During his special election campaign earlier this year, then candidate Sal DiDomenico ran on a platform of having the experience as a Chief of Staff in the Senate to “hit the ground running” as a freshman Senator. That experience paid off during his first several weeks in office, as not only has Senator DiDomenico been deep into the debate on important statewide matters including the State budget and expanded gaming in Massachusetts, he scored a major victory for Chelsea by shepherding an educational assistance bill written specifically for Chelsea through the State Senate.
“I’m here to deliver for my constituents and that is what I plan on doing,” informed DiDomenico. “Chelsea has budget issues, and this educational assistance bill will help relieve those issues, by allowing the City to maintain public safety employments levels and keep more teachers in the classroom.
“It’s satisfying to know that I was able to address Chelsea’s first need right away.”
The need to which DiDomenico referred was the extension of a deadline for the City to qualify for Federal money being passed through the State to assist the local contribution towards schools. The $380,000 in Federal funding received allows the City to reduce the local deficit by another $380,000. According to City Manager Jay Ash, Senator DiDomenico’s work will save several jobs in the Police and Fire Departments.
“He (DiDomenico) jumped right up and asked what he could do. We gave him this challenge and in two weeks he got through what had been lingering for 8 months. The timing couldn’t be better, because we were looking at closing that gap through cuts in service, including public safety layoffs. With the funding secured, though, we can continue to provide the service levels we are now,” explained Ash.
Ash said that the City had missed a filing deadline for the money through a clerical error. DiDomenico’s effort, which was also championed in the House by Representative Kathi-Ann Reinstein, created a new deadline for Chelsea’s application to be filed timely.
“Rep. Reinstein got the ball rolling in the House, but the bill was stuck in the Senate. It needed to be adopted by June 30th and little action had taken place in the Senate. Sen. DiDomenico’s quick action to dislodge and get it passed through the Senate, combined with Rep. Reinstein’s efforts in the House, allowed us to get in just under the new deadline,” stated Ash.
“Partnership is what my job in the Senate is all about,” commented DiDomenico. “Yes, we have major public policy matters to debate and adopt, but there are times when our local community or organizations need special legislation adopted to aid them in their good work. I’ve been working with these partners for some time now and have a good handle on their needs. I expect to be a contributing partner on my end by securing the resources needed to help my partners do more in Chelsea and throughout my district.”
If his first effort is any indication, DiDomenico may, in fact, be a partner who is anything but silent.