Monday, March 24, 2014

Challenging Times Ahead

Dear Malden Residents:

With another budget season upon us, we are faced with the reality that our revenues in the new fiscal year will not be sufficient to support our expenses. As most of you know, we are limited on what we can do relative to increasing revenues. Specifically, we are capped on property tax growth to 2 ½ percent per year and we don’t have any real maneuverability on our local receipts as these remain fairly constant year to year.

Additionally, state aid, in the form of unrestricted aid and school aid, promises to be a challenge. The proposal from the Commonwealth reveals that unrestricted local aid will increase $300K and funding for education will increase by only a little more than $200K. Meanwhile, our State Assessments, which include items such as the MBTA and Charter School tuition payments, increased resulting in a net decrease in Local Aid. Finally, our reliance on one-time resources in the amount of $5M in the current fiscal year to keep the city’s operations intact, have been all but exhausted going into the new fiscal year.

Since we are severely limited on what we can do on the revenue side of the balance sheet, we have to look toward our expenses to balance the budget, which by state law is required each year beginning on July 1. With most of the city budget being consumed by personnel costs, I already find myself not being able to sleep at night knowing that the decisions that need to be made to achieve the balance will not be easy.

There is no doubt that we find ourselves in a tough spot, but I am confident that if we work together we will meet the challenges that lie ahead. Despite our current fiscal situation, there are a lot of great things happening in our City and we continue to move forward with many successful projects and initiatives. Take a look here to see all that we have accomplished this past year. Thank you. 


City of Malden, Mayor

Friday, February 21, 2014

Weathering the Storm

Dear Malden Residents, 

As I type my blog for February's E-Newsletter, I can't help but hope that we have seen the last of the snow.   

Despite the 50 plus inches we have received this winter, I have seen no quit in the response of our staff in responding to what seems like a never ending snowstorm. As a matter of fact, I have seen them not only respond but work to get better.

This is true thanks in large part to DPW Director Bob Knox. I have nicknamed him the Terminator because he does not stop at addressing as many of the issues that come his way. It does not matter the hour of the day or night, Mr. Knox tries to help as much as he humanly can. I also must compliment his wife Marianne as it’s not easy on her with two little kids to have to listen to her husband deal with me on an hourly basis.

I also can’t forget to thank the men and women of the Department of Public Works as they have given 100 percent during recent storms. I am also grateful for the work of our Emergency Management team, Permits, Inspections and Planning and Compliance. It has been all hands on deck in an effort to help as many of our residents and businesses as possible.

Another facet of responding to winter storms has been Police Chief Kevin Molis and Captain Glenn Cronin. Together, they have worked with the men and women of their department to enforce the rules in effect during declared snow emergencies. Their response has made it better for the DPW to plow and safer for first responders to travel in the event of an emergency situation.

Another new feature that has been added to our operation is a dedicated crew of sidewalk plows. We realize that a number of our residents are walking to and from Malden Center and other places in our community so we have worked immediately after the recent storms to clear as many of our sidewalks as possible. It’s an extra cost but in my opinion, it’s offset by improving pedestrian safety.

Something else we added is keeping the Bike Path clear of snow during the winter. On average, this will cost us approximately $500 per storm. We have received positive feedback from residents since many folks are using the path year round to get to and from their destinations. We are pleased to be assisting them by offering this new practice.

The last facet in responding to each storm is to educate residents and when needed, issue citations to those properties that don’t clear a path as required by ordinance. This emphasis is working slowly, but surely as Chris Webb, Director of Code Enforcement along with the Police Department and the Compliance Bureau report that they are seeing more and more people following the ordinance.

Proof that things are getting better in how we respond to snowstorms came during the most recent storm when at the height of the snow, someone contacted us asking how they might dispose of a microwave oven! Thank you for your patience as we continue to work on providing better service to you. Believe me, I realize it’s been a long winter but hang in there, spring is on the way!



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Honoring Those Who Served

Dear Malden Residents: 
This past week, we as a community exercised our right to vote in our municipal elections. This coming week we all take time to honor and remember the Veterans who gave us the ability to exercise that right. I hope you will take the opportunity and join me in thanking them for their service to our country on Monday, November 11th.

The traditional Veterans Day parade will begin at 10:00 am and lift off from Pearl and Pleasant Streets. The route will continue left onto Summer Street, right onto Mountain Avenue, right onto Mt. Vernon Street, right onto Salem Street, another right onto Pleasant Street and ending at City Hall.

Prior to the parade at 9:00 am, city officials will gather at Macdonald Stadium with members of the American Legion and with Veterans Services Director Kevin Jarvis to dedicate a POW Chair that will be located in a section of the stands in memory of all prisoners of war and those missing in action. This effort was initiated by Ward 4 City Councilor Jim Nestor and I am happy to report that eventually we will have this memorial not only at Macdonald Stadium but in all of our school buildings as well.
There are so many amazing things that have happened in and around Malden - from the Boston Red Sox World Series Championship to the Malden High School Boys Varsity Soccer making it to the second round of the State Tournament for only the second time in school history! There was also the recent Waitt’s Mount Renovation, the re-dedication of Tartikoff Park and the election of a new Mayor of Boston for the first time in 20 years. It’s easy to let the excitement overshadow the great sacrifices that have been made in order for us to enjoy these events. Not a day goes by where I don’t stop and pause for a moment to reflect all that has been made possible by our Veterans. Let us always remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and those who continue to defend our freedom today. Thank you Veterans!

Mayor, City of Malden

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Education is the Key to Success in Malden

Dear Malden Residents,

I could not have been more pleased to read the recent U.S. News and World Report announcing Malden High School (MHS) and the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School (MVRCS) as two of the top 50 Best High Schools in Massachusetts. Most impressive was the fact that U.S. News and World reviewed 358 schools before determining the ranking.

Malden High School ranked 39th and was able to accomplish this feat even though the school’s student-to-teacher ratio was larger than the state average. Additionally, in both Math and English, over 70 percent of the students were deemed proficient. The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School ranked 8th and had over 90 percent of the students proficient in Math and English. I commend both schools on these accomplishments.

These statistics are proof of Malden’s commitment to improve the quality of education for our students. Most recently, Malden School Superintendent David DeRuosi announced a citywide early learning reading initiative that connects home and school by utilizing smart phones, tablets, and computers. This innovative program involves a partnership with Footsteps2Brilliance, an early learning platform that will provide every Malden family with a library of eBooks and educational games to help improve literacy skills.

The most appealing aspect of this project is that the MVRCS, the Cheverus School, and local early learning centers will be joining the Malden Public Schools in rolling out the program. This collaboration is certain to yield positive results, accelerate learning and assist our students in achieving future academic success.

Again, congratulations to MHS and MVRCS – they are inspiring examples of the hard work taking place in all our schools across the city!


Mayor, City of Malden

Monday, September 9, 2013


Dear Malden Residents,
Some of you have jokingly offered a few dollars to purchase City Hall but the City Council and I are hoping for much more. Working together, we have crafted the Request for Proposals (RFP) so as to encourage creative and innovative options for what could be done with this land. A hotel, movie theater, and/or open space are some of the examples we incorporated into the request. We also added specific criteria that need to be met in order for the RFP to be viable including that the existing building be demolished and that Pleasant Street be reconnected.

This opportunity would not have been possible without your valuable input. In formalizing the RFP, we were able to utilize the Master Plan in which hundreds residents participated as well as the work of the Harvard Graduate School of Urban Design students that was completed this past year. Submissions are not due back until mid-October. We are hoping this extended time frame will allow applicants the time to think outside of the box and submit innovative options that will help us revitalize this area of the downtown. Thanks again to the City Council for their support and we will continue to update you as information becomes available during this important step for the future of Malden Square.
Mayor, City of Malden

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Guest Blog: What Is It Like to Work in the Mayor's Summer Youth Program

Over the last two summers working in the Mayor’s Office, I have learned about being in the working world -- from watching the Mayor manage our city, to learning how to interact with constituents. I am grateful for this amazing opportunity to work for the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program, and thankful for all it has taught me.

A main part of my job in this office is answering phone calls and helping those who walk into the Mayor’s Office. Constituent Services Representative Yan Yu taught me so much about being respectful, polite, and incredibly helpful to all who call the Mayor’s Office. These interactions helped me learn more than just the Government Center extension numbers.

Each department is responsible for certain tasks throughout the city, and the main goal is for all to work together to create the best Malden possible. Besides gaining a deep understanding of the departments in our city, I have realized my own communication skills have improved.

I am able to speak with confidence, but also ask questions when I do not know the answer. These skills will absolutely play into my future when I am out of college and on my own.

As a Class of 2013 Alumnus of Malden High School, this fall I will be starting my freshman year at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where I plan on studying Engineering. Many people have asked me why I am working in the Mayor’s Office if I want to enter the math and science field -- however, the two overlap more than most think.

Outstanding people, accounting, and management skills are looked at highly, regardless of the job field. In Engineering, I will not only be able to specialize in my lab work, but will have the resources I need to be a successful leader and manager of that lab, all because of my experience in MYSEP.

From Maldon to Malden

Dear Malden Residents,

One thing I have come to appreciate since becoming Mayor is the great history that is part of our city. From being one of the earliest colonies to declare independence to being the home of Bell Rock Cemetery where Malden’s Revolutionary War heroes rest, Malden claims a very proud history.

This was no more evident than last week when we welcomed the Choir of St. Mary’s from our sister city, Maldon, England. The Choir, led by their esteemed Director Colin Baldy, is highly regarded in both the UK and around the world. In addition to enjoying their musical talents, we were also able to share our culture and historical connection. 

What was even more impressive than having our sister city represented here in our community was the outpouring of support from our residents. St. Paul’s Church Parish has worked for nearly a year to make this week possible and the dedicated volunteers who worked in the planning or in opening up their homes to our guests have made us all proud.

From hosting a welcoming dinner at Anthony’s Restaurant to planning trips to Gloucester and the North End, the Hospitality Committee, as they have become known, treated our visitors with great care. However, I think our guests were most impressed with a trolley ride through Malden which included a tour of the Public Library, Malden High School, and the Davenport Estates. Another highlight was the publication of Malden resident and author Inna Babitskaya’s book written especially for the occasion called “From Maldon to Malden.”

Our community was surely rewarded with the Choir’s outstanding concert on Friday night. The Choir performed a number of songs including those of Benjamin Britten who is considered the greatest composer in the UK. My favorite moment came when I heard 15-year-old William Foster play the organ. He was magnificent and deserving of the standing ovation he received.

As the Choir prepared to leave our city to head back to Maldon, England, I paused and reflected once again on how privileged I was to be Mayor while they were here, but more importantly how fortunate I was to be working alongside such a dedicated group of residents who represented our city well.

To learn more about the Choir, please visit and to order a copy of the book From Maldon to Malden, please email Inna Babitskaya at