Huffington Post - In the spring of 2004, Peabody, Mass., got drenched with rain, which flooded the downtown area. After the storm, then-Gov. Mitt Romney asked President George W. Bush to declare Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk Counties federal disaster areas, according to the Boston Globe.
That fall, the state legislature proposed spending $5.7 million on a flood prevention project to protect against future floods. Those funds would be matched by $22 million in federal money.
Romney vetoed it....
During the time of the Peabody fight, John Barrett, then the Democratic mayor of North Adams, was the vice president of the Massachusetts Mayors Association. He said the issue of flooding in Peabody was critical and that local officials had reached out to the legislature for help. "Every time it rained, it wiped out their downtown," Barrett told HuffPost.
Barrett chalked Romney's veto of the Peabody project up to a lack of familiarity with infrastructure in the state.
"This was not unusual for him. He didn’t understand infrastructure improvements. It was just the bottom line. He never visited communities. He never understood the issues. He never sat down with mayors or city managers. He never understood why those things were in the budget," Barrett said. "That money was requested by locals. It was a major league problem.”