Ken Cockayne seeking 2nd term as mayor

Ken Cockayne, the incumbent mayor, has announced his intent to run for a second term.

The former councilor issued a statement about his accomplishments over the past two years as the city’s mayor.

The Republican said in the press release, “Nearly seven years ago, I sat in my office on Race Street pondering the direction of our city. As a lifelong resident of Bristol, I worried about Bristol’s future. Bristol had become stagnant. The economy had stalled. Blight was spreading in our community.  My parents and their families have called Bristol home for generations. I worried if that would continue. The newest generation of my son and his cousins are growing up here, but will they continue to call Bristol their home in the future?”

Given his concerns, Cockayne said in his press release, “I decided in 2007 to run for the city council from the 2nd Council district and work to help make Bristol better.”

In 2013, Cockayne won the city’s top elected position as mayor, running, he stated, on a “platform of change.”

According to Cockayne’s press release, since his election, “Our city’s image has improved. Through consistent enforcement of our building codes, we have worked cooperatively with owners to rehab properties when possible and demolish blighted properties when necessary. Absentee landlords, as well as banks and mortgage companies, now know that we mean business in Bristol with regards to blighted properties.”

“Our public safety has improved,” he said. “We have hired more police officers, and those police officers are now walking the beat in our downtown.”

Cockayne also noted the city will now have a new baseball team, the Bristol Blues, setting up shop at Muzzy Field.

“Despite a sluggish national economy,” said Cockayne in the release, “we have attracted businesses to the Southeast industrial park.”

Cockayne also said that during his watch, the Mayor’s Task force for Memorial Boulevard was organized. “This task force will present recommendations for the former school to the city council this spring so that we can decide on a plan of action for its use.”

Additionally, Cockayne said he was responsible for finalizing labor contracts for the city, “that provide (municipal employees) with fair wages while limiting spending growth.”

Cockayne also cited the implementation of an “an elderly volunteer tax credit” as one of his accomplishments.

There also is now a movement afoot to relocate the probate court, which is shared with Plainville and Plymouth, to a location out of city hall, said Cockayne in the press release.

Cockayne also said he is working with the Board of Education to consolidate services to avoid redundancies.

Additionally, Cockayne said in his campaign news release, he has been working the Bristol Downtown Development Corporation “to finally get the Depot Square project jump-started.”

“Working together, we have accomplished so much and yet there is more we can do to improve our quality of life in Bristol,” said Cockayne in his prepared statement. “It is my hope that you will allow me to lead Bristol for two more years.”