October 29, 2009

Lawton makes his case

Statement issued by independent mayoral candidate Gary Lawton:

In a few days we will all head to the polls to elect our city officials for the next two years. I ask you to consider as you get ready to vote, do you want more or the same for the next two years or do you want something new and more, even different. I say this because that is exactly what will happen. If you vote for the incumbents, you will stay were you are. They think they have a handle on things and see what needs to be done. What I hear, from listening to all that I have spoken with are that people want something new and different. I know when introduced with something new we worry because we do not know what is going to happen. I am asking you to accept that move with me and lets put Bristol back in the hands of its citizens.

In the beginning I stated I would return $35,000.00 of my salary. When being told it would not make a difference in the face of a projected 8million dollar deficit. I say we have to start some were, and I am proud to be the one who starts it. I also challenged other city officials to voluntarily, one more time, voluntarily give back some of their salaries when combined it could make quite a difference and let people of Bristol that their government officials care about the city. I was laughed at, told I can not do it, well then I guess I'll be laughed at for trying to make a difference. I believe if my $35,000 saves a program or helps keep one more person working then it was worth it. Now as far as not being able to do the give back, you do not know until you try, .

I want to work with local businesses and the chamber of commerce to develop new businesses in to Bristol. This generates jobs, incomes for money to be spent here. New families moving here, spending money in town, buying homes and paying taxes, kids using the schools all working together for the whole of Bristol. We have a strong manufacturing history, and while we may never see the likes of another New Departure. It does not mean we can not have that in say smaller mom and pop types of shops all over Bristol. I say lets work better with ESPN and the businesses we already have and see if we can not get their suppliers to move here. These already established businesses and ESPN are here because they love it here. We want them to tell their suppliers that it is fantastic to do and have a business here in Bristol. I would suggest progressive tax breaks, if renting a building the city owns a break on the rent. I would also work with state and federal people to try and receive incentives at those levels to support the new businesses grow and thrive here in Bristol.

Now Downtown and Depot Square, I like everyone else would love to snap my fingers and see it up and running tomorrow, but I am urging caution and patience. I say this because if we do it wrong we will not get a second chance. I want to make sure that it not only will bring in people to Bristol, but also be able to support the people already here, because if it do put the right things in then who will go there just people from the outside. I do not believe it would last long at that rate. I want to make sure that the citizens of Bristol have a say in what they would want to see in the Depot and Downtown, and I feel the deserve it too.

The cities' budget is going to be a crucial issue. I think the citizens of Bristol were not kept in the loop, in the matter of city finances. I understand that the board of finance has a monthly meeting, but for whose convenience theirs. The budget is a bill we give the people every year and ask them to pay, through their taxes, they should be better informed. In addition to the, monthly board of finance meeting, I would want to see smaller town hall style meetings, some during the day at say the senior center, or maybe night at one of the schools. The people deserve to be better informed not just once a month at the convenience of the board or who ever sets the meeting date. This is a bill, if we expect them to pay it, then they deserve more information. They also must be able to ask more questions than a time limit allows. The more we keep them informed the more they are likely to accept changes if we need to make them.

I am sure there are so may other things I could discuss, but space will not allow me. I have enjoyed running for Mayor. When I started this whole process, they said, “ oh you can not win, you have no higher education, you have no name recognition, no political experience.”. They were right, but I believe you can grow up to be anybody you want to be to do anything you want, if you work hard. I tell my own kids that still today, how many of us do also I wonder. I have to admit higher education is fantastic, name recognition does not hurt in this game, and certainly political experience would be distinguished. Still though I do know some college educated people, and I am sure some of you do too, who are as smart as a whip but some times common sense alludes them. Name recognition is impressive, but that is no guarantee the person can do the job, just because of a name they are. Finally political experience, well if that means that I can cheat on my wife, or swap political parties because I want to get reelected or get exceptional deals for mortgages, then yeah I guess I'll just have to suffer by not having any.

In the end I am just and ordinary everyday working stiff. I pay my taxes, like yourself and complain about it. I think that sometimes politicians feel as if they are doing us a favor when they talk to us or some times feel as though they talk down to us, that may be me and not everyone. Why am I doing this, not out of anger as some have said, though there may be a little, but I feel as though the average man and woman has lost their voice in politics today and I want to give it back to them? I want at this time to thank everyone who signed my petition to help me get on the ballot I learned a lot in those four days from you, so thank you. I want to thank the people who helped me by answering my questions and offering me advice thank you.

In the beginning I asked when you head to the polls next week to think what do you want to come out of this election. Do you want a continuation of what you have had for the last 10 plus years, or do you want more, something new, exciting and different. I want to challenge all of us to work together to make Bristol the city, not only that it can be, but should be. When you go to the polls, I ask you to allow me to work with you for that. So on Tuesday November 3 vote for Gary L. Graff-Lawton line 1C. Thank you for your support.


Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

"What I hear, from listening to all that I have spoken with are that people want something new and different."

Uh..."different" is definitely the right word!

Anonymous said...

Go get em Gary!

Odin said...

This is the guy who didn't even know the Mayor's job was full time until several weeks into the race.

You've had your fifteen minutes of fame, Gary...time to go now!

Gary L. Graff-Lawton said...

Like I said, if you think you could do better than step up and do it.Oh I forgot people on here would rather complain, nitpick, and just be down right nasty about anything anyone says, hell half of you can not even sign your own name. Did not know there were so many anonymous in Bristol yet cant find one in the phone book.
Grow up just because you can not or will not or do not have the guts to try to run for office, or maybe it is like i have said before the party you belong to does not want you.
Odin to you, yes i did know it was a full time job and all fame is fleeting eventually, this is not about fame it is about Bristol.
I am here till the end you do not like do not vote for me but at least admit I am doing something you wil not or can not.
Oh and one more thing do not forget to corretc all my mistakes, would not want to kee some one from a job

Odin said...

Gary: no, you didn't, because when someone mentioned all the meetings that the mayor has during the day, you replied that you would have to schedule them around your job.

And get rid of the "blue collar" chip on your shoulder. No one said you're not qualified because you're a working guy. Most of Bristol's mayors were working guys before they became mayor. You're not qualified because you're not qualified. Spend six years on the city council, and then, maybe, you'd be qualified to be mayor.

Anonymous said...

Hey Odin,spending 6 years on the council didn't help Ward,Stortz and Couture!!!Gary,to be the man,you need thicker skin!You are the better man than Odin!

Gary L. Graff-Lawton said...

Really Odin according to some of your posts Mayor Ward spent at least ten and you dont think he is doing a good job, as a matter of fact know one has been good enough for you
Get over yourself, if you think yourself so much better than anyone running go for it or is what I stated before true, no one can stand you and would not back you.
I may be blue collar and you may think this is a chip but it is not it is a badge of honor I wear cause I am a blue collar worker and with out the likes of us alot of things would not get done.
Face it I am here and not going anywere. I can do the job, no doubt about it, so maybe you better get used to the fact i could win and then we would see what happens.

Anonymous said...

All the best to you , Gary

A friend

substance lacking said...

"Lawton makes his case" should read "Lawton is a case."