When I was sworn in as Attleboro’s youngest mayor in 2004, I pledged that a new chapter was about to be written in Attleboro’s history. That was a tall order, considering we were facing a $1 million fiscal dilemma as I was being sworn in. But I said that evening that Attleboro will have many more good and prosperous times to come, and I outlined a plan to get us there together. Now, 14 years later, Attleboro has prospered.

In 2004, I talked about the need to focus on our economic development and planning, and about the need to recruit business and attract new investors. Today, new commercial and residential construction can be seen throughout Attleboro. From the new commercial enterprises in the Industrial Business Park to new retail buildings and restaurants in South Attleboro, economic development is certainly alive and well. And it’s just not commercial enterprises that are moving to Attleboro. Single-family building permits have also been on the rise, proving that Attleboro continues to be an attractive and affordable place to live and raise a family.

I also talked about the need to invest in the downtown through a variety of opportunities including downtown living, transportation and streetscape improvements, plus cultural and entertainment venues. Today, we not only have new downtown streetscape and sidewalk improvements, we also have the City’s first downtown Transit Oriented Development (TOD)/Intermodal Transportation Center. Through the efforts of the city, the Attleboro Redevelopment Authority, GATRA and other agencies, this project took an industrially polluted site and has transformed it into a GATRA bus terminal, Judy Robbins Park and Riverfront Drive connector road. Along the way, Renaissance Station North emerged, a seven-story building consisting of 80 residential units. And more is coming, including Renaissance Station South, a new parking garage along with 350 residential housing units along Riverfront Drive.

Other key improvements can be seen throughout Attleboro, including the new Attleboro High School Stadium, a new Animal Shelter, and miles of new sidewalks connecting our neighborhoods. Our recreational facilities and parks are now second to none. Whether it’s the Poncin-Hewitt Fields, or Capron Park Zoo, or the Briggs Playground, I have never stopped trying to make Attleboro more enjoyable for our residents.

Attleboro must also be safe for our residents and visitors. In working with both chiefs, both the police and fire departments have remained on the cutting edge of public safety with improved service, new equipment and programs.

Education also remains a top priority under my administration. I am very proud of the strides that have been made across all grade levels in our schools through the vision and dedication of our school staff. I am also proud to be the only mayor in Attleboro’s history to fund our school department with significant dollars above the state’s minimum requirement. And this will remain my priority.

It’s important to the success of this great city that we continue to invest and believe in ourselves. Blue Pride is not just a tag line, it is the spirit in which we view our city. It encapsulates the essence of what it means to love Attleboro.

I’m proud to be a mayor who believes in Blue Pride and a mayor who understands that a vibrant city requires many different services to meet the needs of its many constituents.

So, it will remain my vision to provide superior services via education, public safety, public works, council on aging, park and recreation, veterans services, public health, and library, along with others that make Attleboro one of the best places to live, work and raise a family.

http://www.thesunchronicle.com/opinion/columns/working-hard-to-make-sure-our-city-is-always-improving/article_23bb4276-261a-5cc2-82d1-27a6c616f3de.html