CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Chicopee Mayor John Vieau announced Wednesday he will be running for a second term as mayor.
Mayor Vieau said in a statement sent to 22News that it has been an honor to be mayor of Chicopee and his dedication to his role has only increased. The full statement is below:
“When I made the decision to run for Mayor of Chicopee in 2019, little did I know that I would be leveraging all of my skill sets to steer Chicopee through one of the most challenging times in its history. It was impossible to imagine just how much our world, our community, and our individual lives would change in just a few short months.
We’ve experienced numerous life changes in the past fifteen months. Families have lost loved ones to COVID-19. We’ve missed celebratory moments such as graduations, weddings, and other ceremonies as well as holidays and vacations together in addition to smaller moments like sharing meals with extended family members and friends. We did learn, however, to adapt with video apps, car parades, modified graduation exercises, and distanced learning. We learned something through this pandemic. Chicopee is resilient. We took care of each other while also making great strides towards improving our future.
I’d like to say how proud I am of the citizens of this community for how they came together to not only take care of their families through this crisis but how they also extended their care to their neighbors, especially checking in and helping out our seniors. We are so grateful to our educators, our police and fire departments, and our essential personnel for all that you have done to keep our community running during this time. You have our heartfelt appreciation.
On Inauguration Day, January 2020, I vowed to work with our administration and invest in our future to make Chicopee a great place to live, work and raise a family now and for many years to come. The pandemic added other pressing concerns such as keeping community members safe and helping our businesses adapt to this changing and challenging climate.
Through teamwork with the City Council and our various city departments, we worked extremely hard to keep Chicopee safe and strong while also focusing on the goals that we had set forward in January 2020. Together we worked through the challenges providing over sixty grants to keep businesses open. We helped over thirty families stay in their homes through rental assistance and provided free COVID testing to Chicopee residents. We opened two municipal-backed vaccination sites along with pharmacies and other vaccination sites in Chicopee. We kept people healthy with meal programs for students, families, and seniors.
We did all of these things while maintaining safety service staffing levels. We did not miss a trash or recycling pick-up. Our essential personnel maintained our city and kept the lights on even through high windstorms. We provided safe learning environments for our students, faculty, and staff. We addressed ventilation systems and helped return students to their classrooms. We repaired Szot Park playing fields and opened a new water park at Lincoln Grove. We are also currently working on updates to Szot and Rivers parks. We maintained public safety with receipt of a new fire engine, new police equipment as well as invested in the recruitment and training of new police officers and firefighters.
Economic development continued also with the revitalization of the Chicopee Center. Working with the Chicopee Planning Department, Mass Development, and the Chamber of Commerce, we brainstormed new ideas to invigorate the area with branding, new business opportunities, a bike loop, and a pop-up park.
As I look back on the past year and a half, I think about what we were able to accomplish during this challenging period. With last week’s CDC announcement and COVID-19 restrictions lifting, I am excited to think about what we can accomplish moving forward and I know that should we be faced with another unprecedented event, that our city is prepared.
It has been my honor to partner with our Chicopee’s citizens, our City Council, business owners, and city department teams during my term as the Mayor of Chicopee. I am so grateful for all of you and for this past term. With this in mind, my dedication to my role has only increased and I am pleased to announce that I will be seeking re-election as your Mayor. I look forward to continuing to make Chicopee a great place to live, work and raise a family.-Chicopee Mayor John Vieau