Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Yesterday morning I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down to check my email and scan the latest on my favorite blogs. Imagine my reaction when I came across the following comments on Fall River-tastic:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
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!


vision said...

but if anonymous wins who serves?

Anonymous said...

Lefty you are a joke. Are you serious?.Wow this blog is going to your head.JEFF Carepenter is a joke and the only people who like ERIC POULIN are conspircy wackos and fringe activists.Lefty know your role and stay blogging in your small world.

Tom Paine said...

The people you mentioned for consultation are all intelligent, well meaning people, BUT! they are in the very small minority. Other than Eric Poulin, the others are at times very naive.

For instance, Save OUr Neighborhoods, just this week wrote an opinion piece praising the mayor. Why? According to them they said variance applications coming before the ZBA have gone down!

Wow!! How naive can you be. First the economy has tanked, DUH! and we are heading into winter. Jeff C and Al L gave their praise way too soon!!

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with listening to "the naive." Better than continually depending on the empty and failed practices of the jaded and mean-spirited and narrow-minded.

Anonymous said...

I am all for the activists but lefty does raise a point about being naive to the politics of the situation. The naive are easily taken advantage of with a mear promise and it never comes to fruition. I admire all they have done and hope they are succesful, just be aware of the inner workings of the people you are dealing with to accomplish your initiatives.

Anonymous said...

speaking of education , any idea why the fr school dept called parents at 6am to cancel school today??

RadioFree said...

A politician with a platform. Enough to make a girl swoon. You know, a list of things you actually want to accomplish in office -- the basis of your candidacy? Rather that the pathetic "It's my time!" crap we get from the current crop.

And I just want to go on the record saying that I'm a proud conspiracy wacko and fringe activist who thinks Eric Poulin is the bomb.

Let the bitching commence!

Anonymous said...

Great ideas Mr. Mayor but were is the money going to come from.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
speaking of education , any idea why the fr school dept called parents at 6am to cancel school today??"

yeah, because the DOE has a survey team in town all this week and today was parents interview day.

Anonymous said...

Lefty, you DID sound like you were testing the waters: I'm not a candidate, but here's what I'd do.

You'll need grass-roots support beyond the political activists (be they lions or lambs). Get alternative group consensus such as the silent, seemingly underground Gay Community. How about promising a Gay Pride Parade sponsored by the city, along with a gay-friendly police department? How about diversity in hiring practices with the City? How about neighborhood Meet the Mayor nights with community outreach instead of citizens trucking into City Hall? How about citizen surveys of project prioritization BEFORE budget hearings? How about a Mayor's Commission on Cultural and Historic Preservation that encompasses everything from saving historic buildings to signage, street lights, the "look" of Main Street, etc.?

One has to consider the demographics of Fall River, measuring not only the income, education, ethnic diversity but also the degree of enthusiasm among its vox populi to warrant an agenda described above. "If you build it, will they notice?" "If you don't build it, will they care?"

Politics is a hungry beast and only the savvy know how to feed it for best returns. Something at which Hilary-Dilary is a pro and something Barry O is learning quickly, or so it seems.

Political neophytes need to learn how to feed the beast so it doesn't eat them. Otherwise, you might as well just run for........cover. ;)

-Faye Musselman

Lefty said...

Oh boy where to start?

I am certainly not testing the water. This is simply a 'what would I do if..' post. I could write the same type of post about winning the lottery.

I mentioned some people I would consult with if I were Mayor. I never said these would be the only people I would consult with, or that I would follow their advice. These are people that I think have shown a great deal of interest in bettering our city. Perhaps in the eyes of some they're 'fringe' activist, but I think their views have merit and they deserve to be listened to.

Where would the money come from? I have no idea! I think we need to look at ways to save money, regional approaches that I touched upon before. I think certain departments would have to take a deeper cut to allow the school department and police and fire to afford the resources they need. But really there is no easy solution for our money problems.

I don't think there is anything wrong with 'Meet the Mayor Nights', I would be in favor of it but why not have coffees at Governement Center on a regular basis? Heck why not once a week?

Oh, and I have it on good authority that YESTERDAY was when the DOE met with parents.

Remember folks, I'm sharing some thoughts here, not asking for your vote.

Lefty for Mayor...don't be silly, now Lefty for City Council..hmmmmm ;-)

Anonymous said...

BAD NEWS for the blogging community HURRICANES ratings are in and they are off the charts..they came in yesterday and were released today.Like it or not his show is a smash hit!!

Anonymous said...

Lefty for Mayor...don't be silly, now Lefty for City Council..hmmmmm ;-) ....Silly I don't think so.... WE NEED change and Lefty is it


Anonymous said...

You have a good plan Lefty. Let's put it in action!

JB said...

Eff the Hurricane

Anonymous said...

..."the only people who like ERIC POULIN are conspircy wackos and fringe activists."

I'm not sure what a conspircy wacko is but unfortunately ignorant comments like these are all too common in Fall River. I'm not a conspricy wacko or fringe activist but I do think it is crazy to think a candidate for office that had a real platform of solutions to problems facing the city was somehow a bad thing. Only in Fall River I guess can a positive be turned into a negative.

reality check said...

The DOE was not only meeting with the parents, but also with teachers, who were hoping to get their views on education heard.

Eric Poulin has a brain and wishes to challenge the status quo, must be a wacko, only in Fall River.