CHICOPEE, Mass. - Chicopee Mayor John Vieau says his message to residents is to "Promote Pride."
"My goal as Mayor of the City of Chicopee is to have other communities go: 'How is Chicopee doing that?'" Vieau said in an interview on Wednesday.
The morning after being re-elected to a second term, Vieau was already looking ahead to the next two years.
"Again, there's so much potential here in the city, and I couldn't be more proud of being mayor of this amazing place," said Vieau. "And collectively, our success really depends on all of us."
Vieau was unopposed in this year's election. He says in his next term, he's hoping to prioritize improvements to infrastructure, revitalize the downtown area, and figure out what to do with federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan.
The city received roughly $38 million and has a committee working on how to spend it.
"We're looking at some equipment from the fire department, and we're looking into essential pay for employees," Vieau said. "There's many requests that have come in."
This year's municipal election also made history.
Delmarina Lopez will be the first person of color ever to serve on the Chicopee City Council, winning the Ward 3 seat.
"This city is not all white men." Lopez said. "And therefore, the representation and the decision-making should not be all white men. It should be balanced."
Lopez and Mary-Elizabeth Pniak-Costello will be the first women on the council in more than 15 years.
"This isn't necessarily about a specific issue," said Lopez. "This is about making sure that all issues are looked at with a lens that focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and that we're inclusive of all the voices of the city."
Mayor Vieau says one of a few things he's particularly proud of is the city of Chicopee's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vieau says with COVID-19 health data trending in the right direction, it's time to remove the mask mandate at City Hall. The mandate will be dropped on Thursday.