Sorry : LEFTY FOR MAYOR
Why not Lefty for Mayor?
Or city council? He manages his blog with the respect and integrity one would
like in an elected offical.
Suffice to say I was both flattered and amused. However, I haven't bought any signs, and I'm not announcing my candidacy. It did get me thinking, what would I do if I were mayor of Fall River? Hmmmm.
Well to start, I would consult with some of my local bloggers such as Shamrock and FRC. Like you I've read their posts and I've also had the chance to trade emails and instant messages. I value their opinion and am appreciative of their keen insight.
I would also consult with such local activists as Jason Caminiti, Al Lima, Jeff Carpenter, and Eric Poulin as well as organizations like Save Our Neighborhoods and Arts United. These are people and organizations that are working to move Fall River in what I believe is the right direction.
Next I would take a look at our school department. The ability of our schools to educate our children is so incredibly important. The ability to provide a quality education is not only important for the future of our city's youth, it is also an important factor in whether or not someone will move to Fall River or even stay in Fall River. The quality of our school system is also something businesses consider when evaluating if this is an area they would like to invest in.
We can't cut corners, education is simply too important. I have no magic solutions to the budget issues that plague our schools. If I did I would forward them to the School Committee! However, I think the entire city budget needs to be examined to see where cuts can be made with those savings added to the school budget. I think we need to look at our neighboring communities and see if there are opportunities to partner with them. Perhaps a regional grant writer could be hired, or a regional purchasing agent. Perhaps a regional cooperative could be formed that would give the region greater buying power.
I would compare our school structure to other communities in an effort to streamline the department and keep salaries in check. I would look to sell surplus school properties and earmark profits and future tax revenue to the school department.
Next I would work on public safety. Honestly I remember Brad Kilby and Eric Poulin both mentioning several ideas that I think would need to be revisited. The idea of substations, walking beats, and better analysis of key crime areas so that more resources could be used in those areas are all things I would discuss with the police chief and implement if appropriate. Like the school department this comes down to are we providing enough funds for the department to do the job we're asking it to do?
It's also time that we step into the 21st century! Government documents, reports, and meetings would all be available on the city website. It's also time to make sure that all government meetings are filmed and put on the local access government channel. Transparency in government is good.
I would take a pay cut! The mayor of Fall River should not make over a 100k a year when a bulk of the population is lucky to make 1/4 of that. I would cut it down to about 80k a year, which I think is pretty reasonable.
I would not cancel things like First Night. Geez, times are tough, give the citizenry something to look forward to! For the little bit of money these things cost us, they add a to the quality of living in Fall River. Heck they might even bring a few people into our fair city. And money may be tight but we can always find some community partners.
I would move Fourth of July fireworks back to Kennedy Park! Why? I think this is one of those things that made Fall River special. How many generations have sat out on blankets watching fireworks at the park? Really this is a slice of Americana, something out of a Norman Rockwell painting and well I just think they belong there!
I would set up monthly coffees in the cafeteria at Government Center where folks could come and meet with the Mayor and tell me their concerns and keep me on my toes!
I would blog! 'A View From the 6th Floor'.
I would work to protect more of our historic buildings. I would take back the old police station by eminent domain. I would make sure our interests were protected with the old Durfee Textile School building.
I would work to make city owned/occupied buildings handicap accessible.
Would I accomplish what I set out to do? Would I lead us to a better Fall River? Who am I kidding I wouldn't even be able to get elected! I think I'll stick to blogging!