|WEST BARNSTABLE – Steve Xiarhos, candidate for State Representative in the Fifth Barnstable District, recently spoke with supporters about some of his 2021 legislative priorities if he is elected.
“By far, the most important issue facing our state is to remain vigilant and continue our response to the Coronavirus pandemic,” said Xiarhos. “My top priority will be to ensure the public health and economic security of Cape Cod residents, while also balancing the state budget without new taxes and pushing to get schools and businesses back to a sense of normalcy as soon as possible.”
“At the same time, we must not lose sight of other important issues facing our state,” Xiarhos said.
According to Xiarhos, if elected, he would request to serve on the Joint Committees on Public Safety and Homeland Security, Education, and Transportation. “These committees best reflect my professional experience as a police officer and school resource officer, as well as my sense of the most pressing needs for the 5th Barnstable District,” said Xiarhos.
Xiarhos says he plans to emphasize public safety and criminal justice reform as part of his legislative priorities. “I want to use my professional experience to help constantly reexamine our laws to make sure we’re in the best position possible to put violent criminals and drug dealers behind bars and keep them there,” Xiarhos said. He also wants to continue the fight against opioid abuse, which continues to be a problem statewide, and pledged to work with Rep. Will Crocker to push for passage of Nero’s Bill. Xiarhos also reaffirmed his opposition to sanctuary cities / sanctuary states. And, he pledged to use his experience to push for passage of an appropriate police reform bill. “The drafts passed by the House and Senate earlier this year simply went too far,” Xiarhos said. “I support passage of reforms, including increased training for officers, but we need to make sure that whatever we do does not undercut public safety in the Commonwealth.”
As a former school resource officer, Xiarhos also pledged to focus on education issues. “Local Aid obviously plays a vital role in our ability to deliver a quality education to our children, and I will push for robust funding of municipal and Chapter 70 aid going forward,” said Xiarhos. Xiarhos also says he wants to make issues of school safety a priority, and that he wants to investigate ways to expand charter schools in Massachusetts.
Xiarhos says he plans to take an active role in planning for the replacement of the Cape Cod Canal bridges. “Rep. Hunt and others have provided a solid agreement for the replacement of this important infrastructure, and I look forward to seeing this project brought to fruition. I also want to look for ways to increase intermodal transportation opportunities across our district, particularly the expansion of railways and bike paths.”
Environmental protection issues also remain an important priority for Xiarhos. “Many Cape Cod cities and towns are facing issues with wastewater management. We need to find ways to address these issues successfully,” he said. “We also need to work on issues of coastal erosion to protect our seashore. Cape Cod is a beautiful place to live and work, and we need to do everything we can to preserve it for future generations.”