Councilor Enio Lopez approaches his job as a City Council in a can-do fashion.
He doesn’t make promises, and he isn’t one to pat himself on the back, but over the last two terms, he has gotten the work done for District 4, and in his new term, he said he plans to do the same.
Lopez, who came directly to Chelsea from Guatemala many years ago and has worked at the Soldiers’ Home for the past 26 years, cruised to victory in the Nov. 5 City Election unopposed this time around, but the victory was just as sweet as the first time around.
“I’m very happy for what we have accomplished,” he said. “We have done a lot…I don’t say all the goals I have, but I just want to do the work. I like to do my job. I don’t want to promise this or that. I just do the work. I know the other city councillors want to do the same thing. We need more work from some councillors, and we need to make our city even better. We’ve gotten a lot done, but there is still more to do.”
Lopez represents District 4, which for years before he was elected was often neglected, much in the same way District 6 was – where Councilor Giovanni Recupero has worked hand-in-hand with Lopez on many occasions to improve things like sidewalks.
And taking a walk around any of the streets in District 4, one can see the major change that has come in the last several years.
“Little by little, we’re improving the district and I think it’s better,” he said.
That includes work last year on Shurtleff Street, as well as major work this year on Shawmut and Maverick Streets. Right now, he said, the City is currently working on Essex Street – with all of them being full repairs.
Next year, he said, they will be re-doing Marlborough Street from Broadway to Willow Street – including the street, sidewalks, and sewer pipes.
“It looks great,” he said. “That’s what we need. That’s the kind of thing that never happened before and now we’re doing it. I was rare in year’s past to see that kind of work in this district, but working with the City Manager, the City Council and the DPW, things are getting done.”
Lopez remains one of the most accessible councilors, and also one of the most active at City events. Residents rarely have trouble getting in touch with him, and he said that’s how he learns about the issues brought up at the Council.
One of those issues was large construction machinery taking up parking spaces in the district, having been left overnight as a means of storing them. Working with Recupero, Lopez was able to make sure that the DPW required contractors to remove their machinery at night.
That went hand-in-hand with another issue around parking, that being commercial vehicles parked in the neighborhood. That’s one he is still working on, but one that he said is very important to the residents.
“There are so many commercial vehicles that park in the city,” he said. “Companies bring their vans and trucks and take up space. When our people come home at night from work and try to park, the spaces are taken up by these commercial vehicles. We’re working on that.”
He said something that has been very important to him is making the entire city more appealing to the eye, and that is why he has been part of the Beautification Committee. Working with the CTE, the City and other groups, they were able to get the money to install all of the new ‘Welcome to Chelsea’ signs that are at every entry point to the City.
It is a great first impression.
“It’s really nice now when you come into Chelsea and see those signs with the Tobin Bridge picture and other sites in Chelsea,” he said. “It makes the City look beautiful.”
In addition, he also joined in with other councilors to lead the charge to eliminate plastic bags, a ban that begins next month. He was also able to work with the Council to secure the funding to get the new trash barrels, which were delivered to most every residence earlier this year.
But make no bones about it, Lopez emphasized he is about getting the work of the Council done.
“Like I said, my thing is to do the work,” he said. “I have goals I would like to see done, but I don’t want to make promises. When I see things that need to be done, my thing is to do the work.”
Lopez owns a home in District 4, and is married to Heidi Lopez-Romero. He has one son, Enio Jr., who is 30, and a daughter, Heidi Romero, who is 26.