Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Poulin Platform

Mayoral candidate Eric Poulin has said that he wanted to run a campaign that focused on the issues and expressed a willingness to make his platform points available to anyone. Deciding to take him up on that, I emailed Mr. Poulin 5 days ago and asked if he would send me his platform and if he minded if I blogged about it.

Eric replied only a short time later and said:
Please feel free to blog about my platform, whether people like or dislike my platform my feeling is that it will at least cause people to debate and a good intelligent discussion and a back and forth on the issues is something that I felt was sorely needed in this Mayor's race.

You will notice in my platform that there are several items that I commit to and that I am quite adamant about and there are a few instances where I use the word "consider" because I want to hear more feedback and debate from the community on the issue.
After reading through the first 5 pages of his platform, (he plans on adding more) I have to say that it would be impossible for me to blog about it point for point. In fact in putting together this blog I've found it's hard to comment on even a few points because to include my view I need to include portions of Mr. Poulin's platform so you know what the heck I'm commenting on.

The original result was a blog post that ran on for pages for the sake of my sanity and to give you, the reader, all the information I have made the Poulin Platform available online while at the same time commenting on specific points here on A View To Battleship Cove. I have linked to Mr. Poulin's platform repeatedly throughout this post.

Change the Mayoral and School Committee terms to 4-year terms with a 2-term (8-year) limit.

Lefty's view: I fully support changing the Mayoral and School Committee terms to 4-year terms and agree the current 2-year terms keep our elected officials thinking too much on re-election and not enough on city business. However, I am emphatically against term limits. My idea of term limits is you vote for someone else. I would support local campaign finance reform with strict limits on what could be spent on a campaign.

Consider limiting City Council terms to a maximum of 4 terms at 2 years (8-year limit).

Lefty's view: Again, I am totally against term limits, however I like Mr. Poulin's thinking here in regards to keeping the City Council on a 2-year term. City Councillors would have to worry about re-election more often, but this would keep the council more responsive the 'will of the people.

Consider having City Councilors elected by Wards.

Lefty's view: I have long thought that our city council should be elected by Wards. Not only do I fully agree with Mr. Poulin in regards to a more balanced representation but I believe that an unknown candidate could successfully run for election as a Ward Councillor, where lack of money and recognition would hamper someone from winning a city-wide election.

To combat crime and drugs, hold a Drug Summit in Fall River

Lefty's view: While a Drug Summit might be instrumental in combating alcohol and drug addiction thus reducing related crimes, I am unconvinced that reducing addiction will by itself reduce the bulk of crimes in Fall River. Mr. Poulin speaks of enforcement and he speaks of cause, but what he doesn't address is prevention. My idea would be to have the police sub-stations and/or police walking beats implemented into areas were most troubled by crime. Further I would work to acquire grant monies to promote and expand neighborhood watch programs. Lastly, considering how much of our residents live in rental units I would consider looking into implementing a system that would enable and encourage landlords to run comprehensive background checks on prospective tenants.


Lefty's view: Although I applaud Eric's effort to put attention on such a troubling issue on this platform point I just don't think he is saying enough. I would urge the candidate to research this issue now. First off, should we treat this as a city issue or a regional issue? If we treat it as a regional issue well then we need to involve other communities. Is Steppingstone the only homeless facility in the city? Are there enough beds, not on a daily, weekly, monthly need but at a peak need? I'm not sure what role the city can play or should play but I would offer that it could be anything from helping orchestrate volunteer efforts to having a grant writer made available to help non-profit and church groups secure funds.


Dr. Momentum said...

Thanks for the effort you put into this post, the information on Poulin's platform and your comments.

I wish more politicians would go to the trouble Poulin has with this platform and more voters/journalists went to the trouble you have in picking through it.

Lefty said...

aw shucks it was nothin'

Seriously though, I do agree that it's nice to see a candidate talk about issues and specific ideas/plans. I don't think every candidate needs to cover EVERY issue so early in the race but it would be nice to see some specifics from the other horses in the race.

As far as my efforts, I have opinions and that's part of the reason I express them, in this case I didn't think I could do so, fairly, without providing Mr. Poulin's platform for others to refrence.

I'm glad to have done it, but now that's it's there I hope others find it!