your house or yard to prevent mosquito breeding.
  • Repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
  • Use a mosquito repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient according to the directions.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks to reduce exposed skin when weather permits.

For more information about preventing mosquito and tickborne illness, visit DPH’s Mosquitoes and Ticks page.

Swimming in Natural Bodies of Water and Staying Safe in a Pool 

Drowning is a leading cause of death among young children ages 1-14 nationally and in Massachusetts, with backyard pools posing the highest risk for children under age 5. To help prevent water-related injury and drowning:

  • Always supervise children in and around water at all times.
  • Infants and toddlers should be within an arm’s length at all times providing “touch supervision” in or around water, including the bathtub.
  • Teach young children to always ask for permission before going near the water.
  • Never dive headfirst into the water. Make sure water depth is properly marked on the pool deck and vertical walls.
  • Do not swim alone in unfamiliar waters.
  • Look out for fallen tree branches and sharp rocks in the water.
  • Do not swim during a storm or when there is lightning.
  • Completely separate the house and play area of the yard from the pool area with a fence at least 48 inches high. Consider automatic door locks or alarms to prevent access.
  • Remove floats, balls, and other toys from the pool after use so that children are not tempted to reach for them. After the children are done swimming, secure the pool so they cannot get back in.
  • Keep rescue equipment (such as a shepherd’s hook or life preserver) and a phone near the pool.
  • Keep a first aid kit that meets ANSI 2308.1-2015 standards (including items like adhesive bandage, trauma pad, & CPR mask) close to the pool.
  • For children who cannot swim, use a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. DPH, in cooperation with the USCG, has created a fit test video that can assist with proper fit testing of life jackets: https://youtu.be/1I3VZf-NqPc.
  • Do not use toys such as “water wings” or “noodles” in place of life jackets. These are not designed to keep swimmers safe.

In public swimming areas:

  • Select swimming sites that have lifeguards whenever possible, and swim only in designated swimming areas.
  • Always swim with a buddy.
  • Look for signage at beaches. DPH collects beach water quality dataand notifies the public about bacteria levels to minimize swimming-associated illness and injury.
  • Know the limits of your swimming skills. Each summer, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) provides free swimming lessons to children at select agency pools across Massachusetts through its  Learn to Swim

Consider becoming a lifeguard:  DCR is recruiting lifeguards to work at its inland and coastal beaches, as well as swimming pools. The hourly pay for pool and waterfront staff is between $22 to $27, depending on position and associated certifications. Qualified applicants can receive up to $1,050 in signing bonuses. For more information, visit the DCR’s lifeguarding website.

Window Safety

Falls from windows involving young children are especially serious – and preventable. Screens are not strong enough to protect children from falling out of windows. To prevent window falls, parents and caregivers should:

  • Keep furniture – and anything a child can climb on – away from windows.
  • If young children are around, keep windows closed and locked. Only open windows for ventilation that are out of children’s reach. Window screens are not a security measure, and many children fall through them.
  • Open windows from the top, not the bottom, when possible and lock all unopened doors and windows.
  • Be sure children are always supervised.
  • Install quick-release window guards which can be found in most hardware stores.

To learn more about childhood injury prevention, visit the DPH Injury Prevention and Control Program website.

Car Safety

Leaving children and animals inside of a vehicle can be very dangerous. In the summer months in New England, the temperature in a closed car can rise quickly, and the vehicle can become a deadly place for a child or animal left in it, even for just a moment.

To keep young children and animals safe in and around cars:

  • Never leave children or animals alone in a parked vehicle, even when they are asleep or restrained, and even if the windows are open.
  • Always check inside the vehicle – front and back – before locking the door and walking away.
  • If a child is missing, check your vehicle first, including the trunk.
  • Do things to remind yourself that a child or animal is in the vehicle, such as placing your purse or briefcase in the back seat so you will check there when you leave the vehicle.
  • Always lock your car and keep the keys out of children’s reach.
  • Ensure adequate supervision when children are playing in areas near parked motor vehicles.

If you see a child or animal alone in a hot vehicle, call the police. If they are in distress due to heat, get them out as quickly as possible and call 911 immediately.

Remember, children ages 12 and under should ride in the back seat, properly restrained, even during quick errand trips. Infants and toddlers should remain in rear-facing car seats until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat manufacturer. At a minimum, children should ride rear-facing until they are 2-4 years old and or have met the weight limit of the car seat manufacturer. More information on child passenger safety is available on the DPH website.

Preventing Rabies Exposures

All mammals (animals with fur) can get rabies and there are usually more than 100 rabid animals found every year in Massachusetts. Most of these cases occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, woodchucks, and foxes, but some pets (especially cats) and farm animals also get rabies.

People can be exposed to the rabies virus when an infected animal bites them, or when the animal’s saliva gets into a scratch or the person’s eyes, nose, or mouth. People who are bitten or scratched by an animal, or who find a bat in a room when someone is sleeping, or with a young child or pet, should call their local board of health or the DPH Division of Epidemiology at 617-983-6800 for advice.

Other rabies prevention steps include:

  • Teach children never to approach animals they don’t know – even if they appear friendly.
  • Report any animal that seems sick or injured to the local animal control official.
  • Enjoy wild animals from a distance and do not keep wild animals as pets.
  • Make sure pets are vaccinated against rabies. By law, all dogs, cats, and ferrets must be regularly vaccinated against rabies; this will protect them if they are exposed to the disease.
  • Don’t leave food or water for pets outside. Even empty bowls will attract wild and stray animals.
  • Do not let pets roam freely. Keep them in a fenced yard or on a leash.
  • Keep garbage securely covered. Open garbage will attract wild or stray animals.
  • Keep chimneys capped and repair holes in attics, cellars, and porches to help keep wild animals like bats and raccoons out of the house.

Sun and Heat Protection 

High temperatures and increased sun exposure mean that additional precautions should be taken when spending time outside, either recreationally or on the job.

  • Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Drinks like coffee and soda may dehydrate, so they should be followed with water.
  • Wear sunglasses, sunscreen (SPF of at least 30) 15-20 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours, and/or wear protective clothing to avoid sunburn.
  • Seek shade and breaks from the sun throughout the day.

Additional tips on sun and heat protection can be found on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Extreme Heat and Your Health Website or the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency website.

Quincy Councillors OK $285,000 Salary For Mayor

By SCOTT JACKSON

In a 7-1 vote on Monday, Quincy city councillors approved an ordinance that will raise Mayor Thomas Koch’s salary from $150,900 to $285,000, effective next year.

Koch on May 20 introduced the ordinance to increase his salary to $285,000, along with a separate ordinance to raise the salary for each city councillor from $29,800 to $47,500. Councillors passed ordinance increasing the mayor’s salary Monday but did not vote on the one to raise their own salaries; that vote could take place on June 17. Ward 5 Councillor Daniel Minton voted against the raise for the mayor while Ward 3 Councillor Ian Cain was not in attendance.

Councillors in April had received a report from an outside firm, Dorminson Consulting, that recommended a salary between $298,957 and $370,000 for the mayor; Dorminson was paid $9,500 to complete the study. Councillors also received a report from the Department of Municipal Finance listing the salaries for chief administrative officers – such as city and town managers – in 42 Massachusetts communities.

Koch’s chief of staff, Chris Walker, on Monday said the $285,000 salary was below the range recommended by Dorminson and was “fair, reasonable [and] in line with a number of other communities – if not today, then within the next year or two.” Walker also said the mayor had not received a pay raise in ten years and the salary should not inhibit others from running for the position in the future.

“As everybody on this body knows, it’s a 24-7 job,” Walker said. “There’s no vacation time. There’s no sick time. The mayor is the mayor.”

Ward 1 Councillor David McCarthy, the chairperson of the council’s finance committee, said he provided his colleagues with a report on the salaries for the executive teams in other Massachusetts communities. Cambridge – which has about 17,000 more residents than Quincy – will pay its executive team $736,999 in fiscal year 2024, McCarthy said; the mayor of Cambridge makes $143,374, the city manager makes $309,000, and the deputy city manager makes $284,625.

McCarthy said there is no deputy mayor in Quincy, while many city or town managers have a deputy to assist them.

“Everybody has a deputy city manager. Everybody has an assistant town administrator. This is a single executive position. Everybody has the Chris Walkers and the Al Graziosos of the world,” McCarthy said, referring to Koch’s chief of staff and Quincy’s commissioner of public works.

“In all these other towns, they all have that type of organization, but this is a single mayor, single executive position. There is no deputy mayor.”

McCarthy – who at one point had to tell audience members not to talk while councillors were deliberating – added that Quincy’s mayor has responsibilities similar to city and town managers in other communities.

“People will say town manager is different, city manager is different. They all put the pants on the same way. They all come out and work,” McCarthy said. “The salary is the salary.”

Ward 6 Councillor William Harris said the $285,000 salary was “very much reduced” from the $370,000 figure at the high end of the Dorminson reccomendation. He said being mayor is a 24-hour, 365-day job and the salary needs be enough to attract qualified candidates.

“Things need to be done and if you don’t have the right person there, they won’t get done,” Harris said. “The job has to equal the pay.”

Harris – who had objected to the ordinance that would increase councillors’ salaries when it was introduced on May 20, delaying that vote – said he would not be voting for those raises and suggested the $157,000 in cumulative raises councillors would receive would be enough to offset the mayor’s $134,100 raise.

“I don’t think we should take it,” Harris said of the proposed raises for city councillors.

Councillor Nina Liang said the salaries paid to office holders have traditionally limited who can run for those positions.

“There is a lot of talk about equity and DEI and access and representation and all that. Let me tell you, a lot of the conversation happening around that is people saying, ‘well, the system is set up to keep people like me out.’ Why? Because typically speaking government and the way that it’s compensated is set up for access for people who have wealth and access to wealth and can not work so they can then full-time campaign to get into office,” Liang said.

“They’re not single mothers who have to worry about paying for childcare, because they can just go off and run for office. A lot of the conversation then is how do we make access more equitable – we make sure that that single mother can afford a job that she can go into to be the mayor of the city and still pay $30,000 a year in childcare.”

Councillor Scott Campbell said the mayor’s salary should be adjusted and while $285,000 may not make sense now, it will in the long run. The salary will help attract candidates in the future, he added.

“[It] will make sense in the long run for the person we hope will continue on the legacy of what’s being created here,” Campbell said. “As [the city] continues to grow and continues to build and we continue to do all these amazing things, I think we need to make sure that the person that is coming in next is prepared and ready.”

Ward 2 Councillor Richard Ash said he heard from many constituents who supported the raise though “given the press and the news coverage…the opposition seems to be louder.” He said the salary for the position should be equal to the responsibilities that come with it.

“$285,000 is cause for pause and certainly a reason for us to do our due diligence. What I found in the dozens of conversations, phone calls, emails, in-person meetings – I phoned a friend and I want everyone to know that – what I found was that supporters think it’s fine. Those individuals who didn’t support the mayor in the last election don’t think any raise should be given or think a nominal raise should be given,” Ash said.

“I think it is imperative to back that all the way up and to value this position at a number that is commensurate with the size of the city, the budget, the operations and the experience. So that is what I have decided to do.”

Ward 4 Councillor James Devine said Quincy is doing better than other communities in the state, and that is no accident.

“These numbers work. I know they seem exorbitant but we’re one of the largest cities in the state and, I hope that nobody argues with me on this, we’re the best one in the state. We’re doing phenomenal. There’s cities around us having issues. They’re losing fire department members, they’re losing teachers, they can’t keep their equipment running,” Devine said.

“This isn’t an accident. Quincy isn’t just bigger and better. We’re better because we’ve been working on this for a very, very long time.”

Minton, who cast the dissenting vote on Monday, said few people are interested in running for public office and noted some councillors, including himself, were unopposed in last year’s municipal election.

“There is a community nearby who advertised to get residents to run for various positions, that’s how bad it is,” Minton said. “There has to be a better way. We have to come up with a better system.”

Minton said he heard from many people who were troubled by the Dorminson report and he disregarded the study because it “does not directly relate to Quincy” and the “comparisons to other cities and towns did not carry much weight.” Minton said he would support a raise for the mayor and city councillors, but not what was proposed.

“The amount of [$285,000] for the mayor and $47,000 for the City Council are being proposed. I believe both of these are on the high side,” he said. “There has to be a better way to look at raises in the future than every nine years. My reccomendation for the mayor is $230,000 and for city councillors, $38,000.”

More than two dozen residents attended Monday’s meeting with various signs urging the councillors to reject the proposed raises. Those residents left the chamber following the council’s vote.

Firefighters Extinguish North Quincy Fire

Quincy firefighters responded to a working fire inside a North Quincy apartment building Thursday afternoon. Photos courtesy Michael J. Worley.

Quincy firefighters on Thursday extinguished a working fire inside a North Quincy apartment building.

Firefighters were called to 95 West Squantum St. around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. The fire was on the third floor of the 12-story building.

The section of West Squantum Street between Fayette and Stafford streets was closed to traffic while public safety personnel were on scene.

The fire was on the third floor of the 12-story building.
Quincy Firefighter McGoff and Police Officer Le helped bring an occupant of the building down the stairs.

 

Plans For Independence Avenue Building Withdrawn

By SCOTT JACKSON

The developer who proposed building a new nine-unit condominium building on Independence Avenue has withdrawn his application to do so.

Rendering of the proposed four-story building as presented on May 15. Courtesy Choo & Company.

“The application for the 10 Independence Ave proposal has been withdrawn from the Planning and Zoning Boards,” Ward 2 Councillor Richard Ash said Wednesday in an email to constituents.

“It has been withdrawn without prejudice, meaning it may be re-filed at a later date. However, there are no meetings scheduled on the proposal as of today.”

Developer Anton Cela in January went before the Planning Board with plans to build a four-story building – with nine residential units and a commercial space on the ground floor – at 10 Independence Ave. The applicant went before the board again on May 15, this time with plans for a four-story, nine-unit building that included no commercial component.

At both the January and May public hearings held by the Planning Board, area residents, business owners and the superintendent of the Adams National Historical Park voiced concerns about the proposal, including the height of the building, the number of units, and a lack of setback from the sidewalk.

The developer had been scheduled to go before the Planning Board again on June 26.

Located at the corner of Franklin Street, the site at 10 Independence Ave contains 10,973 square feet of land and is currently home to Quincy Auto Tech. The property sits opposite the birthplaces of John and John Quincy Adams.

RMV Reminds Residents They Will Need a REAL ID or Current Passport to Board a Plane Starting in May 2025 

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is reminding residents that beginning May 7, 2025, anyone traveling by plane domestically or entering certain federal building areas will need a Registry-issued REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID, or a valid passport. To help ensure compliance, a countdown clock is now live at Mass.Gov/RMV.

The Registry is encouraging everyone seeking a REAL ID compliant license or identification card to go online at Mass.Gov/ID to learn what documents are needed for a required in-person appointment.

“The countdown is on for REAL ID federal enforcement and the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, and its partner AAA Northeast, have successfully been issuing REAL ID credentials and are prepared for interested residents prior to the May 2025 deadline,” said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Colleen Ogilvie. “We want Massachusetts residents to know they can upgrade to the REAL ID driver’s license or identification card during their normal renewal process for the same cost as a renewal. For the customers who wish to do this, we highly recommend you schedule your appointment at least three weeks before your birthday so that you can receive your credential in the mail ahead of your expiration.”

The RMV has posted helpful information on REAL ID requirements that customers can use to prepare for their in-person visits, including convenient document checklists to help pre-stage REAL ID applications, at Mass.Gov/ID. Documents required for this transaction include two proofs of Massachusetts residency, proof of a full Social Security Number (SSN), and proof of lawful presence. Customers who have had a name change since the issuance of a birth certificate, passport or other document, will need to show the reason for the name change by presenting documentation like a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court document. These required documents must be original or certified versions. The RMV recommends customers gather these documents well in advance of appointments to ensure they have the information required by federal law.

Currently, Massachusetts is at 54 percent REAL ID adoption with almost 3 million credentials being REAL ID-compliant. Customers are eligible to renew up to one year in advance of the expiration date printed on their license or ID, and up to two years after the expiration date.

Prior to May 7, 2025, customers will not need a federally compliant REAL ID for the purposes of boarding domestic flights or entering certain federal buildings.

The fee for renewing a non-commercial standard or REAL ID driver’s license is $50. The fee for renewing a Mass ID is $25. The fee for upgrading to a standard or REAL ID card is $25. Customers with a less than five-year stay in the U.S. pay a pro-rated fee.

Appointments can be scheduled by RMV customers by visiting the RMV’s Online Service Center at Mass.Gov/RMV or if you are a AAA member at https://northeast.aaa.com/automotive/registry-services/massachusetts.html.

For additional information and details on these and other RMV service offerings, please visit www.mass.gov/rmv.