Saturday, October 27, 2012

LETTER: L'Italien on Boxford's Salt Shed Issue

Living in Boxford's precinct 2 we were fortunate to have Barbara L'Italien as our State Representative for 8 years.  At the same time Boxford was also fortunate to have Brad Hill as a State Representative and Bruce Tarr as our State Senator.  The three of them worked together very effectively for Boxford and were able to accomplish a great deal.  I believe they were particularly successful because of the bipartisan nature of their relationship.  While they had many accomplishments during that time, the most important was the work they did to address the terrible problems that some Boxford residents have with salt in their water.  Barbara L'Italien was key in passing legislation to compel MassDOT to commission an engineering study of the salt problem and recommend solutions to restore the groundwater quality.  I do not believe that the legislation would have been passed in its current form (over the Governor's objections) without Barbara's strong advocacy.  She demonstrated many times that she is willing to do what she believes is right, independent of party.

During those 8 years, Barbara was often in Boxford.  She was at Selectmen's meetings, Masco meetings, held monthly office hours at our senior center and attended other events regularly.  She was consistently responsive to constituent questions and issues.  Between Barbara, Representative Hill and Senator Tarr, we have become accustomed to legislators who are available and responsive, working with Town officials to address Boxford's issues.

In 2010 Jim Lyons was elected to replace Barbara L'Italien.  While Barbara always paid attention to our town, the same cannot be said of Mr. Lyons. Just this past summer, Senator Tarr requested a meeting with the Boxford Selectmen to discuss an issue relative to the salt study.  Senator Tarr, Representative Hill and Representative Lyons were in attendance.  Before the meeting started, I watched as Representative Lyons introduced himself to the members of the Board of Selectmen.  After a year and a half in office, he had never met our town officials nor attended a Selectmen's meeting.  Ironically, at this same meeting the Selectmen recognized Barbara for her important role working on this issue.

Due to redistricting, only residents of precinct 1 have the opportunity to vote for Barbara L'Italien.  I hope that they will vote for her, as she has demonstrated that she will be an effective, responsive Representative for all of Boxford. 

Barbara Jessel