CHICOPEE – Former Mayor Michael Bissonnette has said he will run for mayor once more.
“I’m prepared to do it,” he told Reminder Publications.
The four-term mayor who was defeated by Mayor Richard Kos less than two years ago has been working as a consultant and attorney.
He is motivated by what he sees happening – or not happening – in the city. “I don’t like the direction the city has taken in the last few years,” he explained.
He has had an active presence on Facebook often questioning Kos’s policies and initiatives. Bissonnette said it has been heartening to have city residents approach him to urge him to consider running again.
“It has been very encouraging,” he said.
He said that people “feel the air has gone out of the balloon – nothing is happening [in the city].”
If elected Bissonnette would pursue grants and work to keep the tax rate down, he said.
His first step is taking out nomination papers to place his name on the ballot and collecting the 250 signatures to be certified. The deadline to return the signatures is July 28.
He said of Kos, “There is a fundamental difference in how we view running the city.”
Bissonnette charged that Kos is a “caretaker mayor,” while his eight years in office showed the he is much more of “a go-getter and doer.”
The former mayor believes the perspective of more than a year has vindicated several of his projects for he was not able to gain support from the City Council. “Time has shown huge water rate increases and the plan to upgrade water meters would be good for taxpayers and the city,” he said. Bissonnette added that if elected he would bring the idea up again to the council.
The city’s trash disposal situation and the prospect of a trash fee is another issue. Bissonnette advocated toter barrels for trash, which he maintains would help control costs. He also said the city must anticipate future state regulations about organic waste for residents, something already in effect for hospitals and colleges.
“These are two taxpayer friendly things we could immediately do,” he said.
Bissonnette was candid about his relationship with the City Council and said, “personal and professional animosity doesn’t mean we can’t work together for the taxpayers.”
He pledged he would look at city issues with “fresh eyes” and said he has learned from his mistakes. “As some people may not believe, I’m well aware of my mistakes,” Bissonnette added.
He believes he would be a better mayor “the second time around.”
Bissonnette added, “I’ve never lost my love for my city.”