By JOHN HOWELL Carlos Rojas is 6 years old, and as of Friday when school closed he is no longer a kindergartener. But that doesn't mean he's too young to voice his opinion, or even to go a step further and ask that action be taken. So when Carlos asked
Carlos Rojas is 6 years old, and as of Friday when school closed he is no longer a kindergartener. But that doesn’t mean he’s too young to voice his opinion, or even to go a step further and ask that action be taken.
So when Carlos asked his mother what might be done to fix potholes on his street, Pamela gave him a bit of a civics lesson suggesting he write the mayor.
Sounding out words as Norwood teacher Stephanie George and assistant Patricia Cronin taught him, and using his best handwriting, he wrote the mayor telling him of cracks and potholes on Budlong Avenue make it dangerous for him to use his scooter.
Mayor Frank Picozzi recently pulled the letter from a stack he had on his desk. He was impressed such a young constituent should write, sharing it with the Beacon.
On Friday, Carlos, joined by his mother and two siblings, gave a tour of the worst potholes on the street. Carlos took the lead on his scooter. He was wearing a helmet, as the law requires. He stopped beside a pothole with water still in it.
Why does he want the road fixed?
“Sometimes I like flat things, I can go a little faster on it,” he said.
Carlos wasn’t sure what the mayor could do. He thought he could tell “construction workers” to fix it.
Pamela said she has tried her best to get Budlong repaved. She talked to Councilman Jeremy Rix, pointing out that many Norwood streets have been repaved in recent weeks but Budlong and Frederick, which are major thoroughfares to Norwood School, have gone untouched.
Interviewed for a story in the June 10 edition of the Beacon, Department of Public Works Director Eric Earls explained the two streets were among several to have one lane repaved following National Grid replacement of gas mains. As Grid continued its program, the city and the utility worked out an agreement where the cost of repaving half the road goes into a fund. The city then couples the money with its funds to fully repave roads where the gas lines have been replaced.
With limited resources, Earls is looking to get the worst city roads repaved first. That leaves out the half and half roads.
Earls said Friday that he and Picozzi would take a second look at Budlong.
Pamela and his husband Pedro are proud of Carlos.
“He has a voice,” she said. “Use it and be bold and brave.”
As for her own take on what’s happened, Pamela questions why the city, National Grid and elected officials can’t get together and figure out what needs to get done and do it.