Editor’s Note: If the answer is blank, the candidate chose not to answer
Framingham Mayoral Candidate Dhruba Sen
Occupation: Technology Management Consultant
Years lived in Framingham: Long time
Which City District Do You Live In: 6
Municipal experience: Town Meeting Member. Top Vote Getter from my precinct during my 1st run. Member of Standing Committees – Community Services, Education, Rules, Ways & Means. Fair Housing Committee.
Volunteerism: President – MA Chapter of Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Founder – MetroWest Chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) , Founder Member – Framingham Comes Together,, Lead organizer – Welcoming Framingham. Presidential, Senatorial, Gubernatorial campaigns.
Website or Facebook page link: Dhruba4Mayor
Editor’s Note: Candidates were asked to provide one-word answers only
What is your favorite place in Framingham? (just one): Intersection RT126 & RT135
How much would you vote to increase (or decrease) the tax levy in your first year of office? Depends
Do you support a split tax rate for businesses and homeowners? Yes
Apartments in Framingham — Too many, just right, not enough? Inconclusive Data
Should City Hall remain in downtown Framingham? Yes
Does Framingham need an arts center? Yes
Would you support the creation of a dog park in Framingham? Yes
Does Framingham need a town pool, a splash pad, or neither? Yes
Name one business that Framingham needs: Cloud Management
Describe Framingham in one word: Welcoming
Mayoral Candidates discuss:
1) Making Framingham more Family-Friendly
2) Saving the arts in Framingham
3) Fixing the traffic congestion in Framingham
Editor’s Note: Candidates were given up to 350 words to answer each question. Answers are copy & pasted into this report.
QUESTION #1 – 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 will work with Subject Matter Experts, examine community needs, work with the School Committee and the Council to determine appropriate budgeting strategy. I am however not in favor of Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB) for municipal governments
The school system lays the foundation of our future. I am open to a budget increase for the school system and not in favor of reducing. .
QUESTION #2 – Framingham is home to Framingham State University and MassBay Community College. How will you work with these two schools to make sure they are community partners with the City of Framingham? Would you support a tuition free program for Framingham students, like the City of Boston initiative?
I will have an Office of Educational Partnership. I will work to make sure the visions of these two organizations do not conflict with that of the City of Framingham. Both the organizations are in a position to contribute to Smart City goals of Framingham. I will create Programs of mutual benefit.
I will support a tuition free program for Framingham students.
QUESTION #3 – Do you feel there is waste in the Framingham municipal budget? If so, please site specific areas where you would reduce funding. In creating your budget, where would you want to spend more money? Give examples.
Waste is always present – a basic principle of Lean Six Sigma model. However, identification of specific areas of waste is a Lean Six Sigma project by itself – with the goal of data driven reduction of waste. I will institute such a project and take a data driven decision to identify areas of waste and improvement. This will of course be part of a Continuous Improvement Program.
Budgeting will be both top down and bottom up – iterative with input from the community. At the moment,upfront, I am inclined for more funding for Community Policing.
QUESTION #4 – Discuss your vision for Framingham for economic-development. Be specific with properties like Nobscot Plaza, Saxonville lumber yard, Mt. Wayte Plaza, downtown Framingham, the Golden Triangle and Tech Park.
What is a Vision Statement ? “An aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future. It is intended to serves as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action. ”
My vision is that Framingham will be one of top 5 Smart Cities of the world in 8 years. Smart City is a vision to integrate Information & Communication Technology, Internet of Things and Big Data Analytics for better city governance. It helps establish an open and data driven government.
Smart City will also be the “Branding ” of Framingham. Just like we need a branding to sell a product, we need a branding for a city to sell. Smart City will attract various investors to Framingham for vibrant growth.
The properties listed need a solution – which will be guided by the city’s over arching vision. My vision of the listed properties is that they will be useful assets of the City of Framingham – not sit as waste. The how-to will be worked out by the Subject Matter Experts I hire.
It will be useful to remember that when JFK talked about his vision of man walking on moon – he did not try to provide a solution – e.g. whether to use German V2 mutlistage rockets or something else – he left that to the Subject Matter Experts.
QUESTION #5 – Does Framingham have a racial and economic equity problem in your opinion? If yes, how would you address it as a mayor.
There is. My office of Racial and Immigrant Justice will devise programs tor racial and economic equity. The data will identify those in need of equity.
QUESTION #6 – How would you make Framingham more green? Outline the steps you would take in your 4-years.
My office will support access to local healthy food, bike path, healthy & active life styles, retention of open space, community gardening and enhance SCADA based systems to monitor and improve our environment. My office will support businesses in the green technology space.
I will examine the “Flying Pod” transportation solution provided by the company TransitX for piloting and subsequent implementation in Framingham. This is a solar power based driver-less point-to-point over head transportation solution. The City of Marlboro is considering approving the piloting of this solution.
QUESTION #7 – The biggest problem facing Framingham that no one talks much about is: _________________ And I would address it by: _____________
The biggest problem facing Framingham that no one talks about is “Hypocrites vying for a slice of power. ”
And I would address it by: ensuring a clean, honest and open administration.
QUESTION #8 What would you accomplish in your first 100 days? Be specific.
 Create a system of open wish list / issues list with priorities from residents – to ultimately input to a Multi Criteria Decision Making Model. This will constitute the “soft infrastructure” of open & transparent governance.
 Re/Train city employees on aspects of Smart City
 Implement an interactive information system for city residents on aspects of Smart City
 Review all existing (& create new if necessary) bye-laws and regulations to make them consistent with Smart City concepts
 Create necessary Task Forces to implement the 15-point priorities.