Q&A With Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer

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FRAMINGHAM – Sorry, SOURCE realizes you clicked on this link hoping to read what current Mayor Yvonne Spicer has to say on the key issues in the City of Framingham.

But Mayor Yvonne Spicer chose not to answer the SOURCE questions.

The digital news outlet reached out to her and the campaign on Sunday, the day the responses were due, and no response to the email.

Mayor Spicer did answer the digital news outlet’s questions before the preliminary election in September 14.

The Mayor received less than 2,000 votes in the preliminary election. Her challenger received more than 4,400 votes.

SOURCE sent both Mayor Spicer and her challenger the Q&A on Sunday, October 17, with responses due by 10 a.m. on October 24. The news outlet reach out to the Spicer campaign after noon on Sunday and no response still as of 11 p.m. today, October 24.

Voters will decide on November 2 to either re-elect mayor Spicer or vote in her challenger. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., but some voters are voting early via mail.


In full transparency, below are the questions the news outlet sent to the Mayor.

Preferred Name:

Age: 

Which pronoun do you prefer? 

Occupation (be specific) : 

Years lived in Framingham: 

Family (optional)

Do you speak another language? (sign language does count):

Political Website or Facebook page link

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one-word/short answers. If the questions ask for a yes or no answer do not give more information as it will not be published. If it gives you a multiple choice, answer just that answer.

1) The best run department in municipal government is __________________________________.

2) Crime in Framingham has (increased, stayed the same, decreased) since 2018 (yes or no)

3) My favorite place in the City of Framingham is ___________________________________

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

5)  Since becoming a City residents are  (more engaged, involved at the same level, more apathetic) towards Framingham government.

6) Businesses in Framingham (are struggling, surviving, thriving) since the pandemic

7) The #1 issue I hear from residents about is ___________________________________

In-depth questions (Answers should be 500 or less. Longer answers will be cut at the sentence closest to 500th word.)

QUESTION #1: How have you supported education financially and policy-wise during your term as Mayor?

QUESTION #2: Speeding and traffic are top issues for many residents across all districts.  The administration was tasked with presenting a plan for a Traffic Department. The Traffic Commission completed the plan but your administration never came before the Council on the plan. Why? What is your view on a newly-created Traffic Department?  What have you done during this term to work to lessen traffic and speeding issues? Be specific

QUESTION #3: Businesses are still trying to recover post-pandemic. Supplies are hard to find. Staff is hard to hire. Expenses keep rising. Incumbent: What have you done to help Framingham-based businesses during the pandemic? Be specific.

QUESTION #3: The clean up at Mary Dennison Park has yet to start. The clean-up at the former General Chemical site finally began months ago but there is not enough funding to completely clean it up. Residents in the Cedar Swamp area have yet to even have a public meeting on the toxins in their neighborhood. There is toxic algae at both Lake Cochituate and Lake Waushakum.  What specific steps have you taken to clean up these toxic sites. Not state steps, but City of Framingham steps. How are you reaching out to the environmental justice neighborhoods in District 7, 8, & 9?

QUESTION #4: The Mayor and the City Council had a rocky relationship during the Council’s first term. At the start of the second term many of the City Council votes were 6-5 either way, but by the end of this term many of the votes were 8-3 or 9-2  against you Madam Mayor. If re-elected to another 4-year term how will you work with the Council? Many of the Councilors you have had difficult relationships were unchallenged in this election. How will you repair those relationships?

QUESTION #5:  Transparency of government has been an issue raised often during your administration. Many residents are told to file Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests to get documents and information. Many times residents’ emails and calls from the administration are not returned. During the pandemic, your administration never held a press conference. Do you think your administration has been transparent to residents and accountable to taxpayers? Why or why not? 

QUESTION #6: During the pandemic, mental health was no longer in the shadows but front center. Anxiety and depression increased not only for students and senior citizens but for many individuals across all socio-economic, and ethnically diverse residents. What have you done since March 2020 to help those with anxiety, depression, and mental health issues?

QUESTION #7: Do you support the legislative plan to carve up Framingham in four districts? You have said from Day 1 that Framingham will have a seat at the table? Did Framingham have a seat at this table? Where has your voice at the table, provided a return for Framingham? Be specific.

QUESTION #8: Describe your relationship with Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay. When was the last time you met 1-1 for a discussion about the school district, outside of a School Committee meeting. 

QUESTION #9: During the pandemic your administration said it did not have a written plan. Your COO said there was no need to create a plan that would sit on the shelf.  When a crisis happens in the City, how do you go about dealing with it? Who are your closest advisors? How do you seek input from key stakeholders? Who are those key stakeholders

QUESTION #19: Since 2020, more than a dozen department heads in your administration have retired or resigned. Why the high turnover? What will you do if re-elected to stop the turnover of the Mayor’s cabinet?

QUESTION #11: The City Council, at the request of District 7 City Councilor Margareth Shepard, created a Welcoming Task Force to help the City’s large immigrant population population. The Task Force never met in 2020 and once once in 2021 in March. What has the task force accomplished?

QUESTION #12: What one thing during your first term as Mayor are you most proud of? Why?

QUESTION #13: You promised voters a 3-1-1 system when you campaigned for Mayor in 2017. It never came to fruition. Why?

QUESTION #14: You have said you solved the blighted plazas in Framingham. But if you drive by Nobscot Plaza, there is still an empty plaza, just now with a giant CVS on the corner.  What went wrong with that plaza project? 

QUESTION #15: Why should voters re-elect you for another 4-year term as Mayor?

editor

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