… I’m going to respond. FAST.
Jim Hand from The Sun Chronicle called and left me a message asking for a response to a conversation he had with my opponent. He asked about my plans for downtown revitalization and generally what sets me apart from the current administration. The article states that I was unavailable for comment. Mr. Hand left a message at 12:59 pm. I hit send on my email response at 2:01 pm. The following was my timely and thorough response.
I felt it would be helpful for me to respond in writing, but will happily take your call if you need to ask any follow up questions.
Downtown revitalization needs to be broad and sweeping. We also need to be cognizant of the positive effects of having a TOD Zone (transit oriented development).
There is substantial talk about high speed rail from Providence to Boston. If we are not part of the conversation we will merely be a whistle stop along the way. Attleboro has a 4 rail system, this will allow additional commuter service from Attleboro to Providence and from Attleboro to Boston. The Mayor is aware of the potential impact, but has yet to initiate and conversation with Pawtucket and Providence to get us a seat at the table.
Downtown economic development is more than painting the trim at the Bronson Building or putting up plywood facade at the recently relocated gym. It goes beyond replacing one restaurant with another. My plan is to redevelop downtown with multi use buildings that will be built from the ground up, and fill from the top down. We need to create an inviting environment for people to move to. We desperately need a mix of market value and affordable housing. With that Retail and Commercial will follow.
The Mayor talks about the Union Street Block, which plans for that originated with the previous administration. The Mayor was only able to close that deal buy giving the developer $295K of CDBG tax payer money. The new owners are dependant on additional funding from the State to fund the project. Per the new developer (as stated on the council floor) If everything goes exactly and perfectly to plan, it will be spring of 2023 before the first shovel goes in the ground. There were promises that the buildings would be leveled by now, and they havent been, so that would be an indicator that things are not developing as hoped.
In early 2018 the Mayor missed the opportunity to designate the downtown eligible for “The Opportunity Zone” grant, managed by the state and funded by federal government. This would have given private developers tax credits to be incentivised to build in Attleboro. North Attleboro had the vision and received 2 grants.
The difference is I have a plan. I have the vision. I have the relationships to get this done starting day one. I want to see the promises that have been made actually be kept. I want to see our residents flourish.I want to see our city departments work together and feel safe and respected. I want our schools be funded appropriately for future success. Decisions that impact our city will never be made on a whim. Thoughtful consideration will be given to every decision and how each decision impacts others. It starts with generating growth in the downtown, this will benefit every resident and stakeholder an will end the 6 years of stagnant fiscal growth, so we have the ability to properly fund our city departments and build a better future for Attleboro.
I don’t strive to be anything else but Mayor for the City of Attleboro. My focus has always been and will continue to be here in Attleboro.
If you have further questions feel free to call. I will be at highland at 5:30 for opening ceremonies, and will be volunteering all night.
I hope the girls are doing well!