Just one month after her re-election victory for a second term as Lynn Mayor, Judith Flanagan Kennedy is relaxed and confident in the leadership she has provided to the city through her first term.
“The first thing to ask yourself, is what kind of conclusions can we draw from the outcome of the election,” said Kennedy during a private interview at City Hall last week. “Judging from the results, I’d say that the people of Lynn are pretty happy with their elected representatives right now, and I mean that across the board. It’s not just me, all of the school committee members were re-elected, and we only had one new person elected to the Council. . .I think that kind of continuity bodes well for the city of Lynn.”
During her first term, Mayor Kennedy focused her efforts primarily on building on and strengthening Lynn, from within the city.
“I think voters see me as somebody who truly believes in the potential of this city and as somebody who is willing to do different things to boost our self-perception, as well as the perception of Lynn from outside. It’s very important that we believe in ourselves.”
From her first term efforts to build up the Lynn Auditorium as a regional performance center to leading efforts to build up downtown Lynn, Mayor Kennedy has remained focused on helping the city find ways to get the most out of its existing resources.
For her second term, the Mayor says she plans to continue building from within, while also reaching out to the city’s neighbors to begin and take advantage of regional efforts.
Union Hospital and automated trash pick-up
Mayor Kennedy is clear that her first priority is to “make sure that Lynn preserves its full service hospital.”
“I expect that Union Hospital will take up a lot of my time over the next few years,” said Kennedy. “We’re a major city with a large population and we need to ensure that our hospital is serving the needs of the city.”
However, as important as negotiations with the hospital are, Kennedy is just as excited about new projects and programs that are designed to improve the city, such as the automated trash pick-up that will begin in the spring.
“The automation of our trash pick-up will be an important new initiative, because it will make a difference in the city,” explained the Mayor. “Every resident is going to get new trash and recycling bins and the new program will make a difference both in the look of the streetscape on trash day and in the efficiency of the trash collection.”
Another noted benefit of the automated trash collection will be increased recycling efforts.
“The new system encourages recycling, because every household gets a 54-gallon trash bin and a 96-gallong recycling bin, people will have to think about what they want to throw away in the trash,” said Kennedy.
Additionally, since the city converted to single-stream recycling collection, residents no longer have to worry about separating the types of recyclables, all recyclables can go into the same container.
New schools plan
Another major project that Mayor Kennedy is excited to see continue in her second term is the effort to build new schools.
“I’m looking forward to bringing the new Thurgood Marshall school to fruition and then placing the Pickering School in the pipeline with the school building authority,” said Kennedy. “the Pickering School is really in as bad of shape as the Marhsall, but the state was clear that we had to address the Marshall School first, so now that we are doing that, we’ll make it a priority to start the process to replace the Pickering as well.”
Mayor Kennedy did not get into specifics about what the plan for a new Pickering will involve, only that it is her goal to see that both schools are replaced with new, state-of-the-art buildings.