Letter to the Editor

The Best for Chelsea

Dear Editor:

Many will be aware that Chelsea Council President Roy Avellaneda recently announced the appointments to the Charter Review Committee.

As long-term residents and homeowners actively involved in our community, it is our honor to have been selected as two of the five community members to serve our fellow residents and neighbors in this capacity. We do so fully aware of the great responsibility placed upon us and the other community members, Councilors, and School Committee members, to diligently review the Charter and to make well-considered recommendations for changes that will benefit the City of Chelsea, its residents, and businesses for the next 10 years.

It is dismaying to us that there are those who have already judged the Committee and decided that, in their view, it isn’t representative of Chelsea and is therefore incapable of fulfilling its responsibilities – a judgement formed before the appointments were publicly announced, and before the Committee has had an opportunity to hold a single meeting to begin its work.  It would seem that they are profiling the Committee and presupposing its effectiveness based on what they claim is missing from its composition:  renters, single mothers, and immigrant advocates. These self-appointed judges ignore the ethnic, gender, and political diversity of the appointees, as well as their individual and combined strengths.

The Committee Chairperson, for example, is a lifelong Chelsea resident, a successful graduate of Chelsea Public Schools, and the first Honduran-American to serve on Chelsea’s City Council. Other appointees include: a former school superintendant; long-serving School Committee members; City Councilors; community organizers and environmental justice advocates; parents; and businessowners – every one of whom cares deeply about the City, all of its residents, and its future.

It is our expectation that the Charter Review Committee will prove this premature judgement to be as baseless as it is toxic and divisive. It would be foolish to expect that everyone will agree with every single recommended change to the Charter that might be made by the Committee, but we can expect that everyone will agree that the process for developing any recommendation is transparent, deliberate, and fair. And we hope that any resident of Chelsea who is interested will attend the meetings and make suggestions as the process gets underway.

Sharlene McLean

Ms. McLean has lived in Chelsea since April 2001.  She served six years as a Member and Chair of the Chelsea Cultural Council, and was recently appointed to the Planning Board.  She has also been active as a member and volunteer with GreenRoots Chelsea.  Ms. McLean is employed as a Patent Assistant at a law firm in downtown Boston.

Mimi Rancatore

Ms. Rancatore has lived in Chelsea for 19 years.  She served three years as a Member of the Chelsea Cultural Council, and has been a Member of the Planning Board since 2019.  Ms. Rancatore is a co-founder and co-owner of Toscanini’s Ice Cream, a successful family-owned business in operation since 1981.

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