On Sunday, May 3, 2015 the City of Medford dedicated its new Department of Public Works facility to former mayor and long-time Medford public servant Alfred P. Pompeo.
The following remarks were made by Mayor Michael McGlynn at the dedication ceremony; some edits have been made and headlines have been included here:
About the New DPW Facility
This new public works facility is built on the same land on which the original facility, a WPA project, stood in 1937. The original Medford Municipal Garage lettering, the DPW weather vane, and the original city seal, all 1930’s vintage, have been reconditioned and installed on this new facility.
This massive pre-engineered metal building will provide offices for each dividion of public works as well as the Supervisor of Wires and the Sealer of Weights and Measures. For the first time it will handle all of the city’s vehicle maintenance, fire, police, and DPW, as well as wash bays for vehicles. It will also provide vehicle storage with a 4,500 square foot vehicle storage canopy and our first 4,000 square foot salt storage structure. It is an energy efficient, sustainable building that includes all interior and exterior LED lighting, a smart HVAC building management system, high efficiency boilers, and industrial de-stratification fans. It will also provide a consumer-friendly drop off recycling center.
Full air and vapor barriers are incorporated into the building’s design to prevent air leakage. It houses a rain water harvesting system that will be able to hold water taken from the roof drainage system, which can be used for irrigation or street sweeping. The new building features a conference room that will act as a command center for major snow, rain or other weather emergencies. There is also a small kitchen, locker rooms, showers, and a security system. In addition, the roof is solar ready as we continue to solicit options for solar power use.
This new DPW facility will only help to improve the quality of services to which are citizens are entitled.
I would like to thank the Medford City Council for their support, our project manager, John “Jack” Buckley, Commissioner Paul Gere, Stephanie Muccini Burke, and Procurement Officer Louise Miller for working together to produce this facility. In addition, I extend my thanks to the architects, Weston and Sampson, and the general contractor, G & R, for constructing this high tech facility.
And finally, I would like to thank the men and women of the DPW, both present and past, members of Teamsters Local 25, and all of the retirees for their hard work over the years. The work of the DPW is often overlooked. But remember, when a blizzard strikes, or a nor’easter makes landfall, accompanied by flooding, it is the DPW that stands ready to alleviate citizens’ anxieties. They are a well-trained, knowledgeable machine that can always fix problems. They work around the clock, in the coldest and harshest of weather conditions. They do so in addition to their regular duties, such as maintaining streets, sidewalks, trees, parks, the water and sewer system, the cemeteries, and any engineering issues. To the DPW, thank you for a job well done!
About Alfred P. Pompeo
Fred Pompeo graduated Medford High School in 1935 and Salem State University in 1939. In 1940 he obtained his Master’s degree in education from Tufts University and later completed course work for his doctorate at Boston University.
In 1941 Fred Pompeo joined the US Army, serving in the “I” Company, 101st Medical Regiment, 26th division, and later with “A” Company, 168th Engineer Combat Battalion. Staff Sergeant Pompeo made the sacrifice to leave the safety and security of his home to travel to foreign terrain to fight for freedom for those he never met. That sacrifice cost him his own freedom when he became a prisoner of war at the Battle of the Bulge. He remained a prisoner of war in Stalag 8A until the war ended in 1945.
Staff Sergeant Pompeo was awarded the American Defense Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and also received four battle stars, including one for the Battle of the Bulge. He was also the recipient of the POW medal, the Distinguished Unit Citation, the Belgian War Cross, the Good Conduct Medal, and two Purple Hearts.
In 1946 Staff Sergeant Pompeo began to teach in Medford and while at an event at the VFW Hall he met the commander’s daughter, Joyce McLellan. They were married on June 27, 1948 and celebrated 64.5 years of marriage. Together they raised eight children and saw their close-knit family expand to sixteen grand-children and five great-grand-children!
Fred was first elected to the Medford City Council in 1949. He served as Mayor in 1956-57. He also served on the Medford School Committee. In 2010 Mayor Pompeo retired at the age of 91. Mayor Pompeo served in an elected capacity each decade from the 1950’s through 2010. I often looked to Mayor Pompeo for guidance and direction. He was the voice of reason and civility, who always had time to advise, consult, and recommend whenever I looked to him for assistance.
Education was always an important career track for Mayor Pompeo. He not only taught at the Medford Public Schools, but was also an associate professor at Boston State College and a teaching fellow at Boston University. He served as a senior supervisor for the MA Department of Education and later would become the Director of Guidance, Placement, and Special Needs for the Medford Public Schools.
Mayor Pompeo was a leader in the field of education at a time when most did not understand the critical need for this important curriculum. He advocated and lobbied to establish the very best education for all despite his or her disability. Mayor Pompeo became a founding member of Medford’s mental health association and served on the board for the Hegner Center and the Greater Boston Association of Retarded Citizens.
He was an eloquent orator who often was the lone voice that challenged his colleagues in government to work harder for those who faced challenges, discrimination, or who were unable to speak for themselves. His views were supported by the US Justice Department as well as the State’s Attorney General.
The Pompeos were active members of St. Raphael’s Parish. Their faith was an integral part of their everyday family life. Mayor Pompeo served for many years on St. Ray’s Parish Council. He also was a member of the West Medford Community Center, NAACP, and was a past director of the Mystic Valley Elder Services Board and a past Commander of both Medford’s Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1012, and the Italian American War Veterans, Post 8.
Mayor Pompeo was the recipient of many awards, including: the 1996 Citizen of the Year by the Medford Chamber of Commerce, the 2005 Lifetime Achievement award from the MA Association of School Committees, and the 2008 Medford Commission for Persons with Disabilities award. Clearly Mayor Pompeo touched every segment of our community as he strove everyday to improve the quality of life for all. On January 6, 2013, Mayor Pompeo passed away peacefully at the age of 94.
Mayor Pompeo should be honored for his dedication to family, faith, and public service. That is why today, with a great sense of honor, respect, and admiration, I dedicate the Alfred P. Pompeo, Sr. Public Works Facility.