Governor Charlie Baker’s office might be tight-lipped about what kinds of calls he gets from constituents, but those constituents are more than willing to tell us what they want the governor to know.
Last week we wrote about our thus-far-unsuccessful quest to uncover what topics provoke the most calls to the governor from his constituents. Baker’s office is keeping that information under tight wraps.
But the story got people stirred up, and into our inbox trickled notes from readers. It turns out the governor is getting a lot of calls from the South Shore, where folks are fuming over a possible natural gas compressor station in Weymouth.
Federal energy regulators approved a proposal for the station in January, despite vehement objections from residents, local officials, and members of the congressional delegation, who warned it will jeopardize the town’s health and safety.
The Houston-based company building the project cannot proceed until it obtains environmental permits from the Baker administration. The governor has not taken a formal position on the matter, beyond saying that the state’s role is minor compared to that of the federal government.
A spokesman for Baker’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has said that the administration is committed to “diversifying the state’s energy portfolio and embracing advanced technologies.”
One anti-compressor constituent has become so fed up with the governor’s lack of response, after calls, letters, and postcards, that she now stages a daily, 15-minute sit-in in Baker’s State House office.
“I’m doing this because I am at a loss of what else to do. Calls, letters, and other modes of communication with his office have gone unacknowledged,” Andrea Honoré said.
Honoré said her comrades have placed more than 1,000 phone calls to Baker’s office in the past two years about the compressor station proposal.
At one point she brought chocolates and a thank-you card to the constituent services office for handling all the calls and letters, she said.
Not all the calls are about the compressor station. One woman wanted to tell the governor she was outraged that he chose not to vote in the 2016 presidential election.
Norma Zack, of Boston, said she wrote the governor two letters, but received no acknowledgement. She then sent an email, but still no response.
Zack called to request a one-minute appointment with the governor but said his staff told her he only meets with groups, not individual residents.
As far as Zack is concerned, former president Barack Obama did better.
“I had occasion to write a letter to President Obama several years ago and did get an answer to my letter,” Zack said.