Guest Op-ed Basic City Services From Mayor Martin J. Walsh

March 28, 2014
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As Mayor of Boston, I am fortunate to have the ability, and responsibility, to make a difference in the lives of our residents on a daily basis. One of the most important ways we do this is through basic city services – efforts that often times go unnoticed. The men and women who pick up our trash, sweep our streets, fill our potholes and plow our roadways are some of the hardest working people in our city and have a huge impact on our daily lives.

Under a Walsh Administration, I am committed to maintaining the highest level of basic city services. We owe this, most importantly, to our residents, but also to those that work in and visit Boston. Before taking office in January, I met with interim Public Works Commissioner Dennehy to make sure he has the same passion as I do for making sure your streets are clean, smooth, plowed and salted. I am very confident he is up for the task.

I’m sure you’re as hopeful as I am that we are approaching the end of what has been a severe winter in Boston. With significant snowfall, and freezing and thawing cycles, comes the need to plow and salt our streets, fill potholes and remove the trash that gets hidden in snow banks.

I am proud to say that since January 6, our DPW crews have filled nearly 8,000 potholes across our city – a number unmatched in recent years. I’m grateful to our crews on the ground doing the hard work, and also to you, the residents, for your help in reporting problem areas, through the Mayor’s Hotline, our Citizens Connect smart phone app, and our constituent services Twitter account, @NotifyBoston.

Representatives are always available at the Mayor’s Hotline. Whether you’ve spotted a pothole to be filled, a streetlight to be replaced, or trash that needs to be collected, please call 617-635-4500. Suggestions are always welcome.

At any opportunity, we are sending out street sweepers to clean our roadways. Don’t forget, regular street sweeping will resume April 1 – be sure to check sign postings in your neighborhood for details. During a break in temperatures a few weekends ago, we opened all of our DPW district yards. Crews went out by hand and with our sweeping machines. On that weekend alone, we collected and removed 100 tons of trash from our streets. We have and will be repeating this effort as often as possible.

We are also looking forward to a very active spring. Twenty seasonal hokeys will be hitting the streets on April 1 and this week, 20 code enforcement officers will be transferred to DPW to help with residential trash collection management. We have also begun planning our roadway resurfacing and reconstruction effort for the upcoming season.

A renewed effort around our citywide clean-up campaign, combined with a real emphasis in Public Works on keeping our streets clean, I’m feeling very optimistic about what warmer weather will bring to Boston this year.

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