Op-Ed: Leadership Change Is Needed in City of Framingham’s Most Important Department

In the coming weeks, Framingham will have a chance to reposition itself as a dominant player in the Commonwealth’s suburban economic growth initiatives. Surrounding communities are years ahead in cutting-edge development strategies.

We cannot afford to lag behind our neighbors any more. With the new set of Opportunity Zone guidelines recently released, it is now time to bring investors in to help invigorate portions of our municipality that have gone too long without attention. There is also momentum building in the push to bring more Life Science businesses and opportunities to MetroWest.

We must not squander these opportunities. We must continue to be a leader when it comes to bringing these important industry businesses to land in Metrowest and specifically in Framingham.

The reputation we have as a regional/national Bio center cannot be taken for granted. And being the corporate address for many large corporations must be capitalized upon, promoted and regenerated with new visions, programs and incentives.

Our City Charter has given us an opportunity to re-focus on our strategic planning process, by way of the required reorganization of our Community and Economic Development department.

And it’s most definitely time for a change.

And it starts at the top.

The newly titled “Director of Community Planning” position has been advertised and must not go unnoticed. And it must not go unchallenged. In all likelihood the Mayor will appoint the current Director to the position
along with a new three-year contract. However, the appointment must go in front of the City Council for approval.

Let’s take a moment to look back on five years of economic development in our community.

Outside of a couple of new beer halls, what have we accomplished?

Is there a plan to celebrate our diverse community centers?

There are plans for apartments, apartments and more apartments.

Oh, and does anyone even know who the current director is? Or what he
looks like? Has he been in your community neighborhood shaking hands, meeting you and asking what you think about Framingham and where we’re headed?

How can a Community Development Director, making six figures, and after five years, not be recognized in the community?

How can an Economic Development Director, making six figures, not be a member of the Framingham Business Association? This is totally unacceptable.

Yes, the current director has a Master of Arts degree. In Foreign Relations! Yes, and a Bachelor of Arts degree. In Political Science! No business education or degrees whatsoever. Certainly answers a lot of questions for me, as to what has or hasn’t been accomplished over the past five years.

It’s most definitely time for a change.

Many, many people are hoping for new leadership in this position.

We have plenty of marketing and business experienced, community service oriented, Framingham raised people already here in our diverse community.

We need a visionary. One who doesn’t have to spend our tax dollars on a multitude of consultants.

A leader who can work together with businesses big (huge) and small, l to direct our strategic efforts towards a prosperous future. For one and for all in our community.

Let’s have this conversation. From business owners, to elected officials, to community groups and with the Mayor.

Framingham deserves the best.

Remember, a rising tide floats all boats. We need a new visionary at the helm of this omni-important Framingham department.

David Bobillier

Framingham

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

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

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