Framingham Mayoral Candidates Discuss Economic Development, Empty Plazas

 

FRAMINGHAM – On November 7, Framingham voters will elect the City of Framingham’s first-ever mayor.

In September, voters narrowed the seven mayoral candidates to two. The two individual with the most voteswill appear on the November 7 ballot.

On the ballot will be Yvonne Spicer and John Stefanini.

Framingham Source asked both candidates in September: 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.

Yvonne Spicer

SPICER: The mandate we have received from the people of Framingham is clear: we need to revitalize and redevelop our blighted plazas and our downtown, and help our businesses prosper.

I will bring together the various actors in this process under the hat of the new Framingham Planning and Development Agency (FPDA) to make sure we all work together to achieve our vision.

We will work together with state and federal agencies to ensure we bring all the resources we need
for planned growth and balanced development.

As your Mayor, I will lead the FPDA to create a plan for preserving our community’s environmental and historic gems while coordinating the efforts to revitalize our blighted plazas and our downtown.

With several projects under way by January 1, 2018, we need to be very thoughtful about how we plan and execute any future projects. We need to make sure that we plan holistically, that any new additions serve the needs of the community for dining, shopping, and entertainment.

It is also essential to be selective in partnering only with developers who share our vision for healthy vibrant communities that encourage home ownership and pride in maintaining the properties. The FPDA will interface with the community to maximize input into the scale and type of development in our new city.

I will regularly establish an Innovation Task Force to consult expert government and industry leaders to help us innovate in areas like housing, transportation, government services and accessibility.

We will be deliberate in our effort.

We will examine our past experiences and will explore all options regarding any of the unresolved blighted plazas and our downtown with a single goal: a plan for the best possible outcome for all of Framingham’s residents.

To learn more about my plans for establishing the FPDA and invigorating our economy through planned growth and balanced development, you can read my comprehensive Platform at www.yvonnespicerformayor.com/platform/.

 

STEFANINI: Our shopping centers should reflect the needs of its surrounding neighborhoods. We need to look at activities for all ages.

We need to explore ways to connect our shopping centers to our open spaces, like downtown with Farm Pond, the commuter rail and proposed housing; and Nobscot Plaza with our working farms.

We need to find solutions that not only bring Framingham revenue for our schools, public safety and public works programs, but ones that strengthen the character, security and vitality of our neighborhoods.

We need to think outside the box. For example, I could see an Eastleigh Farm ice cream stand at Nobscot Plaza to help the plaza and farm owners to earn revenue – accomplishing two goals. Likewise, I can see our working farms partnering with local restaurants for popular farm-to-table meals for their mutual benefit.

I am committed to convening interested parties, listening to everyone’s ideas, building consensus on a strategic plan, and then rolling up my sleeves to secure the public and private resources to finally make these goals a reality.

The naysayers will say it cannot be done, but my experience in government and in the private sector says otherwise.

During my decade in Framingham government, when we needed more revenue for our schools and municipal services, we collaborated to get the long stalled 9/90 project done – generating jobs and tax revenue for Framingham.

Likewise, we need to work with our corporate neighbors, landowners and investors to retain and attract national and international companies interested in our ideal location, plentiful resources and skilled workforce.  We need to begin to compete for these jobs and related revenues.

We need to believe in our collective knowledge and power to make these parcels productive once again for the neighborhoods they serve and our wider community.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

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

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