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Former Mayor Advises City Council

Mayor Tom McLaughlin submits letter to the editor.

Mayor Scott Galvin and Members of the Woburn City Council

Woburn City Hall

10 Common Street

Woburn, MA 01801


Dear Mayor Galvin and Members of the Woburn City Council:

Re:  Appropriation for Residential Water Meters

The reason I signed the Administrative Consent Order (ACO) with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) back in 2008 resulted from sound legal advice I received from our city’s attorneys. This advice convinced me that the city had no other option than to cooperate and resolve outstanding issues we had with the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection). The DEP was established by the state legislature and has statutory authority to enforce regulations throughout the Commonwealth pertaining to water use and a number of other water and sewer related matters. This was the third time that I am aware of where ACO’s were executed by the City (via its mayor) and the DEP. It is also fair to say that a number of other communities in the Commonwealth have entered into ACO’s with the DEP to avoid unnecessary enforcement actions.


The DEP maintains records that show that Woburn’s water usage far exceeds the usage of comparable communities that already have residential water meters. This is hard information to refute and would become very compelling in any legal action. It certainly does not seem in our best interest to wage a potentially costly legal challenge…..a challenge that was explained to me as one that would be destined to fail. The more likely outcome of any legal challenge would be that a court will eventually order the city into compliance and the city will run the risk of having to pay substantial DEP fines on top of significant legal fees.


If any legal questions remain, I would urge the mayor and the council to obtain a second legal opinion before making any final decisions. This entire issue has to be considered from:  (a) its legal perspective and (b) in light of the authority delegated to the DEP by the state legislature. Seeking competent legal advice at this point may seem to be a reasonable approach as you consider the implications of this appropriation along with any other matters as they pertain to the ACO.


I trust that at the end of the day that you will take the responsible course of action.



Thomas L. McLaughlin

Former Mayor


Editor's note: Letters to the Editor are printed upon receipt; content is unedited and is the letter writer's opinion.

Tiger Woods May 12, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Sandra, don't go protecting family. Keeping it Real is right all of a sudden SOMEBODY who used to work for the D.P.W. Wants people to think he is all on the up and up. Your actions always find a way of catching up to you. I have been waiting for years for someone to "call him out". NO HE IS NOT TALKING ABOUT FRED RUSSELL! Why doesn't THIS mayor néed an assistant?
Kimmy May 12, 2012 at 04:12 AM
You gutless coward " Tiger Woods". Use your name or shut up. Kim Logan...613 Main St
charles May 12, 2012 at 09:52 AM
Go for it Kimmy. Sounds like the Tiger getting off the subject.
Shannon Sevier May 21, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Tiger this Mayor does have an assistant! Marie works two jobs now or dont you keep up? And she gets compensated for both. These water meters go all the way back to Mayor Rabbit and things got lost in the shuffle. It was an epic failure on alot of levels and not one person or group can say they are totally blameless. We did have a window of time when certain people were in office BUT it was ignored and the last two mayors have tried to "fix" the issue. Forcing the City Council against the wall is not the way to handle it and if your calling out Alderman Gately more got done under his DPW run through this city than under anyone else and he was just a highway foreman and as an Alderman his ward is getting cleaned up and he is respected down there So Tiger and Keeping it real keep your threats and calling out to yourself no one wants to hear it!
Earnhardt May 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Dick Gately has nothng to hide. He the only one with a spine on there. He si not in the mayor's back pocket. He even takes care of Ward 6 on most issues, Because our Alderman has no clue. So Don't even try to taint him. Tiger and Keeping it, are bomb tossers thats all


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