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Markey listens to area mayors about needs

Aug. 30, 2013
<b>Sen. Edward Markey discussed the new senior center and development along the Chicopee River with Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette.</b><br>Reminder Publications photo by G. Michael Dobbs

Sen. Edward Markey discussed the new senior center and development along the Chicopee River with Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette.
Reminder Publications photo by G. Michael Dobbs

By G. Michael Dobbs


CHICOPEE – Sen. Edward Markey toured Pittsfield, Chicopee and Springfield on Aug. 27 to listen to the needs of local mayors and to see on-going municipal projects.

He also made statements to indicate a strong support of the United States making some of sort of military strike in Syria.

Locally, Markey met with Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. In Chicopee, Bissonnette said he briefed Markey on the redevelopment of the Uniroyal/Facemate properties, the city’s ongoing project to eliminate combined sewer overflows and the importance of maintaining Westover Air Reserve Base.

In Springfield, Markey received a tour of the Union Station redevelopment into a regional transportation center.

Before receiving a tour of the Uniroyal/Facemate parcel and seeing the progress of the new senior center, Markey said of his Western Massachusetts swing, “My goal is to talk to the mayors, learn what it is they want to get done in their cities and bring in federal resources that can make them make their cities better in the 21st century than they were in the 20th century.”

When asked what he is hearing, Markey replied, “Each mayor says the same thing; they need more help for transportation; they need more help with economic development and they would like more help with environmental issues within their community. In each one of those instances there is a role for the federal government to play in partnership with the state and the local municipality to accomplish those goals.”

Markey, a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said, “My view is [President Bashar al-]Assad and Syria has violated an international norm that says you can not use chemical weapons, biological weapons or nuclear weapons in the 21st century. So I think it is totally appropriate for the president in conjunction with our allies to make a strike into Syria that says to them ‘Stop using chemical weapons.’ And if they do not respond that we hit them again. We should not get into the middle of their civil war, but we should say to them ‘Do not use chemical weapons – that can never be established again as a standard for warfare on our planet.’”

He added with emphasis the world could never use chemical weapons again. “We can never allow a return to that day,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Markey’s office released a statement about the announced closing of the controversial Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant and the senator said that in light of the switch to using natural gas to generate electricity in New England, the closing of the plant was appropriate.

“Nuclear power is something you will be looking in our rear view mirror as it fades into history,” he added.

Now getting ready to go back to Washington D.C., Markey remarked on the difference between being in the House of Representatives and the Senate by saying, “I have moved from being in the minority in the House of Representatives to being in the majority in the United States Senate. Because I think in the Senate there is a much better chance if working together with Republicans to put together common sense solutions to big problems. The House of Representatives is controlled by the Tea Party and there is no guarantee that at the end of the day that anything can be accomplished because you have to pass bills through the House and Senate. I’m really looking forward to once again working with Republicans who want to work on a bipartisan basis to accomplish things.”

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