April 29, 2013

Czenczelewski to seek second term

This is the address that first-term Republican city Councilor Derek Czenczelewski delivered to the Republican Town Committee tonight:

It is with excitement and optimism that I, on this 29th day of April 2013, announce my intention to seek a second term on the City Council, representing the 3rd District of the great city of Bristol. Helping me make this decision, and with this challenge, are a number of people I would like to thank up front: My fiancĂ©e Sarah, with whom I built a house here in Bristol and look to spend the rest of my life. My parents, Bruno and Maureen, who have encouraged me to pursue each and every aspiration I’ve ever had. My sister Breanna, and the rest of my family, who have supported me and can still say I make them proud. I’d also like to thank the Republican Town Committee for giving me the opportunity, and my fellow councilors, who have truly been my four other “amigos.” And finally, the two very intelligent, well-respected, and hard-working individuals who will help lead my campaign: Mary Alford and Peter DelMastro.

Before taking office in November 2011, I pledged that if elected I would represent the citizens of Bristol to the best of my abilities and uphold the values and guidelines of our City Charter. The wishes of the citizens were very clear in 2011: cut spending, make our government more efficient, stop with the massive and often unpredictable tax increases, and do something to attract more business.

18 months later, I can confidently say this Council has worked towards accomplishing these wishes. But make no mistake, we still have a ways to go.

I voted against raising taxes, wasteful spending, and sub-par contracts. But I wasn’t just a no-vote. I proposed numerous cuts, pushed for restructuring and more efficiency, questioned our current fee structures and supported measures to better market our City’s countless assets and opportunities. In addition, I scheduled a series of monthly informational town hall meetings to better keep the public informed of what is going on in our City.

Within my committee assignments, I’ve been a voice for the disabled citizens of Bristol, ensuring their needs are met. I’ve worked with board members, City staff, and State officials to finish the Pine Lake handicapped-accessible fishing pier and parking lot project. This project will be completed by early summer, 2013.

I’ve also outlined a vision for the future of Bristol through the implementation of recommendations from the myriad past completed studies. Those recommendations include the implementation of a multi-family homebuyers program to increase private ownership in our multifamily homes, increased West End foot patrols, and better connectivity between our gateways and downtown. Understanding that the City taxpayers are spent, I’ve worked with our State legislators to identify other potential funding sources for community improvements such as streetscaping and multimodal safety improvements, environmental cleanup and redevelopment, economic development, and the creation of new recreational space.  

All in all, I’ve learned a lot in my first term, primarily from asking a lot of questions that hadn’t been posed in the past. Because of this, I’ve also rattled a few cages. But those reactions only further reinforce the voter’s feelings that this City has gotten by on the status quo for far too long. Although the many political roadblocks that exist to protect the status quo can be incredibly frustrating, they have made me that much more driven to ensure the will of the people is enacted. With the experience I’ve garnered in my first term, I’m confident we will be able to further break these barriers down and rid the City of its pessimistic attitude in my second term.

In short, my fellow councilors and I have gotten our feet wet, and have set the stage for brighter days ahead. If given the opportunity to serve a second term, I will continue fighting for the taxpayers and representing the citizens of Bristol. I will continue to be accessible to anyone, anytime. But most importantly, I will continue providing a unique, independent perspective from a young professional demographic that is essential to the City’s revitalization. Together, we can, and will make Bristol a better place to live, learn, work, and play.

Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

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