As a resident of Fitchburg, I am concerned about how fast Alder Julia Arata-Fratta changed her position on the high-density development proposal on South Fish Hatchery Road near the Byrnewood Neighborhood entrance/exit. This project has faced strenuous opposition from many residents due to the location, increased traffic, transparency, and other concerns.
This proposal was voted down by the Plan Commission in March. At that time Arata Frata (then the Common Council representative on the Plan Commission) and other commission members cited “traffic concerns” as the main reason for their opposition. As a concerned citizen, I was glad to see the commission finally take the concerns of residents seriously.
However, it seems there were politics involved in her vote. The March commission meeting took place just two weeks before the April 2nd election, an election in which Arata-Fratta faced opposition. The exact same project appeared before the council on April 23rd. This time recently re-elected Arata-Fratta changed her position and voted in favor of the project.
Fortunately, the Common Council voted down the project because some Alders listen to their constituents year-round and not just before an election. Unfortunately, Arata-Fratta is not one of them. She may have thought no one would notice she changed her position on this project. She repeatedly said she only makes policy decisions without regard for political consequences. It would be nice if that were true, but it is clear her actions are all about politics.
Concerned and engaged citizens are watching. I hope Arata-Fratta stops playing politics and starts listening to taxpaying residents instead of profit-driven developers.
City of Fitchburg