Friday, May 4, 2012

Southbridge Consultant and EDC Member Cite Greenfield and Northampton as Models - Both Have Mayors


Today’s Southbridge Evening News features a front page article titled “‘Compelling story’ needed for downtown development”.

Ted Carman of Concord Square Development, recently hired with state grant funds to do strategic financial planning necessary to make the town’s long-term downtown redevelopment effort possible, told the new Economic Development Commission:

…he saw the same thing in Greenfield, where several landlords made no effort to maintain property and some sat vacant for many years. Over the last five [years] or so, though, the city has used a variety of funding sources and sometimes eminent domain to renovate and re-tenant five major buildings, with four more still somewhere in the “ridiculously complicated” funding process, he said. 

The article went on to note:

To EDC member Pete Cournoyer, the change in Greenfield has been significant. He said he visited it recently on the way back from Vermont. “It kind of feels like Northampton, only smaller and quieter,” he said.

Now, I found the choice of examples especially telling.

For years I have been arguing that if Southbridge is going to break out of the ongoing cycle of stagnation it needs a change in the structure of its municipal government. What we need is an elected mayor who would be a local resident. Such an executive would not only have a stake arising from being a resident of the community, but also the need to demonstrate measurable progress in order to secure reelection.

I am convinced that the above observations validate my argument. Both Greenfield and Northampton have elected mayors. I think that is more than mere coincidence.

2 comments:

  1. Zotos says, i agree but i call them slumlord millionaires
    And sandy Acly has to go, lets try a real pro, wirh a real resume of sucsess not 15 years of failure , how many master plans have we made , master?

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  2. I really do like this Town, BUT!!! We do have to do something about it's appearance. There are so many homes and properties in this Town that look like crap, and so many that look great nicely maintained. I do agree to a point that it is the owner neglect, then some it is the tenants that trash the properties "what do they care". I say "YES" to electing a Mayor, "Yes" that person should live in the Town and get rid of the Welfare Office in this Town...

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