Published February 24, 2021
By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — Merrow Road resident Amy MacNulty took out nomination papers for Planning Board on Feb. 19.
MacNulty is running for the three-year Planning Board term while Cranberry Lane resident Elizabeth “Page” Wilkins is running for the five-year term. MacNulty would succeed current Planning Board member Anthony Guerriero, who decided against running for the seat that he was appointed to last month. The annual Town Election is April 13.
“I continue to be impressed by the work of the Planning Board leadership and the staff,” said MacNulty. “I support the direction of the Planning Board as it works towards addressing the effects of developments like what we saw recently on Summer Street with Tuttle Lane. Despite the best efforts by town officials, the unnecessary and unwanted clear-cutting of trees created an eyesore, but more importantly removed mature trees, which simply did not have to be destroyed. We cannot continue to repeat these unfortunate actions that result in outcomes exceedingly difficult to repair. I hope to work towards balancing the needs for conserving the town’s natural beauty and open space with pressures for development, while striving to sustain a quality of life that attracts people to and keeps them in Lynnfield.”
MacNulty said the Planning Board will be facing similar situations such as the nine-lot Tuttle Lane subdivision as “pressures increase to divide older, larger house lots into very profitable smaller ones.”
In addition to preserving the town’s character, MacNulty said, “It will be important for the Planning Board to continue to discuss the impact of planning efforts on town water, especially in the Lynnfield Center Water District area.”
“As we learned from the 2018-2019 Apple Hill discussions and meetings, the issues are not just about water quality, but water quantity as well,” said MacNulty. “Richardson Green is a good example of an approaching critical fork in the road for our community. We have the opportunity to decide whether to allow more large houses to be built or conserve this open space. This will have significant consequences for the Ipswich River Watershed, whose waters Lynnfield draws from. This is not just a town issue, but also a broader regional environmental and conservation concern. The involvement and support by well-respected regional conservation groups like the Essex County Greenbelt Association and the Ipswich River Watershed Association illustrate the importance of looking at this question from a broader point of view. We are talking about a large-scale development versus conserving 20-plus acres as part of a 700-plus acre area. People see climate change issues all around and wonder what they can do about it. Local efforts like this are where we can begin to make a difference.”
In addition to the 15-lot Hannah’s View Estates subdivision that is being eyed for the Richardson Green property, MacNulty said the Planning Board will be facing “similar questions” if the long dormant plan to build over-55 townhouses on the Sagamore Spring Golf Club comes back. The 2019 April Town Meeting rejected the Fairways Edge project and it has been in limbo ever since.
“Access to water will be part of that discussion,” said MacNulty. “The Planning Board’s leadership and critical thinking will be an important factor in supporting the LCWD’s effort to address their system’s capabilities while ensuring adequate water supplies at a reasonable cost.”
MacNulty worked as a partner and owner of a health care consulting firm, where she “led many strategic and business planning projects with health care organizations throughout Massachusetts and New England over a 30-plus year career.”
“During the past 12 years, I taught several courses in Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School’s Health Care Administration Program,” said MacNulty. “I am currently providing ongoing career planning and professional development for graduate students, including managing the internship and mentor programs.”
MacNulty and her husband, Ken, moved to town 34 years ago in order to raise their two sons. While her sons were growing up, MacNulty organized youth hockey fundraisers and was also a youth basketball coach.
In 2018 and 2019, MacNulty and her husband joined forces with other residents in order to “get clear answers” from former LCWD officials about “what was causing and how to stop the discolored water in the homes in the Apple Hill area.”
“We challenged what proved to be a costly solution with an uncertain outcome,” said MacNulty. “Fortunately, new leadership stepped in with a fresh long-range perspective.”
MacNulty is also a supporter of the Wakefield-Lynnfield Rail Trail and Lynnfield Public Schools. She also just became the grandmother of a “healthy, beautiful baby girl.”
The deadline for candidates to turn in nomination papers was 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23, which took place after the Villager went to press. MacNulty submitted nomination papers before the deadline, but they were not certified when the newspaper was printed.
“I am looking forward to contributing to a future vision that continues the success of Lynnfield,” said MacNulty.