At-Large City Councilor Jesse Lederman, Chairman of the Council’s Committee on Health and Human Services, last week sent a letter to State Department of Public Health officials urging them to schedule a hearing on upcoming revisions to the state’s Sanitary Code in Springfield, saying residents in the city’s third largest city deserve the opportunity to comment.
“State DPH officials scheduled hearings in the state’s two largest cities, Boston and Worcester, but chose to schedule their only Western Massachusetts hearing in Northampton,” said Lederman “I believe residents in Massachusetts’ third largest city, which also has some of the oldest housing stock in the state, deserve the opportunity to comment.”
The State Sanitary Code governs standards by which buildings are judged for habitation in the Commonwealth. It is a key tool used by Code Inspectors in ensuring property remains safe, and especially provides protections for tenants.
Earlier this year Councilor Lederman sponsored a resolution in support of proposed changes to the Sanitary Code that would update it to provide protections relative to the presence of mold in such amounts that it is deemed to impact the health of occupants.
This is the second time this year that Councilor Lederman has pushed a state agency to provide appropriate opportunity for Springfield residents to comment. In May, the Councilor led a group of local elected officials in sending a letter to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs chastising the organizations for failing to schedule a hearing in Springfield relative to changes to the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
In that case, DOER had scheduled the only Western Massachusetts hearings in Amherst. After receiving the letter from Lederman and fellow Councilors, DOER scheduled a hearing in Springfield that was attended by several hundreds people.
“I hope that the department will see fit to do their due diligence in ensuring our constituents have the opportunity to provide comment in and about their community,” said Lederman “It is important that our state agencies do not forget the City of Springfield.”