When career politicians are not challenged in elections, they are no longer accountable to the voters. For example, after our mayor ran unopposed in his re-election, taxes and fines went through the roof, with very little public attention. Over the past term, residents were charged an additional $9 Million more for water/sewer than their actual consumption. While it is true that our infrastructure is in terrible condition, residents deserve to be told what they are paying for. Instead, our mayor told the City Council he planned to charge an extra 5%, but then proceeded to charge residents 30-40% more than what they used.
Meanwhile, we still have hundreds of nonworking fire hydrants and the worst inventory of toxic lead pipes in the state, with no official plan to help residents. Environmental Protection has ordered Malden to replace these pipes, but we are way behind schedule, and with no plan to help resident replace their private side of the water line, Malden does not qualify for a 0% interest loan from the MWRA. This is why our mayor overbilled our residents, in effect, causing them to give the city a 0% interest loan that they had no knowledge of. As Mayor, Matheson will change this practice, help our residents replace lead with no money out of pocket, and finally comply with Environmental Protection orders.
Over the past eight years, Maldonians have experienced the highest fines in history, with some fines up nearly 100%. For example, in 2017 street sweeping fines were doubled and aggressively enforced without signage giving notice of the rules. As a result, well-intentioned residents were fined nearly $1 Million over the past 2 years; a practice that is truly unfair and deceptive.