OP-ED: Mayoral Candidate Wants To Ensure Neighborhood Integrity and Enhance Quality of Life

Framingham is a community of neighborhoods. From Nobscot to Coburnville, Saxonville to Pheasant Hill, each neighborhood has its own identity and history. Together, these diverse neighborhoods are pieces of our community fabric, and woven together by our common values.

Framingham is a great community with the people, resources and ability to become even better We need to work together, neighborhood by neighborhood, in an open, public and participatory process to create a strategic master plan for Framingham that embodies our values, speaks to our dreams and meets our needs.

Strong healthy neighborhoods enrich our daily lives, enhance the overall well-being of our community, nurture our families and bring people together to share common ideals and interests.

Our community is as strong as our neighborhoods. Framingham 2027 will focus on what makes neighborhoods strong.  We will focus on our vision for ensuring the continued vitality, sustainability and prosperity of every neighborhood and thus enhance the quality of life for every Framingham resident and family.

I envision a Framingham where all of our diverse neighborhoods are vibrant, thriving and proudly displaying our values. A Framingham where you eagerly take friends to dinner in Downtown; consume produce grown at one of our local farms; celebrate and protect our diversity; embrace our local businesses; where everyone’s voice is represented and heard; where all of our students in our schools are reaching their full potential. A place we proudly call our home.
The lack of a robust dialogue with our residents and a clear vision squanders our resources and threatens the vitality and sustainability of our neighborhoods.
Parcels of open space are threatened by development, while parcels zoned solely for commercial use stand vacant or underutilized. Road construction projects burdens residents with detours and missed deadlines. Underperforming schools jeopardize the reputation of our great school system. Contaminated sites go unattended and taxes climb without explanation.

As mayor, I pledge to empower citizens to create a community wide vision for 2027 that will:

  • Review Our Current Practices:  Current zoning, planning, environmental, recreational and related bylaws and municipal practices will be analyzed to determine the strengths we have and the challenges we will meet as we go forward with the creation of Framingham 2027. We will draw upon the expertise of local and statewide experts to assess our strengths and challenges neighborhood by neighborhood and make recommendations for positive changes to our bylaws and municipal practices.
  • Ensure Our Neighborhood Integrity: Encourage Smart Growth economic development policies and strengthen the character, security, vitality and environmental integrity of each of our neighborhoods.
  • Enhance Our Quality of Life: Increase the quality and positive outcomes for our schools, respect and celebrate our diversity, and preserve open spaces and increase recreational opportunities.
  • Preserve Our Essential Services: We need to review government from top to bottom to ensure that we are providing services in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible, eliminating redundancies and waste wherever they exist.  We need to keep Framingham affordable, while maintaining the level of services we expect from our government.
  • Create a Sustainable Future: We must join other communities across the Commonwealth in realizing the economic potential of renewable policies. Cost savings from reduced energy consumption and greater reliance on sustainable energy can provide thousands of dollars for other services. New sustainable policies will ensure that Framingham reduces its carbon footprint and its impact on taxpayer’s bottom line.

I will create Neighborhood Advisory Groups, made of volunteer citizens who will work with our Council, community boards and committees, and the Mayor to assure that residents’ voices are heard and guarantee each neighborhood retains their unique characteristics and vitality. In addition to facilitating neighborhood discussions, these groups will review projects, propose mitigation efforts, municipal services and suggest community improvements.

The preservation, protection and promotion of our neighborhoods are essential to a healthy, vibrant and thriving Framingham.

John Stefanini

Candidate for Mayor and former State Representative and Selectman

www.johnstefanini.org

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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