District 6 City Council candidate Brian Dorfman
District 6 is Precincts 10 and 11
Editor’s Note: If a question is left blank, the candidate did not respond.
Years lived in Framingham: 1
Family (optional): Father (Robert), Mother (Susan), 3 Brothers (Jacob, Andrew, Matthew)
Volunteerism: Active member of Transition Framingham
In less than 100 words, why should someone vote you to represent them as a city councilor?
I am committed to being the transparent and accountable candidate for District 6. When elected to office, I will have three priorities: being transparent and accountable every step of the way, helping to guide our educational system back on track, and making our municipal government accessible for all of our residents. I am ready to help our town smoothly transition to a great city, a model city off of which others can build themselves.
In less than 100 words, describe your district: District 6, formerly Precincts 10 and 11, is an amazing community of support. From the Foss Reservoir to the Stop and Shop to Keefe Technical School, we are the heart of what makes Framingham so unique. We are diverse, and we celebrate that. We exhibit Framingham pride, and are excited to share and celebrate that with everyone who comes here.
Website or Facebook page link:fb.me/Dorfman4Council
Election announcement submitted to Framingham Source during the nomination period
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? None, or decrease
What business is needed in your district? Foot-traffic
What amenity is lacking in your district? Dog-park
Should Framingham become a sanctuary city? Not in name
Would you support the creation of a dog park in Framingham? Yes
Should it be built in your district in Cushing Memorial Park? Yes
Would you support the construction of a splash pad in Framingham? Yes
Should it be built in your district? Possibly
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? No
What is your favorite place in Framingham? (just one): The residence I work at in D3
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?
Our district, along with a significant portion of Framingham, is woefully ignored by the town government when it comes to information.
Most of the people I’ve spoken with, when out knocking, don’t even know that they are in District 6 yet. The town should have not just been making this information available, but giving away this information to our citizens. An informed electorate is the best electorate.
When elected, I will push for making our local government accessible to all. I hope to work with my neighbors to make their dreams for our district come true, not be a bureaucratic roadblock. I will also push for a regularly distributed newsletter for Framingham residents informing them of what’s been happening in City Council, along with the rest of the local government.
The people of Framingham have a right to know what is happening in their municipal government, and we have a responsibility to inform them.
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 cannot commit to any kind of level-funded budget, as our needs change every year. If we don’t pay attention to what our students need and instead focus on the money behind it, then we are doing a great disservice to our future, our children.
A level service budget has similar issues.
Each year, our students require new services, different services, and we should provide for them first and foremost.
Therefore, I would support an increase in school budget, as long as the proposed budget promises to support our children as a priority. As a teacher myself, I know there is never too much that we can invest in our students.
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.
Traffic is, far and above, the most common problem mentioned when I knock on doors and talk with my neighbors.
We need to lay out solid plans for construction before beginning projects: surveying the project, estimating costs, laying out deadlines, and sticking to those deadlines. I am much less concerned with the contract we have with a construction company than I am with the contract we open with our residents to fix their roads.
Going forward, before a project begins, I will make sure that those terms are laid out in the contract with the company, and then we give those details to the people, so they know what terms to hold us accountable with.
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?
Open space is invaluable to any city. New York City would be nothing without Central Park. Boston would be nothing without Boston Common. Framingham would be nothing without its parks. As long as our open space contributes to our residents’ outdoors well-being, then I am in full support of open space over economic development.
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?
Keefe Technical School is a great resource for our district. While traditional schools are wonderful and to be celebrated, vocational schools have a special place in my heart for all schools that take a special focus.
Additionally, the Keefe at Night programming is incredible, providing both single classes with interesting topics to licensing classes for individuals interested in new career paths.
The vocational school is a model necessary in the education system in America, and I’m glad we show that here in Framingham, especially in District 6.
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?
The University already plays an amazing role in our community, from its newly announced partnership with Danforth Art Museum to its Center for Climate Change Education, it makes great strides in the Framingham community. I look forward to discussing with the university how we can continue projects that keep their students going forward, such as the crosswalk discussed this past summer that would increase local student safe foot traffic, and involving their students in projects in the community.
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?
Framingham is safe, thanks to our great and supportive community. Unfortunately, not all see it that way, and it’s time we work to change that image. I grew up near New York City, and they had to work to change their image to being a safe city long after actually making it safe. We can do the same thing here by getting our government and our officers involved in the community in more than just the unfortunate circumstances. We already have great events like the Annual National Night Out hosted by our police department. Let’s keep those events going.
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 believe that local business is key to any economy, and our municipal government needs to take a stand on that.
I have been talking with local artists, who feel that they are largely untapped by the town government in Framingham. They want to be a part of the city government, and we can use that to our advantage.
One model I look to is the POW WOW Worcester Festival. Every year for two years now they have held a festival where they paint murals around the city. This has increased foot traffic, increasing local business in the area immeasurably. We can do something similar in Framingham, using local Framingham artists.
If you make Framingham more attractive, people will want to bring their money here. That kind of programming is what we need to support in our municipality: spurring local artists, increasing local business organically, and using our spaces naturally.
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 the most family-friendly city I know. I will be proud to raise my family here one day, and will help keep it that way with my fellow councilors.
We have amazing resources like our parks and beaches to enjoy when the weather is cooperative, and indoor activities like the Amazing Things Arts Center or the Framingham History Center for less weather-cooperative days. Of course, we can always do more. A friend of mine and I have been in conversation about bringing theatre back to Framingham in the future, and I would love to take on that endeavor by his side. We can even work on an outdoor festival in Cushing Park, using the large open space there.
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.
I am committed to being the transparent and accountable candidate. I believe that if I am not reflecting the voice of the people of Framingham, then residents are left to ask who I am listening to. I have committed to knocking on every door in our district before the primary, and again before the general election. I also regularly maintain my email address, Dorfman4Council@gmail.com, and have a contact form on my website http://Dorfman4Council.com. I welcome and encourage people to reach out to me for a chat at any time they want, and I’d be happy to set up a meeting with them. When elected, I would push to open up new means of communication for residents to chat with their representatives online, a resource accessible at all hours.
QUESTION #11 – How will you get residents in your neighborhood, especially those in apartments, more involved in their community? Give specifics.
I live in an apartment building myself, the Jefferson Hills Apartments on Route 9. I understand the challenges of reaching that community, and for being reached by the municipal government. That is why I would push to get these people involved. Whether you’re here for one year, or here for the rest of your life, your input is valuable on how to improve Framingham. One of my first goals in office would be to begin a newsletter from the municipal government to inform residents in apartments of what is happening in the town government that may affect them. Additionally, I would love to host annual events at apartment complexes to celebrate our community, host voter registration efforts, and increase civic engagement in a non-intrusive manner.
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?
I celebrate our diversity every day in Framingham, and I know my neighbors celebrate it as well. Of course, we can always do better. I hope to lead the way on this fight. We need to provide equal services throughout Framingham. This doesn’t just mean, however, providing one-size-fits-all services – it means evaluating the needs of each community in our purview, and then assessing and implementing solutions to tackle those needs. For example, providing translation services to Portuguese is an invaluable service to many in our community, but would not help someone like me, who speaks English, some Spanish, and a little Hebrew.
Equal services entails leveling the playing field for everyone to approach local government from the same level. Once we begin to understand each other’s struggles only then can we begin to evolve as one unified Framingham.