What would you like to see happen with Memorial Boulevard School?
I would like to see the former MBS become an arts magnet school. But I am concerned that the State will not follow through with funding, and more importantly funds for continued operation five years out. The uncertainty of the state budget is going to be a big impediment for that. To put the expenses solely on the City of Bristol for a regional school would be unfair to the taxpayers here. it may be more realistic to move the Board of Education to MBS and sell the other building. While some believe we can have an arts center there it would never pay for itself. If a private group can take over the building for that endeavor that would be most fair to all concerned.
How do you feel about the progress of revitalizing the city’s downtown? What more should or can be done?
Right now progress is starting on the old mall site with the road construction. With a clearer plan for the site it will be easier to sell of parcels to developers. the Hospital piece is the real start of the resurrection of the downtown. While this type of building was not what originally envisioned for the parcel, it is a good use of the space and will bring people to Main Street. Success leads to more success in creating a demand for lots there, and we need to do all that is reasonable to make sure it commences.
Which phrase do you agree with… Bristol is a city on the rise or Bristol is a city in stagnation? Why do you feel that way? If it’s on the rise, what can be done to ensure that direction is maintained? If you feel it’s stagnant, how can we get ourselves “unstuck?”
Bristol is a city on the rise in a state that is suffering decline. Our well managed finances and low tax rates are going to make Bristol attractive to people looking to invest in the area. We have an aggressive marketing team that is attracting attention with developers. But it really is the construction of the first building that will spur more development. I am confident that our mayor has managed to lead our departments to become more business friendly. At this point a micromanager in that position will cause undue trouble within the city.