When I moved my family from New York to Southbridge approximately 34 years ago I found a viable small town that had been recently awarded the title of an "all American-city". It had a vibrant economy which was starting to be plagued by a double digit inflationary national banking interest rate. On the other hand it still had a high community participation ratio by all groups religious, political, including the business community.it was a confident community that apparently worked as a team.
What unfortunately started in the 80's was a classic scenario illustrating a one company dependant community that was starting to lose their prime manufacturing legacy employer. As that alpha entity was fading from the town the unemployment rate steadily increased as a consequence of decades long outside negative economic forces. by the time the decade was finished community groups fractured and turned in on themselves to produce separate familial and competing self interest camps not unlike what has happened to too many body-politic formations in the past. Each camp competed for power continually for many years using the town council platform to complete halfhearted fixes disguised in ("Grant Money Addicted") practices shepherded by well-meaning amateurs who may inadvertently played into a somewhat fragmented manufacturing business community's reticence to invite further competition to Southbridge.
The controlling imperative for any future town council is for it to close ranks and pivot to a new dynamic and cooperatively pull together a professional economic development team that can bring a large manufacturing or new age company into this community, thereby creating greater employment opportunities. This I believe along with our improving school system will resonate together to create needed infrastructure improvements that will in its turn improve employment and property values. Realistically this will require the disparate mindsetof councilors who I believe have the well-being of this community as their focus, to adopt as it's prime effort a more hands-on control of the future economic direction for this town. Mutual trust issues which I believe were created by outside economic forces and exacerbated by local folks who were conditioned by anecdotal assumptions and disinformation created false motivation by the political rank and file. The islands of distrust between the differing interest groups have created a sort of balkanization of the Southbridge team which needs to be changed. With the forgoing message in mind, I believe I can help lead this community toward more realistic and adult governance.
Mr. Sottile was born and raised in New York City and attended its public and parochial schools, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and The US Department of Transportation Safety Institute. He is a Marine Corps Veteran, a life member of the Veteran of Foreign Wars, and the Marine Corps League. He presently resides with his wife in Southbridge, Massachusetts.
His railroad background includes nearly 55 years combined industry and regulatory experience in railroad signal circuit design, signal system project planning and installation. He is a certfied railroad accident reconstructionist and an expert in all wayside signal, rail/highway grade crossing, communications based positive train control, and on board locomotive automatic cab signal and train control applications, in both electric traction and non-electric propulsion systems.
His Federal service included extensive accident investigation training and has participated with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigating causal factors of major rail accidents in New England, New York, and New Jersey. He has represented several Boston, Massachusetts metropolitan area municipalities concerning rail/highway four-quadrant gate grade crossing design applications for "Quiet Zones" codified in 49 CFR § 222 at government-sponsored hearings. Mr. Sottile is presently a signal and grade crossing system consultant for the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. He has also provided technical guidance for metropolitan New York City area commuter railroads when his field research exposed dangerous anomalies between signal system and propulsion negative traction return paths connecting traction power sub stations. He found that disparate Power and Signal Department circuit design engineering cultures affected fail safe design of several train detection circuits on high speed main track. Mr. Sottile has also conducted in-country studies of Chinese rail signal systems for a Cambridge, Massachusetts based signal system supplier.
His community service has included serving as the first chairman of the Southbridge Massachusetts liquor licensing board, in which he provided the regulated community with its first iteration of local liquor licence requirements. His community service also included leadership in several successful "Toys for Tots" campaigns for the South Central Massachusetts Marine Corps League, and he is presently serving as the Vice President of the Southbridge, Massachusetts Veterans Council, and a member of the Southbridge, Massachusetts Charter Review Committee.