These are some of the goals that I believe are critical for us to address. None of these are easy. As we continue to see our neighbors experience economic growth at increasing speed around us, the items below take on an added degree of importance.
MAKE BEDFORD A DESTINATION
Let’s build upon the things that we do well. Let’s make Bedford the type of community that people want to: move to, bring their businesses to, eat in, shop in, and seek out entertainment in. Let’s make Bedford stand out.
IT’S TIME TO THINK BIG
Let’s begin to focus on what we want Bedford to be 10 and 20 years from now. This means keying on: the state of business, the quality of life, and the quality of City services.
It’s time to get aggressive in luring in new businesses to Bedford. I’m talking real businesses that contribute to our revenue base and bring jobs. I’m tired of getting excited about sandwich shops and dry cleaners. Let’s make Bedford an economic engine with a vibrant business and retail environment.
We need to continue to make improvements to our Code Enforcement policies and procedures and tweak our system in order to achieve greater compliance. Let’s put added pressure on substandard facility owners to get up to speed or sell their properties to someone who will. Slum lords be gone.
BEDFORD BOYS RANCH
The Boys Ranch is aged. It’s time to determine how we want the Boys Ranch to service the needs of this community in the long term. Let’s get Phase Next done.
Added focus on revitalizing neighborhoods, street corners, sidewalks, and parks. Address depressed properties and vacant shopping center spaces through firm code enforcement practices and creative economic incentive programs.
Continue to raise standards regarding staff interaction with the public. Continue to improve responsiveness to an ever-changing City demographic.
Aging infrastructure must be addressed. Continue on an aggressive track to replace old water and sewer lines. Complete new water and sewer projects to open up new areas of town for development. Harwood Road needs a major work-over. A number of City facilities need to be addressed including but not limited to the BRAC and Senior Center.
STRATEGIC PLANNING/IMPROVED BUDGETING
Again, it is about thinking big. Additionally, we must be better prepared for the future needs of the City. We need to identify where we want to go and use Strategic Planning as the roadmap to get there. Just focusing on budget cycles one year at a time doesn’t prepare us for the long haul. We need to address budgets in five-year increments and I am a strong component of implementing more of a zero based budgeting approach. This requires every expense to be justified without the “if we have it, spend it” waste.
CULTURE AND PRIDE
Bedford has a great arts and entertainment scene. Ray Champney was a proud proponent of the uniqueness of this to Bedford. Let’s be creative and find new ways to allow this uniqueness to help make Bedford a Destination. Let’s work closer with the cultural organizations in our backyard and find ways to bring more entertainment venues for everyone to enjoy.
EVERYONE HAS A VOICE
Let’s stop being afraid of alternative voices in the room. If you want to make Bedford a Better Place to Live, I want your voice to be heard. Let’s work together to accomplish these goals.
SUPPORT POLICE, FIRE, EMERGENCY SERVICES
We have tremendous Police and Fire Departments in Bedford. We must continue to give them the resources they need to keep our streets safe and to respond to the emergency needs of our residents. They put their lives at risk every day. Let’s support them and let them know how much we appreciate what they do for us.
Finally, we must do all of the above with an eye towards finances. I want to maintain taxes at the current level. Let’s structure and schedule any improvements that we need to make within the confines of the existing budgets. We can take on new debt as old debt drops off our books. No piling on debt however.