September 3, 2013

Wilson: City needs to beef up blight fight

Press release from Democratic mayoral candidate Chris Wilson, just issued:

Chris Wilson Taps Personal Experience To Create Plan To Fight Blight.

Democratic mayoral candidate Chris Wilson knows firsthand the benefits of code enforcement and blight reduction efforts.  “Not long ago, the area where my business is located on Main Street was very dangerous, very run down.” Wilson said.  “But now, thanks to a wide-ranging effort including local business owners, Bristol police and local civic organizations, the area is much safer, and cleaner.  Several old buildings have come down and new buildings and owners have moved in.” Wilson added.

Wilson believes the same kind of effort needs to be initiated in Bristol’s West End.  He believes it's time for the city of Bristol to step up and support a West End clean-up.

Wilson’s anti-blight plan starts with code enforcement and Performance Based Budgeting.  “My opponent has been in the press lately taking about blight, but what he doesn’t talk about is his failure to support the position of the former code-enforcement officer, the person most responsible for forcing absentee landlords to maintain their properties,” Wilson said. “Mr. Cockayne is once again offering Bristol residents lip-service rather than leadership.  Not once in the 6 years Mr. Cockayne has served on the city council has he addressed blight in a meaningful way.  Now that Mr. Cockayne is running for Mayor, it’s suddenly important to him.  Moreover, not once has Mr. Cockayne suggested a way to pay for his blight initiative without raising taxes.  I have.” Wilson stated.

Wilson is referring to his plan to initiate citywide Performance Based Budgeting reform designed to find efficiencies in Bristol’s $180,000,000.00 budget.  Wilson went on to say, “16 cities across the country, many counties and the State of Washington have embraced Performance Based Budgeting, have found efficiencies and have been able to support critical programs without raising taxes.  If we find just 1/2% in savings in our budget, we’ll save $900,000.00.  More than enough to hire back the code enforcement officer that Ken Cockayne failed to support.”  

As Mayor, Chris Wilson pledges to take on the absentee landlords, the drug dealers and criminals who use run-down properties as safe-havens.  Wilson highlights that his blight effort will reduce drug activity and violence, increase property values, make Bristol more attractive to businesses and improve Bristol's quality of life.  And, unlike his opponent, Mr. Wilson has offered a way to pay for his initiative without raising taxes.

For more information about Chris Wilson’s campaign for Mayor of Bristol, log onto

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