Highlights from our Reader Q&A with Mayor Christenson

Readers asked the new mayor questions on a range of topics, from crime to development to public services.

For a full transcript of the chat, check out .

Our next reader Q&A with Mayor Christenson will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, February 24. If there's someone in town you'd like to see as the focus of a Malden Patch live chat, email your idea to editor Chris Caesar at Chris.Caesar@patch.com 


On crime:

Edward”: Since December 26th, I have read about and heard on the scanner nearly one dozen armed robberies, mostly on innocent people on the street. What are your plans for adding more police to the street and was would be an approximate timetable for doing so?

Mayor Gary Christenson: The plan for adding more police will be in the upcoming budget process. In the meantime, I have been meeting with the police chief to be updated on what is going on around the city and what we can do interim. Finally, I am having the


On the proposed ballpark:

Naomi Brave: I hear citizens saying this is pretty much a done deal, without a chance for other vendors to come up with proposals. Will we get a chance to see the other options?

GC: In regards to the ball park question, there were no other developers that came forward with proposals for that site. We hare having public meetings on the Ball Park because that is the only option as of right now. The condition of the parcel was very limiting in what could be proposed for that site.


On quality of life:

Mike”: Was driving on Salem Street from Maplewood to Malden Square. Couldn't believe how much trash there was on properties, bus stops, sidewalks and gutters. Looks like a 3rd world country.

GC: We are working on this issue. One of the things we're looking to do is to add barrels along the major corridors and increase street sweeping. Another issue is the recycling bins, we are looking to make them bigger and covered.

Jari Ward 4”: Malden's roads are in serious need of repair -- Main St going towards Melrose is a minefield of pot holes. I am concerned how the impact of increased traffic with the proposed stadium will make our roads even worse. How will you deal with the increased traffic's wear and tear on our roads -- will the developer be paying for the upkeep of our roads that are impacted by the increased traffic?

GC: On the roads, we are looking to take advantage of some grant opportunities to increase the number of roads we are reconstructing on an annual basis. It is premature to negotiate right now on roads with the ball park developer as they haven't yet worked out a lease with National Grid. The location was also chosen because of the ease of access from our T-Station.

Ken”: In the , it looked like the response was fairly good 'B' to 'C' - any formal review or comments on that? The complaints on the Patch were few, but I witnessed quite a different story live and in person.

GC: When we go into a plowing operation we have approximately 65- 75 trucks on the road working all the streets. In a storm of this size, 3 inches, we do not put out that many vehicles. During the storm where we received only 3 inches, we had 29 trucks on the road. This was a sanding operation which means that we try to kill the snow with salt instead of calling in a lot of contractors to plow saving the City money.

Stuart”: Is there a possibility that the City can have Citywide Wi-Fi?

GC: We currently have free wi-fi down through the middle of downtown. We are steadily increasing on city properties first. As an example, in response to a request by our local reporters, the City Council Chambers were connected wirelessly


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