Published April 3, 2019


LYNNFIELD — It’s a new era for the Lynnfield Center Water District (LCWD) Board of Water Commissioners.

Carol Ann Road resident Joseph Maney and Pine Hill Road resident Anders Youngren were elected as water commissioners during the LCWD’s Annual Meeting on Monday. Both candidates defeated Housing Authority member Michael Walsh for positions on the commission.

Maney was elected to a two-year term after defeating Walsh 72 votes to 48 votes. He succeeds former Water Commissioners Chairwoman Connie Leccese, who resigned from the board on March 31.

Youngren was elected to a three-year term after defeating Walsh 67 votes to 48 votes. He succeeds former Water Commissioner Richard Lamusta, who decided against running for re-election.

The three candidates were given an opportunity to give two-minute remarks about their background and why they decided to run for water commissioner. Maney and Youngren were the first water commissioners elected by paper ballot since 1980.

Maney told the meeting’s 120 attendees that he has been a lifelong resident. He works as a special education teacher at a therapeutic day school in Melrose. He has been Lynnfield Recreation’s fields’ director for the past eight years.

“In this role, I have proven myself to be an effective communicator and problem solver to the multiple user groups and the citizens of Lynnfield,” said Maney. “I have always strived to be even-handed and agenda-free in my decision making. I would bring this same mindset to the Lynnfield Center Water District. The new board will need to ensure that all families in the district receive the quality and quantity of water that they deserve. To that point, I am open to all sourcing of our water. The ratepayers should not have to worry about the safety of their children when it comes to drinking, bathing or washing clothes.”

Maney pledged to work with the superintendent search committee and his fellow commissioners to “hire the best superintendent possible” to lead the LCWD. The water commissioners will soon begin searching for the next water superintendent, who will succeed retired Superintendent Ken Burnham.

Youngren noted he has lived in town for over 25 years with his wife and two children. He has a bachelor of science in Business Administration and a bachelor of science in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University.

“I have worked in the construction business for the last 35 years for Bond Brothers,” said Youngren. “They are one of the largest utility construction contractors in the Northeast. I am now semi-retired and consult for the firm. I have extensive experience pricing and managing complex construction projects. My education and background will aid me in understanding the science and engineering behind the modern day water delivery system, which would be a value to the board and this community.”

Youngren noted he has met with Water Commissioner Rob Almy and LCWD employees in order to learn more about the district.

“I feel that I am well qualified to help overcome our current challenges,” said Youngren.

Walsh noted he is a practicing attorney in addition to serving as a two-term member of the Housing Authority. He said has worked on water conservation issues in town for the last three-and-a-half years. He noted Congress has approved new water infrastructure laws and environmental regulations.

“I am a litigator by trade and I fight for people to get what they want or what they think they need, whether it’s from their government or other private parties,” said Walsh. “I would like to help fight for (ratepayers’) right to help get safe, clean and inexpensive water through whatever means it is necessary to do that. I believe I have an excellent understanding of existing laws as well as new laws, and I think I can help make our water district a better place and provide a good service to taxpayers for a reasonable rate.”

Maney thanked the ratepayers for electing him water commissioner during the Annual Meeting.

“I am excited,” said Maney in an interview with the Villager after the meeting. “I think I have a lot to add to this board. I think that the board, as it is constituted now, will do well for the town and the ratepayers.”

Youngren agreed.

“I am happy to have been chosen by the district voters and I am looking forward to helping solve some of the issues that are in front of us,” said Youngren in an interview with the Villager.

In addition to electing Maney and Youngren, ratepayers unanimously approved Article 6, which amended the district’s bylaws by prohibiting LCWD employees from serving on the Board of Water Commissioners. Burnham served as a water commissioner while simultaneously working as superintendent.

Stefan Taschner was elected as clerk of the district. James Alexander was elected LCWD treasurer once again.

Rebate program expanded

Ratepayers unanimously approved Article 28, which will allocate $50,000 for the LCWD’s filter rebate program for ratepayers who have had discolored water.

Chestnut Street resident Maria Piazza recalled that ratepayers at the Feb. 25 Special District Meeting approved a non-binding warrant article requesting that the district spend up to $80,000 on the program.

“I am just wondering if $50,000 is enough money,” said Piazza.

Almy noted the revamped program “hasn’t been set up yet.”

“If additional funding is needed, that will be done at a Special District Meeting,” said Almy. “We won’t know how much money we need until the program is considered by the board and approved.”

Ratepayers also approved a number of financial warrant articles including the district’s $1,838,000 operating budget for fiscal year 2020.

Almy thanked Burnham, Lamusta and Leccese for their service to the LCWD at the end of the Annual Meeting. Ratepayers also gave the three former LCWD officials a round of applause.

“If anybody went out and saw a water leak at 3 in the morning on a freezing January night, Mr. Burnham was there,” said Richard O’Neil Jr., who served as moderator for the Annual Meeting. “Kenny, you did a great job.”