Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Question for the Candidate – Paul Schmid

Paul Schmid is the Democratic candidate for the Eight Bristol District. He is currently a selectman for the town of Westport. After winning the Democratic primary Mr. Schmid finds himself facing off against an independent candidate in the general election. There is no Republican challenger. We're asking Mr. Schmid what is it about his platform, leadership style and goals that best represent the needs and interests of the people of Fall River? Below are excerpts from his response, with my commentary. The entire unedited response can be read here.

I am focused on jobs for greater Fall River. I support a casino. It's not a silver bullet, but it can be part of the tool box. The license should encourage the casino to draw patrons to the area, to benefit local restaurants, agriculture and attractions.

I'd love to talk at length with Mr. Schmid on this point alone. As readers here know, I am no fan of the casino, however I've long felt if you have to have one it should be designed in a way that would help bring business to the rest of the city. It seems Mr. Schmid is talking along the same lines here. Certainly it's refreshing to have someone say it's not a silver bullet but only part of the solution.

 I support the biopark. I support the commuter rail and taking down Rt 79. The proposed train center in its place will reconnect Fall River with its waterfront. We need to develope our waterfront into mixed uses: condominiums, restaurants, marinas, cruise ship docking and commercial activities including those to support the off shore wind and current turbines that are coming.

A lot of this isn't particularly new and has been mentioned by various elected officials over the years, still it's good to know Mr. Schmid would support and work towards. The plug for green energy is also welcome.
We should market ourselves to the millions who drive through on 195 but do not stop. Mystic Village gets 300,000 visitors a year, the USS Massachusetts has 100,000. We can do better. We should allow fishing on Watuppa Pond a few times a year. In conjunction with camping at the bioreserve, and under the auspices of Bassmasters, this could position us as a sportsman's capitol. This idea comes from my friend Dave Proulx.
Here is another statement that I wish Mr. Schmid had expanded upon. How do we market ourselves? Still I think he's right. Fall River used to have outlets now they're in Wrenthem and partly because we failed to market ourselves. Fishing and camping on the Watuppa is an idea worth exploring. I like that Paul not only presents it here but acknowledges that the idea is from a friend.

I am VERY optimistic about our future. We have many assets. Millions live within a few hours by car. A deep water port. A historic district second to none. A hard working labor force. Heavens, let's get going.

Mr. Schmid is running in perhaps the most interesting of the local races. I wish him the best of luck and thank him for taking the time to respond. Mr. Schmid's entire response can be read here.

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