A long-time Democratic Party activist, Terry Parker, is taking aim at capturing one of two open City Council seats in this fall’s municipal election.
“From the time I was in high school, I’ve wanted to serve the city,” said the 53-year-old file room manager for the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Both of the 3rd District’s incumbents, Democrats Frank Nicastro and Craig Minor, have said they won’t seek another term. That leaves the race wide open for the first time in years.
One other Democrat is in the race already, 29-year-old lawyer Kate Matthews. The Republicans have one contender as well, Derek Czenczelewski, a political newcomer.
But other candidates are expected to enter the contest before the July 27 nominating conventions for both parties, perhaps setting up primary fights for the part-time, $10,000-a-year jobs.
Parker sia the economy is clearly the biggest issue facing the district.
He said that more needs to be done to figure out how to take advantage of the soon-to-be-completed Route 72 extension, to use it to help downtown and to bring growth along its length.
That’s something, Parker said, the city should do in party by soliciting ideas from residents.
“I’m going to be the guy who says, ‘OK, what does everybody else think?’” Park said, rather than trying to impose his own policies.
Parker said the city should hold more public hearings so that it can actively solicit suggestions from residents.
Parker said he thinks that Mayor Art Ward “has done a very fine job of trying to direct this community in a very tough time” and he plans to help the mayor succeed.
He said that residents do have to understand the city can’t do everything, particularly in hard times.
“We’re not Santa Claus,” Parker said.
Parker said he would like to see more happening in Forestville’s center. “It’s silly not to see what we can do to make that a more viable area,” he said.
He said he’s ready to go along with both of the new schools sought by the Board of Education, especially the one proposed for the former Crowley site on Pine Street.
Parker graduated from Bristol Central High School in 1974 and earned a bachelor’s degree in public policy and government from Eastern Connecticut State University.
He has worked for the state government for 26 years, half of them at the DEP, where he in charge of the department’s records.
Married to the former Susie Pierce of Bristol for 25 years, they have one daughter, Amanda, who is a student at Boston University.
Parker has been a Democratic Town Committee member for 31 years and has played a role in many political campaigns beginning with former state Sen. Steve Casey’s 1978 run.
Parker has talked about running for office on occasion, but has only run once, in an unsuccessful Board of Education bid in 1991’s chaotic race to serve on the first elected school board.
The 3rd District spans the southern third of Bristol. It is one of three council districts in town, each with two representatives. They serve two-year terms. The election is Nov. 3.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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