Q&A With District 8 City Council Candidate John Stefanini

Share, email, print, bookmark SOURCE reports.

John Stefanini

Which pronoun do you prefer? (he/him/his)

Occupation: Attorney

First elected to the City Council in: 2019

Political Website or Facebook page link: https://www.facebook.com/stefaniniforframingham


Describe the City of Framingham in 3 words:  Great Place 2 live!

Best thing about District 8 is: People

District 8 needs: an elementary school.

Report Card time. What letter grade would you give the Mayor? D

Should the Mayor be required to attend every City Council meeting? No, but she should
attend most meetings.

Report Card time: What letter grade would you give the City Council this second term? B

Zoom happy or Zoom fatigued? We need to get back to meeting in person but keep Zoom
as an option for folks to participate.

Participation in government by the City’s 70,000-plus residents is fabulous, adequate, or
lacking (pick one)? It is improving, but needs lots of improvement.

Framingham City of Framingham did an (amazing, adequate, or poor job) (pick one) when
it came to the Coronavirus pandemic: adequate.

Should City of Framingham municipal employees be required to get a COVID vaccine?
Yes.

City of Framingham is on (the right track, spinning its wheels, going backwards) (pick
one): spinning its wheels

Do you support a split tax rate for businesses and homeowners? Yes.

Should City offices close early on Fridays? No

Should there be designated parking spaces for customers at the Memorial Building?
Absolutely.

Do you support the proposed justice center for the former Danforth building? Yes.

City of Framingham is (ahead of the curve, making progress, or behind its neighboring
communities) when it comes to environmental issues: behind its neighboring
communities

Framingham’s Zoning Laws are (awesome, adequate, needs fixed): Needs fixing.

Framingham Public Schools Receive (too little, just the right amount, or too much)
funding: Just the right amount

What City Council subcommittee do you wish to serve on? Any Subcommittee that I can
make a difference.

The #1 issue I hear from residents in my district about is: Traffic


QUESTION #1: In your opinion, what is the biggest issue facing YOUR District? What
have you done during this term to work to eliminate the issue?

Traffic. I have worked with colleagues to secure funding and clear authority for Traffic
Commission. And I have worked with neighbors to study, remediate, and address pedestrian,
bicycle, and vehicle concerns street by street.

QUESTION #2: Speeding and traffic are top issues for residents. What letter grade would
you give the Traffic Commission? How would you make sure residents’ traffic and safety
concerns are heard and resolved by the Traffic Commission?

B+ The Traffic Commission has done a good job, but lack the resources or support from the
Spicer Administration to do their job properly.

QUESTION #3: Businesses are still trying to recover from the pandemic. What can the
City Council do to help them? Be specific.


Small business are the heart and soul of our community providing jobs for our residents,
services and goods for our neighbors, and revenue to fund police, fire, schools and public works. We need to do much more to support them: outdoor dining bylaw, sign by law relief, and a voice in policy making.

QUESTION #4: Which vote by the City Council, in this last term, has made a difference in
Framingham? Why?

There were many:
● Establish a Green Commission to build consensus and identify strategies to increase our
sustainability;
● Require community benefits and worker protections in exchange for any real estate tax
incentives for developers;
● Create neighborhood area groups to advise municipal decision-makers on local development
projects, capital improvement needs and other matters of local concern;
● Petition the Legislature to expand the Board of Health from 3 members to 5 members;
● Increase transparency and public input into the formulation of the operating and capital
budgets, public policy and Council;
● Provide a temporary moratorium on new apartments to refine current housing plan;
● Create a Blue Ribbon panel to develop a masterplan for our seat of local government;
● Establish resident only parking stickers for certain neighborhoods;
● Require developers to disclose of beneficial interests in a development; and,
● Advocate for new southside elementary school

QUESTION #5: What ordinance would you file between 2022 and 2024 to improve your
district (or city-wide)? Why?

There were many:
● Set 2035 as a strategic goal for Framingham to be carbon neutral;
● Establish Blue Ribbon Commission to formulate masterplan for municipal buildings in
downtown;
● Create Traffic Department;
● Create trails and public ways committee;
● Ban no reusable, recyclable or biodegradable single use containers;
● Study and recommend improvements to 135 corridor zoning;
● Reduce waste stream through curbside composting, repair centers, and swap shops;
● Convene community leaders, social service agencies, and neighbors to combat homelessness, substance abuses, and mental health issues.

QUESTION #6: The water & sewer enterprise fund is hemorrhaging money according to
an independent consultant’s report. What legislation or step would you put forth to get
that fund on firmer financial footing?

The Administration has to do a better job managing these accounts. I have voted against these
budgets as they are not well thought through or managed today.

QUESTION #7: What is your #1 priority on how to spend the ARPA funds? Why?

We should spend these funds to beautify Framingham and increase the quality of life of its
residents.

QUESTION #8: Do you think the City of Framingham is safe? Why or why not? How will
you work with the Mayor and the police department to make sure Framingham all
residents enjoy a good quality of life?

(Police) Chief (Lester) Baker and the men and women of the Framingham Police Department do a great job with limited resources and support. They need more support with community agencies addressing non law-enforcement issues in the community. (See above.)

QUESTION #9: The City Council voted in June to eliminate the salary of the head of the
Community, Planning, & Economic Development Department. Many of the City
Councilors said the department had lost its focus and drive. What can you do as a City
Councilor to help that department thrive?

The next Mayor needs to select an industrious creative person willing to collaborate with
community leaders to grow our local economy one company at a time.

QUESTION #10: Ever since the City vote in 2017, politics in Framingham has been very
divisive. What can you do in your next term to curtail the negativity, increase
collaboration, and bring new voices into government?

Much of the division in Framingham between City supporters and Town supporters has
dissipated as residents have largely coalesced around issues of common concern. Leaders
need to ignore the handful of muckrakers more content on conflict and name calling then
securing results for residents. Framingham is a great community to live, learn, work and play.
Working together, we can make it even better.

QUESTION #11: The City Council is responsible for approving the budget that is
submitted by the mayor. Which city department is underfunded in your opinion? Why?

Parks and Recreation

QUESTION #12: What is YOUR biggest accomplishments during this term? 

Two years ago I committed to work collaboratively with all my colleagues in local government to file 16 ordinance, and I happily report that 13 of these were passed by the Council:
● Establish goals to make Framingham sustainable, including 100% use of renewable
energies by 2030, with a Green Commission chaired by the Mayor to identify strategies
to achieve these goals;
● Require community benefits in exchange for any real estate tax incentives for
developers or businesses;
● Create neighborhood area groups to advise municipal decision-makers on local
development projects, capital improvement needs and other matters of local concern;
● Petition the Legislature to expand the Board of Health from 3 members to 5 members;
● Increase transparency and public input into the formulation of the operating and capital
budgets;
● Provide a temporary moratorium on new apartments;
● Create a Blue Ribbon panel to develop a masterplan for our seat of local government;
● Establish resident only parking stickers for certain neighborhoods;
● Increase the municipal officials designated to complete an ethics disclosure statement;
and, If reelected, I will continue to work collaboratively with my colleagues in government to adopt policies, budgets and ordinances that embody our values, speaks to our dreams, and meets our needs. 

QUESTION 13: What 3 things do you want to accomplish in your next term?

See question #5 answers.

editor

email: editor@FraminghamSource.com call or text at 508-315-7176