Who is Jim Albert and Why am I Running for Bristol City Council in District 3?
Traveling around Bristol I meet a lot of people who have seen my signs and heard my name, but don’t know my background or why I’m running for City Council in District 3. So, let me tell you a little bit about myself and why I am running on the Republican ticket for City Council.
I am a third generation Bristol native who attended Jennings School, St. Ann School and St. Paul High. I then went to the University of Connecticut and received a degree in Risk Management and Insurance. After UCONN, I joined the Air Force, graduating with distinction from Officers’ Training School, and spent the next two decades designing and managing some of the largest computer and communications centers and systems in the world. While in the military, I worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense drafting speeches, presentations and legislation for White House and Pentagon officials and helping manage a $9 billion defense research budget. I received extensive leadership and management training from several military schools and a Master’s Degree in Technology Management from The American University in Washington, DC.
I retired from the Air Force in 1998, as a Lieutenant Colonel, and came back home to Bristol with my wife, Denise, and our two daughters. I became Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Bristol Hospital and served in executive positions at four health systems in Connecticut and Massachusetts. I retired from hospital administration in May of this year and teach healthcare technology courses for the University of Connecticut and Boston University, while managing a healthcare consulting practice.
On a local level, I served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Franco-American Club of Bristol. I also served on the Board of Trustees of St. Paul Catholic High and the Finance Committee of St. Ann Parish where I helped negotiate the sale of property on West St. to build a new Boys and Girls Club. I was elected President of the Central Connecticut Chapter of the Society for Information Management (SIM) and was voted Healthcare Information Manager of the Year for New England in 2011.
This past summer, Councilman Dave Mills and his wife Joann, were faced with a serious situation that forced Dave to not seek re-election. I was then asked to join the Republican ticket for City Council in District 3. The loss of Dave Mills on the City Council is enormous. For years as a coach and educator, Dave taught people how to work together and his contributions to the City, during the worst economic crisis in a generation, will last years. If elected, I will continue in Dave’s footsteps and use my training and experience to ask questions and get to the bottom of things.
I am running for City Council because I am concerned about the future of Bristol; specifically, the inefficiency and waste in the City budget and lack of oversight in how the City plans, manages and spends our tax dollars. Bristol is a city of 60,000 people with a budget of about $180 million. That is $3,000 per person. I believe that is enough to meet our needs and provide a high quality of life for everyone, if we work together. One of my goals, therefore, is to encourage the efforts of grass root neighborhood groups and coordinate these with our City government and business community. Another top priority is to ensure the City takes a deeper dive into its current budget and spending habits to find waste and inefficiency, before it asks taxpayers for more money.
Bristol is an expensive city in THE MOST expensive state in the continental United States, and worst state in the nation to retire, according to the Wall St. Journal. Many people I meet are worried they can’t afford to stay here after retirement. So they are planning to sell their house and move out as soon as possible. At the same time, people in need of extensive social services are moving into the City putting a growing strain on our limited resources.
I am not discouraged by people with personal agendas or entrenched alliances who tax and spend with little oversight, at the expense of our long term success. These people got us into this mess through years of neglect, mismanagement and abuse, and it is very unlikely they will get us out of it. We are way overdue for a change, and I will make that happen.My wife and I have seen exceptional energy and talent from people all across the City and I am certain once we shine more light on the dozens of grass roots efforts, and coordinate these with the business community and City government, things will improve. I am also certain we can find enough waste in our current budget to eliminate the need for new funding. I ask voters in District 3 for the chance to make a difference. This election is literally about taking care of “Main Street” and not about Wall Street. Please vote for me on November 5th. Thank you.