Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lazo Responds to “What I Want To Know” – Part I

Steve Lazo


I plan to answer all of Ken’s questions, but right now I want to respond to what I consider the most important one on his list.

3.      What would you do to increase employment opportunities in Southbridge?

After being off the council for a year I’ve had a chance to think about what we really need in Southbridge.

More than anything else we need jobs. And beyond that we need to create the chance for our people to start businesses that create jobs.

Years ago a town manager worked to bring a movie theater to Southbridge. He was torpedoed.

Now Sturbridge has that theater, and we all know what that will do for their economy.

I have an idea for another way to do something that will make a difference.

Let’s take one of the centrally located but depressed areas of town. Let’s acquire it through eminent domain.

Clear the area, and turn it into a Family Entertainment Center.

What would we put there? Consider these:

1. A Miniature golf course
2. Batting cages
3. A Skateboard park
4. A Go-kart track
5. A virtual driving range
6. A Winter ice skating rink/and summer bocce courts
7. Various locally owned food concessions

I welcome other suggestions. The point is that there is nothing in the area that offers this. We could acquire the necessary property and lease portions of it to local entrepreneurs for the desired purposes.

I am a devout capitalist. But this would not be a handout – it would be a hand up. Yes, we would have to borrow to start it. But we would derive income from this investment. It’s not like all the money we’ve borrowed under Carlisle and Clark that has returned nothing.

Once it’s up and going it would attract traffic from all over the region. This would be an incentive for major businesses, like Chuck-E-Cheese, to start a nearby business.

Jobs for local people. Opportunity for local entrepreneurs. An attraction for outside investors. And an investment that would more than pay for itself. A family friendly project that would give Southbridge a new image. This is a concrete idea that I will pursue if elected and that can happen.


24 comments:

  1. An original and creative idea!

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  2. People need to know about this. It is the first workable idea anybody has offered that would not only work, it would offer opportunity for local people with limited resources to have a stake in this town.

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    1. You call eminent domain "workable?" Geez. You'll have a lawsuit up your ass in 10 seconds.

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  3. Another year or two and he might have an even better pie in the sky idea. Nickolla has been a way better chairman.

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    1. Nikolla better? What next? Bring back Stalin?

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    2. Please don't offend Stalin by comparing Nikolla to him.

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    3. Steve Lazo may not have been a good chairman, but he has always been a good councilor. He represents people not himself. I will vote for him again.

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    4. He was a better chairman than what we have now.

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    5. How does someone represent the people if the town falls further and further behind, becomes poorer and poorer, and becomes less and less populated? Is it because Steve is good at paying back his friends? Well guess what, being a good friend is completely counter-intuitive to being a good elected official.

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  4. Well I to say that Stalin would probably do a better job at least you knew were he was coming from. She reminds me of the German guy from WW2...As far as Mr Lazo he had plenty of opportunity to do something during his time on council he may be a nice guy but he failed as a council leader , he failed with the chartier commission by not bringing the changes forward.. Its best that he stays away or lose. Let some new people in for a change. This is what Southbridge need. New faces and new ideas. Not the same old faces with the same ideas. Were was he doing his time with this idea. Sorry we don't need him.

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    1. If he wishes to acquire land by eminent domain, it won't be easy.

      I don't like what "centrally located but depressed" sounds like. Citizens can easily fight eminent domain in court, too. Lazo would cause just as many problems as he thinks he solving by using that method to develop land. Additionally, how does a family fun center create value? I respect Mr. Lazo's attempt to generate revenue for the town, but the idea is too small and we don't have to answer Sturbridge's movie theatre with some other form of entertainment. We had our shot at that. We blew it. The town is dying. And the current council doesn't have the vision to resuscitate Southbridge.

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  5. To the WATCHER Mr Lazo did alot for the people of this town on council in his tenure, apparently you are part of the problem, your a nay sayer like alot of the cronies in this town.What have you contributed to this town?Keep your comments to yourself. You must be a very unhappy person on the inside I feel bad for you. I for one will be voting for Mr.Lazo. You dont even have a good thing to say about Mrs. Nikolla ok say it she doesnt have any ideas either, but at least shes up there making a difference like others that have put there time in including Mr. Lazo,New faces dont hold a candle to experience. Maybe you should take some advise from Chairman Nikolla if you dont like it move out of town !

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  6. to anon 3:11 You must be one of those BARNYARD PIGS OR ANIMALS that she called the people of this town is that why you think shes a better chairman? At least Chairman Lazo never called people that or tried to limit time at the podium, he was strong when it called for it and always respectful to people that approached the podium.

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  7. Mr Lazo,

    Sounds good, but what and who's property are you think of taking "through eminent domain"? Where is the money going to come from? Who will loan a community money when 70% of it's residence are considered poverty level? I am not knocking your idea, it truly sounds like a good one. There is no kind of family entertainment closely locate here. The kids in this community would probably love it, considering they have nothing to do. I think if you do win a seat you will have a fight on hand to sway the remaining members. So good luck and like I said it's no a bad idea, I just have some reservation about it..

    signed Blown Away

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    1. Dear Blown away, First I want to thank you for your comments. Im really not an eminent domain type guy, But the properties Im thinking about are really run down multi family buildings in the downtown area, and the landlords might welcome fair market value for them. Now being in the downtown area we possibly could qualify for certain grants to help clear the parcels of the run down buildings. Then look at State bonds which are low intrest financing. To address the fact that I would have a fight on my hands at council level I think the makeup of the council changed with Dave Langevin And Darlene Marcucci, If you look back when I served with them on council we worked well with respect and decorum, its just a few that got on in the last few cycles that are rude and nasty. So I think with a change this election the council will get back to the business of the town and projects like this one could happen.And lastly There with be a place for the youth to go. Hence less vandalizm

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  8. Clemences property.

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    1. To Anonymous; I want to get one thing Straight, I dont like the comment about The Clemences. Bob and that family are well respected in the community. Just because Denise and I dont agree on political issues doesnt give the right for people to Bash a good family name. There is a cardinal rule in politics if your an elected official your open game but never go after that candidates family or friends thats what has been forgotten in this town. With that said im not running against any one person Im running for the seat to work for the poeple of this town to make it a better place.

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    2. You don't have to bash the Clemence name. Denise does a great job of doing that day in and day out. If they wanted to keep their good name they'd tell her to get out of politics!

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  9. Steve, too bad Denise didn't follow that track. She went after you through your family and you still defend her. You're a class act. I hope you get back in.

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  10. I like Mr. Lazo, but could you please put a picture up that doesn't look like you put the top of his head threw a wood chipper? it's insulting.

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    1. Steve has promised me a better picture. I used what I had without violating copyright laws. If you've got a better picture, please send it.

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  11. Last winter I ran into Steve at the grocery store right after my house lost power. Steve asked me if I could use some firewood and I said "sure" because I was running out of what little I had. Steve brought two truck loads of wood to my house and didn't ask for a penny. I never properly thanked him but he helped me when I really needed help. Although people tried to portray him as some kind of tyrant when he was chairman, he's always shown me to be the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back and ask for nothing in return.

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    1. Riiiight Logan. Guy gives you firewood so you infer that he belongs in politics? I don't see the connection. Good friends don't automatically make good elected officials. You're part of the problem if you think that friends deserve positions of power just because they did you a favor.

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    2. Additionally, when you talk about how great he is during his campaign, that's called "something in return."

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