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Mayors north of Boston set their targets for 2013

Mayor Gary J. Christenson of Malden said crime prevention and private investment in the city are among his goals. He also mentioned problems with public works buildings.

Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

Mayor Gary J. Christenson of Malden said crime prevention and private investment in the city are among his goals. He also mentioned problems with public works buildings.

Mayor William F. Scanlon Jr. of Beverly says a key priority in 2013 is to advance the state project to reconstruct the Brimball Avenue interchange on Route 128.

“We think it’s a very important regional project that has the potential to create up to 7,500 jobs over a 10-year period,” he said of the upgrade, which took a major step forward in November when the state allotted $500,000  to complete design of the first phase.

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With the arrival of 2013, Scanlon and other area mayors are looking ahead to what they hope to accomplish in the coming year. In an informal survey, they highlighted goals ranging from carrying out infrastructure projects to boosting job growth.

Scanlon said that another focus for Beverly in 2013 is to see a feasibility study begin for the potential construction of a new middle school.

High on the agenda of Mayor James J. Fiorentini of Haverhill is rezoning the city’s waterfront, a move he said is intended to “allow people to build but to encourage them to allow public access to the [Merrimack] river.”

Fiorentini in 2013 also wants a feasibility study done on the proposed construction of a new Hunking Middle School, and for the city to proceed with planned improvements to Merrimack Street in the downtown.

Mayor Michael J. McGlynn said Medford is proceeding with construction of a new public works facility. He also wants to see completion of a planned upgrade of the high school science labs, a project that is up for a funding vote by the Massachusetts School Building Authority  this month.

“It’s a great thing for the kids in the community. It’s a great opportunity for education,” McGlynn said.

Revere Mayor Daniel Rizzo’s to-do list for 2013 includes “continuing with our revitalization efforts on Broadway.” He said he will also work to get a host agreement signed between the city and Suffolk Downs “so we can proceed with a referendum vote and hopefully sometime in 2013 get a license for [a casino] at Suffolk Downs.”

Mayor Thatcher W. Kezer III of Amesbury said revitalizing the Lower Millyard — which is slated to get funding for cleanup through the state’s Brownfields Support Team Initiative — will be a priority, noting that the city is relocating the public works yard, while also working to promote economic development in the area.

Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll said she is focused on improving Salem’s schools.

Barry Chin/Globe staff

Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll said she is focused on improving Salem’s schools.

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone of Somerville said he will continue to promote investment in the city’s transportation, including the MBTA Green Line Extension through the city. The state recently broke ground on the first phase, but Curtatone said the city will continue to advocate for the project until it is complete. He said he will also continue the city’s “intensive focus on education enhancement.”

Mayor Kimberley L. Driscoll of Salem said “continuing to make investments in our schools” will also be a top concern.

Another will be reviewing plans for the redevelopment of the Salem Harbor Station power plant site and ensuring public waterfront access is included. Driscoll also wants to advance the reuse of two court buildings that closed when the new state courthouse opened in 2011.

Mayor Gary J. Christenson of Malden said by e-mail that “like most urban mayors, crime prevention is always a top priority. However, after that, one of my top goals will be ensuring that private investment in Malden totaling nearly a quarter of a billion dollars comes to fruition.”

“I am also optimistic in 2013 that we will address our longstanding problem on what to do with City Hall and Public Works [buildings],” Christenson wrote. He also wants to create more amenities for residents, including the baseball park developers plan for a former National Grid site on Commercial Street.

In a statement, Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. of Everett highlighted his city’s $10 million plan to upgrade streets, buildings, and other city infrastructure as a key focus. “We are also improving the quality of city services through new water meters and a new waste management program,” he wrote.

DeMaria also has led an effort by Las Vegas developer Steve Wynn to build a casino complex on the site of the former Monsanto plant in the city should he receive the license for Greater Boston from the state gaming commission.

Mayor William Lantigua of Lawrence plans “to continue to focus on strong fiscal policy,” Patrick J. Blanchette, the city’s chief economic development director, said by e-mail.

He said the city this year also will begin the third phase of a road improvement project, with 20 streets set for construction work.

In addition, Lantigua will focus on the city’s high unemployment rates, initiating a campaign to bring new companies to Lawrence.

Newburyport Mayor Donna D. Holaday’s priority list includes helping oversee the renovation of the Nock Middle School/Molin Upper Elementary School and construction of a new Bresnahan Elementary School, both set to break ground in March.

“Those are very important, high-profile projects, so it’s very exciting to move those forward,” she said.

Holaday also will keep a close watch on other major projects, including the planned construction of a new roundabout at Spofford and Merrimack streets, and the replacement of the Whittier Bridge.

Mayor Ted Bettencourt of Peabody said by e-mail that economic development would remain a priority, citing the anticipated completion of the street realignment and streetscape improvement project on Main Street, and the planned efforts of the city’s Economic Development Group to “reinvigorate Centennial Park and reintroduce it to a broad spectrum of the business community.”

He said the city this year will also begin updating its master plan and will work with the state to design the planned new Higgins Middle School.

Mayor Robert J. Dolan of Melrose said a top issue will be the ongoing renovation of the high school science labs. Another will be a cost-saving project to make city buildings more energy efficient.

“It’s an investment in green upgrades throughout the whole city,” he said.

Mayor Carolyn A. Kirk of Gloucester will look to ensure the city begins realizing savings from two new wind turbines that will be selling power to the city. Also claiming her attention will be the ongoing construction of the new Newell Stadium at the high school, and the expected construction of a new hotel in the downtown.

Mayor Scott D. Galvin of Woburn said he will continue working “to keep the city affordable, to continue to provide good, quality services.”

His 2013 agenda includes advancing a building project for the Wyman Elementary School — the city hopes to combine the Wyman and Hurld Elementary School into a new or refurbished building — and the construction of a multipurpose athletic field on land Woburn bought from Northeastern University in 2010.

Mayor Patrick O. Murphy of Lowell said the completion of a new master plan for the city will be a focus of his attention.

“It’s really an exciting document,” he said, noting that the plan puts “everything through the light of sustainability.”

Murphy said he also looks forward to promoting the idea of schools as community centers that in addition to their regular functions, offer a variety of after-school programs for students, parents, and others.

Mayor Stephen N. Zanni of Methuen said keeping the renovation and expansion of the city’s high school “on task and on time” is a top priority this year. Another is trying to bring about his proposal to privatize the city’s information technology department.

John Laidler can be reached at laidler@globe.com.
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