The 2019 State of the City Address was hosted by Mayor Gary Christenson and took place at Anthony’s of Malden on February 26. It was sponsored by the Malden Chamber of Commerce, an organization that promotes commerce in Malden. The event covered the developments in the city in 2018 as well what is coming in 2019 and beyond.
Always the showman, Mayor Christenson began the address with a grand entrance to the song “We Will Rock You” by Queen. He introduced the new topics with a comical presentation of a GPS directing him around the city to different locations.
The first topic discussed was the renovated World War I monuments that are built near Devir Park. The WWI monument restoration committee led the project to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. The monuments were built in time for the Veterans Day Parade. Mayor Christenson gave recognition to the veterans who traveled from Ireland to march in the parade and commemorated the service of all servicemen and women.
Next up was the Malden Police Department. The Mayor discussed the fall in crime statistics and the new security measures Malden Public Schools. He also touched upon the new Citizen’s Police Academy which will continue to expand. The Mayor then went on to recognize “the courageous efforts” of officer Noelle Bowie-Pierce and Katelyn Murphy who entered a burning home and helped rescued residents that were still inside.
The Malden Fire Department held a safety day event for children and adults to learn from in an interactive way. The Mayor then went on to commemorate the promotion of several officers and congratulate them for the efforts that they have made to keep the city safe. Along with the accomplishments of the department, the city is looking to provide the department with better resources including a new fire engine.
The presentation then covered the progress of the Malden Public Schools. Students from Malden High, Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, and Malden Catholic High School attended the address and were recognized for their achievements and contributions to the community. He mentioned the names of students who have earned scholarships and achieved athletic success. Malden High now has a new identification system for visitors that come to the building. The public schools have a free “grab and go breakfast” and chromebooks have been integrated for sixth graders to access.
The presentation continued on about the Malden Teen Enrichment Center (MTEC) run by Cathy MacMullin. The Teen Center provides many students the opportunity to work and help a variety of causes, while building interactive and social skills between peers. The Malden Public Library welcomed a new collection of paintings by “world-renowned artist” Frank Stella. Stella made an appearance, back to his hometown, to showcase his new pieces. His new mural will be installed against the wall of the Valley Forum Precinct. The library was awarded a LSTA Grant for $15,000 over two years. The funding will be used for the preparation of the 200th birthday celebration of Malden’s very first mayor, Elisha Slade Converse. The library will strive to honor the industrial past of Malden, the Converse family, and the Boston Rubber Shoe Company.
Mayor Christenson then thanked citizens for the contributions they have put into making Malden a better community. He mentioned the first celebration of Juneteenth at Malden, with the help of three different Malden organizations and contributions from Malden High students.
Malden also welcomed its first-ever warming center for the homeless at the First Church of the Nazarene. The project began in the Fall of 2018 after researching the process, visiting similar centers, and gathering information. Pastor Gary volunteered on the first night and was recognized by the city during the address.
The presentation then traveled down towards the Northern Strand Community Trail. A gallery was opened, as an extension to the Malden Pop up shop. During the Fall, Malden Catholic School for Girls collaborated with Malden Arts to showcase a collection of watercolor paintings of women. Malden Arts is continuing to expand its artworks throughout the trail. The city plans to make improvements to the Fitzgerald Park and many more parks across Malden. Several parks have already been upgraded and are now ADA accessible.
The Malden Recreation center has always been a source for great programs. The Recreation Center collaborated with Athletic Director, Charlie Conefrey, to include new middle school programs with the help of Malden High student-athletes. The new sport teams will help young students develop athletic skills for high school and build encouragement to try new activities.
The Senior Center has made many improvements for the elderly to have a better experience. The Senior Center collaborated with many programs to initiate better health resources for its elderly citizens. With the recent grants, the center has included new fitness machinery, activity classes, security cameras, and the Annual Gala Dinner Dance. Students have continued to volunteer and help the seniors learn new skills and care for them.
The streets of Malden have been a concern to some residents. The paving of new roads have already begun with three miles of sidewalk that have already been replaced. The City Council will be discussing a five year plan to address the water infrastructure and roads of Malden. Exchange Street will be completely refurbished with a $1.8 million grant from the state. The new accommodations will include ADA ramps, crosswalks, sidewalks, new bicycle lanes for better safety, and street furnishings. The construction of the project will be advertised in the Fall of 2019.
Mayor Christenson announced the changes to the winter parking regulations. With the tremendous positive feedback, the parking department has created safe parking for its residents. Malden is now part of an energy and infrastructure renewal project with Honeywell. The project has already begun with the addition of new LED lights in the public schools and will continue in the parks of Malden. This past year has also welcomed the grand openings of many new businesses. With the help of the Malden Chamber of Commerce, the local businesses grow are given the opportunity to succeed.
You can watch the full address below: