The debate that has surrounded the Casey Overpass project and the at-grade or bridge option could become a campaign issue for state Rep. Liz Malia. Although no opponents have declared a candidacy, some residents have criticized her involvement with the project, while others have praised it. But for her, that comes with the territory.
“My job is to make sure all the questions have gotten answers,” said Malia. “I don’t know what the long-term implications of that are, but that’s my job.”
Kevin Handly, a JP resident, criticized Malia in a letter published this month in the Gazette and wrote that he will work to elect a new representative with a better vision for JP.
“Your belated, obstructionist and divisive intervention in the Casey Overpass replacement project is very disappointing to me,” Handly wrote, referring to Malia.
In recent months, several other letter-writers have criticized Malia’s Casey stance, while others have praised her.
Malia, who said she thinks the bridge option is more realistic but doesn’t necessarily support either one, felt the proposal put forth by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation lacked information and background.
“I think it’s a good thing to ask questions before you engage in a project like this,” she said. “My philosophy is that its OK to ask questions until you get a consensus. I’ll take my lumps if that’s what is coming.”
She added, “There are tremendous amount of people who are not aware what’s going on. The public discussion was not adequate.”
Asked if she thought the Casey Overpass would be a defining issue in the upcoming election, Malia responded she expects voters to take all her work—ranging from advocacy of mental health to public safety—into consideration.
“I think my record up to now has been responsive and responsible,” said Malia.