As State Representative, I actively participate in dialogue regarding a number of issues that don’t necessarily involve legislation. Many of these have a local or regional component to them. Here are two examples of issues I’m watching closely this year:
I believe strongly in the need to protect Cape Cod’s environment, including especially our fragile water supply.
To that end, I have been working with local officials in several communities as they attempt to address wastewater issues. For example, I have supported efforts to create a regional wastewater treatment plant at Joint Base Cape Cod.
I also have participated in the debate over changes proposed by MassDEP to regulations covering private septic systems (Title 5). These regulations are intended to help prevent high levels of harmful chemicals in estuaries and drinking water supplies, but they could impose enormous cost and burden on homeowners, businesses, and taxpayers. I have asked for these regulations to be put on-hold and reconsidered, because I want to make sure that any solutions to our wastewater problems don’t just protect the environment, but also that they are enacted in a manner that makes them affordable and sustainable for the people who call Cape Cod home.
Cape Cod Canal Bridges
Cape Cod’s Canal bridges are vital pieces of infrastructure. But, they are also old. In order to ensure transportation that is safe and effective, these bridges need to be replaced.
For several years there has been a plan in-the-works between state and federal officials to rebuild these bridges. My office has taken an active role in the conversation about designs and planning. I’ve also participated in the dialogue about how to pay for this project — an issue that appeared to be resolved up until recently, when it was learned that federal grants to fund the bridges failed to receive initial approval.
I am committed to working toward solutions that see these bridges replaced with new structures that will adequately support transportation needs now and in the future. I also want these projects to be undertaken with the least amount of impact on surrounding areas, and with the most financial protection for Massachusetts taxpayers and motorists. In particular, I do not support new taxes or tolls to pay for these bridges to be rebuilt.