Senator Ed Markey visited Pittsfield Tuesday. He met with local lawmakers and business leaders and took a tour of the city's downtown area. The new senator says he's not like other first term senators, having served 37 years in Congress. But he also says he's going to take time to learn about the issues affecting Berkshire County. YNN's Madeleine Rivera has more.
BERKSHIRE COUNTY, Mass. -- Senator Ed Markey visited the Berkshires on Tuesday for the first time since he took office last month. And local lawmakers did not waste time getting down to the issues that matters most in the area. From a decreasing population to building a rail service between Pittsfield and New York City, lawmakers and business leaders made it clear, what they need to push forward these initiatives is federal funding.
"I think we can partner on transportation issues. I think we can work on ensuring that bio tech jobs continue to move from universities into actual manufacturing," said Senator Ed Markey.
Markey has had a long political tenure, serving 37 years as a Congressman based in eastern Massachusetts. The congressman, however, says he's prepared to handle issues in western Massachusetts, a region that tends to feel isolated.
"Nothing is ever exactly the same. So you have to come out to Pittsfield, to western Mass, to see where it's different, to see where there are unique possibilities in Pittsfield, then make sure you partner to help these communities," said Markey.
Perhaps the next partnership will involve the city's antiquated police station. The police department has requested for a new facility to be built.
"They've really outgrown this facility over the years and that's technical and manpower wise. It's really important that they we get whatever funding we have to upgrade and modernize the police department," said Berkshire County Sheriff Tom Bowler.
A long wish list from Berkshire County leaders, but one Markey says he will work to try and accomplish.