EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

October 7, 2012

Your view: Letters to the editor

Re-open Berry Pond to swimmers

To the editor:

I would like to call attention to an article written by Bill Kirk concerning the Harold Parker State Forest, which appeared in The Eagle-Tribune on Aug. 26. The only thing missing is the once popular swimming spot — Berry Pond — that has been closed for the last three summers.

Gov. Deval Patrick three years ago said there were not enough funds in the budget to keep some of the swimming areas open. Berry Pond was on the list to cut. I called the governor’s office in October, 2011, and asked that the state add funds to the budget to open Berry Pond for summer of 2012. Also I made several calls to Senate President Therese Murray, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and all the senators on the Ways and Means Committee.

Next I started to call all the representatives on the Ways and Means Committee, and when I called the second representative on the list, the aide said I was not following protocol. I was going about it the wrong way. He said I should call my senator, who was Sen. Steven Baddour at the time, and state Rep. Jim Lyons. The only one who called me back was Lyons. Rep. Lyons made a call to the DCR Commissioner Edward Lambert and arranged a meeting April 18, 2012, at Stevens Memorial Library to discuss Berry Pond. Senator Bruce Tarr’s Chief of Staff A.J. Paglia came and also Rep. David Torrisi was present. Berry Pond never opened last summer.

What angers me seems to be a lot of waste and mismanagement in the budget. For instance take the Probation Office. Legislators rubber-stamped bloated budgets for probation officials, which was in the 307 pages of independent consul Paul Ware’s report. Where were the checks and balances as to where all the money went? Legislators did not do diligence in their job with taxpayers’ money. As a result criminal charges were brought against top officials at the probation office. This investigation is still ongoing and costing the taxpayers even more money.

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