Chris Bouchard, MHA President 2020 – 2021
Goodbye 2020 and hello 2021! I hope that everyone has managed to stay healthy over the winter and is looking forward to spring and summer as much as I am now that the nice weather has arrived. I have cabin fever worse than ever this year and look forward to life returning to normal, if such a thing still exists. Fingers crossed.
As spring arrives, so too does the ground hog and Chapter 90 letters which came early this year. The funds are greatly appreciated (even though the letters stated FY2020. I thought we were getting extra funding…sorry no extra.) Now is the time to let our elected officials know that a timely release is much needed so that we can get an early start to the construction season that has been hampered over the past 12 months due to COVID.
We also need to keep focused on promoting a multi-year bill with increased funding for Chapter 90 as this is what will make a difference in improving infrastructure long term. There is a need to promote that Chapter 90 funding is a twofold win-win situation – local infrastructure gets improved which makes mobility better. It supports and grows the LOCAL Commonwealth economy as this money is spent with contractors and suppliers right here in Massachusetts, employing residents who are taxpayers right here.
Public Works employees are now eligible for COVID vaccinations which will hopefully help ease anxiety and the unknowns that we have faced while continuing to do our work over the past year.
We are close to rolling out mutual aid for public works; stay tuned for announcements and check masshwy.org for updates. A few bills that are being tracked include HD 1794 (a retirement credit for COVID), HD 2719 and H 7 (both bills are about 30b procurement for snow removal).
We are starting to plan for in-person events now that the state has moved on to phase 4 of reopening; please keep an eye open for news on what our events might look like moving forward and when we expect them to start happening. We are planning for the annual meeting in May.
Over the past year I have realized how we can get wrapped up in the nonstop world of Public Works…one project to the next emergency or dilemma. We are so busy that we can lose focus of how important the people with whom we work are. I have started to make sure to spend a few minutes on every interaction with someone to find out how they are doing and learn more about them.
I want to thank you and everyone you work with. Thank you for keeping our Public Works world safe, mobile, and supplied. Although sometimes the work we do may seem routine to us, nothing we do is unimportant.
I look forward to meeting with you in person soon. Stay healthy and safe.
PUBLIC WORKS STRONG
Christopher J. Bouchard