Mayoral Candidate Melissa Mazzeo Speaks to Accountability With City's Infrastructure
Pittsfield, MA - In a statement released today, Mayoral candidate Melissa Mazzeo is calling for stronger oversight of the City’s infrastructure plans.
“Strong infrastructure is at the heart of keeping and bringing people and businesses into Pittsfield. Our residents deserve clean, well kept streets,” said Mazzeo. “Trash picked up on time without paying for capital improvements on private company garbage trucks. And, most importantly, they deserve a deeper look into the wastewater treatment plant upgrade before the water/sewer bills rise even more.”
The issue of the wastewater treatment plant overhaul is one that Mazzeo feels strongly about as one of the three dissenting City Council members during the January, 2019 vote. She stated: “It took years and years of debate to approve $45 million in funding to build the new Taconic High School yet it took us only weeks to approve $74 million for the wastewater upgrade. Taxpayers will feel the effects of this project that deserved more investigation and more debate. How can this be and how can so little accountability be acceptable?”
While upgrades must be made, Mazzeo is advocating that city leaders take a more upfront, active role in ensuring that the project is done up to EPA standards with the lowest cost possible. As Mayor, Mazzeo says she plans to bring the EPA to Pittsfield and walk through the wastewater treatment plant with the Public Service Commissioner, City Councilors and herself so everyone can get a better understanding of what is required.
In addition to the wastewater treatment plant, Mazzeo is calling for stronger accountability and coordination when it comes to keeping the streets clean and safe. “There must be direct oversight between contracting with private companies for plowing, creating street cleaning schedules, and planning pothole and paving repairs,” said Mazzeo. She is proposing to work with city leaders to examine how each of these services are provided and then create a more organized plan that can be understood by residents and councilors.
“This year alone, we went over budget by $2.1 million in salt and snow removal which represents an exponential increase from just four years ago,” said Mazzeo. Accountability and organization are two items Mazzeo holds as high priorities for a new administration. “As your Mayor, I will be directly accountable to you. I know that budgets and line items aren’t the most exciting topics, but every year when I meticulously review the budget, I see endless ways in which we could be using our residents’ tax dollars in smarter and better ways.”
Paid for by the Committee to Elect Melissa Mazzeo