Meet your mayoral candidates: Richard Kriscenski, write-in

Richard Kriscenski of Bristol has submitted the paperwork to the state to be a write in candidate for mayor of Bristol.

“I am running because the two major party candidates have put their party loyalty in Hartford and Washington in front of the needs of the working families in Bristol,” said Kriscenski in a press release issued last Thursday announcing his campaign.

The Observer has given Kriscenski the opportunity to answer the same questions as the Democrat Ellen Zoppo-Sassu and Republican Ken Cockayne.

What would you like to see happen with Memorial Boulevard School?

Currently, a magnet school is being discussed and that should proceed since it is in progress. However, I think it would be better to have the building occupied in a way that would bring adults with money to downtown. It could be a center for large manufacturing schools and/or colleges. Of course, the theater should be preserved and improved. As we explore the options, let’s do the repairs that need to be done regardless of what it becomes in the end.

How do you feel about the progress of revitalizing the city’s downtown? What more should or can be done?

The Bristol Hospital building will fill in an empty space but it’s not exciting. The commercial district has moved to Route 6 and now Route 72. Given that, I don’t support spending millions on a risky downtown plan in a time of fiscal uncertainty. Instead, a sports complex with an ice rink should be built as a public investment. State Rep. Chris Ziogas campaigned on the promise of a sports complex and won. I will work with him to fulfill his campaign promise. We can sell part of the Roberts Property to put toward it.

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‘s greatest asset is that we are a great family town and that makes us always on the rise. We need to build on that asset, not create a new identity that is just not us. Yes, some young people will leave, young people do that to explore new worlds, but when they get a bit older they want a good place to raise their family. We want them back and we want new families too. Schools, parks, safety are more important than a hip center.

Are we doing enough for economic development in Bristol? If no, what should be done to spur growth? If yes, what are doing to spur growth and why is this a positive thing?

The Bristol system of meddling in the free market with tax grants and abatements is doing more than we should. I would end the meddling and invest in only public investments that make the city a desirable place to locate a business and give all businesses a fair shot.

Put yourself in the shoes of your opponent for the mayor’s seat. What do you think their biggest criticism of you is? And how would you counter that criticism?

Frankly, I don’t think of their criticism about me. It’s not relevant to my goal to helping average people.

Then as yourself, what is your biggest criticism of your opponents and why are you the better alternative?

My opponents dutifully have followed their party leaders in supporting policies that hurt working families. I am not a follower. Having said that, I find admirable qualities in each and my criticism hopefully never encroaches in the personal.

Finally is there an issue you have not been asked about that you feel is vital to voters, why and how would you address it?

Trumpism which is detrimental to a functioning democracy and the health of our children must not be allowed to infect our city. As mayor I will oppose Trumpism and advocate for the impeachment or removal through the 25th Amendment of this unstable and cruel president.

Richard Kriscenski, write-in candidate for mayor

Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver.com.