District 6 City Council candidate Michael Rossi
District 6 is Precincts 10 and 11
Occupation: Retired Engineer / Program Manager at Raytheon Co.
Years lived in Framingham: 50 +
Family: Married, Debra Tosti, Daughter, Laura Rossi
Military: US Navy Vietnam Veteran
Municipal experience: 30 Yrs. (Town Meeting , Selectman, Finance Committee, Keefe Regional School Committee)
Volunteerism: Various road races for charitable events
In less than 100 words, why should someone vote you to represent them as a city councilor?
Having spent over 50 years in Framingham and over 30 years volunteering in town government: Town Meeting Member, Finance Committee (Chair), Board of Selectman Chair) and Keefe Regional School Committee (Chair), I have the experience and commitment to lead District 6. Some of my work included: Preserving open space at Cushing Park from development, Instituting paramedic emergency services in Framingham, Preserving and protecting the Stearnes and Bracket Reservoirs and Protecting homeowners from an Ashland developer’s proposed road connection through their neighborhood. District 6 voters will get a dedicated, independent, full time councilor whose only business will be to serve them.
In less than 100 words, describe your district: District 6 represents the heart of Framingham including one of the best Municipal Parks in Massachusetts (Cushing). This District also includes the Keefe Regional School, The Stearnes and Bracket Reservoirs. Amazing residential neighborhoods great apartments and condominiums and vital business entities. Framingham State University also resides in this district. During my door-to door visits with my District 6 neighbors, I have found my neighbors to be friendly, diverse, committed and community-oriented. They are seeking to strengthen their neighborhood and the broader community”
Website or Facebook page link: www.mikemrossi.com
Editor’s Note: Candidates were asked to provide one-word answers only
How much would you vote to increase (or decrease) the tax levy in your first year of office? Depends
What business is needed in your district? Green
What amenity is lacking in your district? Bike Paths
Should Framingham become a sanctuary city? NO
Would you support the creation of a dog park in Framingham? YES
Should it be built in your district in Cushing Memorial Park? Possibly
Would you support the construction of a splash pad in Framingham? YES
Should it be built in your district? YES
Do you support a split tax rate for businesses and homeowners? YES
Would you vote for a debt exclusion override to build a new school in Framingham? Possibly
What is your favorite place in Framingham? (just one): Farm Pond
What is your favorite place in your district? (just one): Cushing Memorial Park
Editor’s Note: Candidates were given up to 350 words to answer each question. Answers are copy & pasted into this report.
QUESTION #1: In your opinion, what is the biggest issue facing your district? How would you go about fixing it as a city councilor?
As I talk with voters in District 6, they express concerns about keeping Framingham affordable. Taxes and water rates continue to rise without any restraints.
We need to get our budget under control. As a former Finance Committee Chair and Selectman, setting priorities and drilling down to the specifics will eliminate unnecessary spending. Consolidating redundant services and coordinating supply chain purchases and contracting will provide some relief. A comprehensive review of the business and residential tax base is needed to ensure equity. As your District Councilor, I will bring sound business practices to the table.
QUESTION #2 – The Framingham Public Schools represent more than 50 percent of the total budget for the community. Would you support a level-funded budget, a level service budget, and increase in the school budget or a decrease in the school budget? Why?
I would support a fair budget that eliminates waste. Our schools are one of the most important resources in our community.
As the only candidate with over 10 years experience on school resources serving as chairman the last 2 years on the Keefe Regional school board, I would bring our transparent budget process to the table. Our budget growth the past 3 years has been less than 3 % per year including health care and pensions, which are not included in the Framingham School budget. The excellence in life learning must be replicated across all aspects in Framingham Schools.
Great Schools enhance our property values and the quality of life in Framingham.
Spending over a quarter of a million dollars on a no show superintendent, without credentials is a travesty.
QUESTION #3 – Traffic is a major issue in your district. Currently, the winter street bridget (a MassDOT project) is still closed and behind schedule to re-open. How will you work with the neighborhood, other city councilors, and the new mayor to solve the problem of traffic issues and off-schedule projects.
Since the Winter St bridge is a major access point to the Keefe Regional School, early on the School Committee and the Superintendent negotiated with the Mass DOT for a safe pedestrian walkway through the construction area. Projects involving state and sometimes federal jurisdiction require open communication with all state holders. Construction projects that diminish the quality of life and affect profitability of local businesses, must be accountable.
Front end planning and oversight as well as clear points of contacts during all phases of a project will diminish the negative consequences. The city council must be part of any future infrastructure decisions.
QUESTION #4 – Your district includes Cushing Memorial Park and Farm Pond Park, as well as the Macomber property. What is your view of open space vs economic development in Framingham?
I believe there is a place for economic development if we don’t sacrifice open space for it. I would encourage development in areas where the local quality of life will not be impacted. Negotiating with developers to encourage plans that are profitable and fit into the character of the neighborhoods where they reside.
Dormant properties must be maintained. Property owners must be accountable.
QUESTION #5 – District 6 includes Keefe Technical High School. More than 50 percent of the students come from Framingham. What role do you see the vocational school in your district? in the City?
Actually over 70 % are Framingham residents as of this year. As a Keefe Regional School board member, and chairman the last two years, I assure you that this school emphasizes everything Framingham should be.
Preparing our students for college or a vocational career, right out of high school emphasizes the life long learning that is the School motto.
Additionally Keefe After Dark provides the community with an amazing array of training and educational programs for which the residents of Framingham and beyond can access.
QUESTION #6 – Part of your district includes Framingham State University. What role should the University play in the community? How will you work with the University to make sure they are community partners with the City of Framingham?
First and foremost FSU must be a good neighbor! The residential properties abuting FSU, must be respected and any major initiatives communicated directly which affect the quality of life. Additionally meeting with city representatives on a regular basis including state and resident representatives will forge trusting relationships.
Currently there are initiatives between the Framingham School system and FSU, as well as the Keefe Regional School system. These need to be expanded and updated on a regular basis.
QUESTION #7 – Do you think Framingham is a safe community? Why or why not? How will you work with the mayor and the police department to make sure Framingham has a good quality of life?
As a Selectman we instituted the community policing program and trained the administration. Residents must trust their public safety officials. Safe communities rely on cooperation and communication between both parties. I believe Framingham does well on behalf of its residents.
QUESTION #8 – Describe your what your role would be with the business community in your district and in the City of Framingham, if elected. What is your vision for economic-development?
I see our business community as equal partners with a great investment in the fabric of this community.
With our split tax rate businesses pay over 2 times the residential rate for property taxes.
We must not create policies that further burden their profitability. We also must create enterprise zones and offer tax incentives to new businesses considering relocating here.
As many remember the GM plant on Western Ave. stood vacant for many years until Adessa relocated here. This was accomplished by working together and establishing a TIF (tax incentive financing) that offered some relief in the early years.
QUESTION #9 – Do you think Framingham is family friendly? Why or why not? What would you do to do make the community more inviting to families? What can be done in your district with Cushing and Farm Pond parks?
Framingham is a great community and welcoming families should be an outreach initiative.
Cushing Memorial Park is an amazing acquisition.
More can be done to enhance its value, for instance permanent rest rooms should be considered for the next phase of enhancements including maintenance and security.
QUESTION #10 – How will you make sure that residents in your neighborhood have a voice in the new City of Framingham, if elected? Give specifics.
As a city councilor, I would rotate neighborhood meetings around the District, as the only full time councilor, I would represent their interests full time. My website would be maintained and updated frequently to communicate current initiatives and city wide issues.
QUESTION #11 – How will you get residents in your neighborhood, especially those in apartments, more involved in their community? Give specifics.
As a new city government, it is incumbent that we reach out to all residents where ever they live.
As mentioned earlier, District meetings will rotate through all areas of the new District 6.
QUESTION #12 – Framingham is a community full of social, economic and cultural diversity. What can you do as a councilor to not only represent your district but to the bring the nine districts together as one City?
We need to celebrate who we are and share that citywide. Having cultural and patriotic events on a regular basis as other communities do, will bring us together. Parades, cook outs, charitable events, Framingham Day, sporting events and many other opportunities don’t happen because, no one is leading the discussion. Let’s get it started.