Press release from independent mayoral contender Gary Lawton:
Kudos to ESPN, Proceed With Caution on Downtown, The Budget
It is great how ESPN has stepped up to help build the new Boys & Girls club. It shows the role ESPN has to the community. This city has such a powerful sports history that it only seems a natural fit for ESPN to be part of the build for the new center, a center that will not only benefit the city's youth through sports but so many other ways also, so kudos go out to ESPN.
I would also need to say that while it is a wondrous event to see some progress on the center mall site.. From first glance the renaissance group seems to see what we want, but I must also urge caution from just jumping in feet first. I realize we all need to see downtown move forward, but if we rush headlong into it and not hold a level head about us we could end up with something that will not help us and then were would we be. Slow patient steps lets do it right the first, time cause there may not be a second.
The last point I would need to address is the budget and expected shortfall. Only, through sound economic policies and concessions from all sides and difficult decisions, will we continue to were we need to be. I have already stated my intentions to return 35% of my salary if elected while perhaps a minor matter in the nature of a possible 8-10 million dollar deficit it is a start, and we have to start some were plus, I think it shows my desire to help try and be part of the result. One other issue is I will not assume any raises unless the citizens of Bristol vote on it. They are the employer, and they should be the ones to give me a raise if they think I am doing an good job. I also of course would not want to be reelected if they felt I was not doing the same good job. I would want to see unpaid furlough days set in a position to help the city, possibly shutting down city hall one day a month if possible. I would also want to see if we could combine some departments to try and get rid of some of the duplication that is amongst departments. I also feel pay scales should be looked at to see if the are in line with what other cities pay. In short everything would be up for review to make sure the citizens of Bristol are getting the best deal for their tax dollars. I think if every year we have to give them a bill to pay, the budget, and they pay that bill with their taxes, then they should be entitled to the best - possible deal we can give them. I hope we can all work together for the whole of Bristol.
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Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org