STATE REP RACE Q&A: Mike McCoy Discusses What He’ll Do To Support Police, Fire & Veterans If Elected

WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the seven candidates running in contested primaries for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).

Below, in his own words, are the responses to this week’s questions from candidate Mike McCoy (D-Wilmington).

#15a) What you will do at the State House to ensure that our local police and fire departments have what they need to adequately protect us?

The brave and dedicated men and women in our police and fire departments put their lives on the line every day. They are our first line of defense for the populations of Tewksbury and Wilmington. It would be irresponsible if I were to do anything less than my best to care for them as their State Representative as they are for me, my family and my neighbors. My platform and commitment to the deserving people in public safety is as follows. I will:

  • Commit one day per month to meet with police, firefighters and EMT’s from Wilmington and Tewksbury. Face-to-face interaction and active listening are the best ways for an elected official to truly understand the needs and concerns of these heroes. You cannot provide these fine people with what they need without keeping your finger on their pulse and getting their direct input. They know best what they need.
  • Provide every individual in public safety a business card with my office, cell and home phone number for direct and immediate access to me, 24/7.
  • Ensure first responders’ salaries and benefits in Tewksbury and Wilmington remain competitive.
  • File legislation to reinstate the death penalty for anybody convicted of taking the life of a first responder.
  • Sponsor legislation to provide compensation for those families who lost a spouse or parent in the line of duty.

The populations of Wilmington and Tewksbury are rapidly increasing. What was adequate in the past won’t cut it in the future. Response time for police, fire and EMS is frequently a matter of life and death. Our increasing populations in our communities directly impacts response time in two ways; the first is increased traffic. Think of Routes 38 and 62 today as compared to ten years ago. Now picture it ten years from now. The second factor is that increased populations and dwellings exponentially increase the probability of several emergencies occurring at the same time. Having a substation in North Wilmington will cut response time. Another reason for having this substation is the railroad crossing on Middlesex Avenue. Emergency response vehicles have waited for the commuter rail gates to be lifted. There is also an immediate danger associated with this crossing is the location is the MTBA commuter on/off boarding platform. The current location is too close to Middlesex Avenue. The crossing gate and train block the traffic on Middlesex Avenue for emergency response vehicles for minutes when seconds count. Resolving this critical public safety issue will be a high priority item if I am elected as your next state representative. Finally, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to our public safety professionals.

#15b) Do you support a fire substation in North Wilmington?

The simple answer is yes. It is long overdue because of over-development combined with increased population.

#15c) Did you/do you support the construction of the new center fire station in Tewksbury that was approved last year?

I come from the school of common sense. My own observation dictates that simple answer is yes because of the rampant over-development and the the population explosion. With that being said, I took it upon myself to see Chief Hazel of the Tewksbury Fire Department on Friday August 3, 2018 and asked him a couple of basic questions in regards to the funding of the new Center fire station in Tewksbury. Chief Hazel is a complete gentleman and a true professional. He answered all of my questions and Tewksbury should be very proud to have him as their fire chief. I will always do everything in my power as state representative to ensure that the Tewksbury firefighters have everything they need to keep themselves and the residents safe.

#16a) The Vietnam War Moving Wall recently visited Wilmington. It was a sobering reminder of what the men and women in our armed forces are willing to sacrifice to preserve our freedom. What will you do at the State House to support our local veterans and veterans statewide?

The first time I visited the wall was in 2008 and again last week I visited the Vietnam Moving Memorial Wall when it came to Wilmington. It gave me pause and an opportunity to silently reflect on the ultimate sacrifice made by 58,193 young American men and women. They never had the opportunity to enjoy the full measure of life. Countless more will carry the scars of their service-related or psychological trauma to their graves. Even for those who returned unharmed, their thanks was frequently being spat upon and called, “Baby Killers!” This was a national disgrace. The debt that we owe our veterans is incalculable. As your state representative, I pledge to:

  • Meet with the Veterans Services Departments in Wilmington and Tewksbury once a month to better understand the needs of our veterans and how I can help to fulfill those needs.
  • Sponsor and support legislation that will improve the quality of life for these heroes.
  • Arrange for State House tours for veterans and their families.
  • Establish a communications link with the Tewksbury DAV and the Wilmington VFW and American Legion to explore ways that I can beter assist our prcious veteran population.
  • Address all veteran concerns in a timely and effective manner.

#16b) What, if anything, have you done as a private citizen and/or locally elected official that shows a commitment to veterans? 

While I have never worn an armed services uniform, I have always had the desire to dedicate myself to public service. I fulfilled this need by committing my life to 31 years to serving the public and 28 of those years (and counting) as a Wilmington selectman. Things that I have done to demonstrate my commitment to our veterans include:

  • Making financial contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project, Fisher House and the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, MA.
  • Marching in every Memorial Day parade for 28 years.
  • Supporting the Wilmington Veteran’s service budget for as long as it has been established.

In closing, I would like to give a heart-felt thanks to our veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. I would also like to extend my profound gratitude to Lisa Downey, the Tewksbury Veterans Service Officer, Lou Cimaglia IV, Wilmington Veteran Services Director and Michael Frotten, Wilmington Veteran’s Service agent for the fine work that they do for our veterans on a daily basis.

#16c) Do you personally have any family that serves/served? 

Yes.

(NOTE: Do you have a question for the candidates? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com and it may be asked in a future Q&A or in a debate.)

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