Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Election '09: Why I'm Running for the City Council

(Editor's note: James Tranchemontagne is running for the Ward 4 City Council seat.)

There are a lot of issues that require someone who understands how to minimize your taxes and see that they are spent well. This year, we wasted $250,000 of our tax dollars to harassment, legal fees and bad licensing decisions. Six city employees lost their jobs, property taxes were raised by three percent, and our city's pro-business image has been tarnished.

For those of you who are on the fence in the Ward 4 race or who are supporters of City Councilor Aube, I ask you to look at where we differ.

My company has brought 25 new jobs to the city's downtown district. As a business owner, I have invested in high school booster organizations, artists, and community spaces, and I have created retirement plans for our employees. Therefore, I believe we should have a small business owner on our council to offer business input to the council; we currently do not.

I want to start a Maine Market in Riverbank Park that will allow Maine farmers and craftsman to sell Maine-made products. This market will draw consumers to our city, who will then shop at our restaurants, gas stations, and other businesses.

City Councilor Aube just voted for the new "Urban Renewal" called CSS. I urge people
to read the documents online. This plan will add hundreds of cars per day driving into our neighbors and into our ward because traffic will be rerouted out of the downtown. The plan widens downtown sidewalks, adds medians to the middle of the roads, adds parking on both sides of the streets, and will include raised tables at Vallee Square. This report does not address how or who will pay for these improvements, or the additional traffic, pollution, or trash it will create. In fact, it wasn't even completed when voting on. (The incomplete section is section 9, entitled"Implementation Plan.")

I would rather see the city build a parking garage in the back corner of the CVS parking lot, which would allowing traffic to easily commute into or out of Westbrook. And it would allow potential customers to park and then walk into the city.

With a new farmers' market and accessible parking in the downtown area, the Riverwalk will be more widely used, and more family events will showcase our artists, businesses, and city. Real growth and development will happen. Together, we can continue to grow this city to one of the best, greenest, and safest places to live for all of us.

In closing, I invite you to come to The Frog and Turtle on Monday, October 26th at 6:00p for beer and politics. I look forward to meeting you, answering your questions, and explaining in greater detail why I'm running for City Council.

In the meantime, you can e-mail me at jtranch@mac.com with any questions, or to request for an informational flier and/or a sign for your yard.

- James Tranchemontagne

Related: Election '09: A Look at Ward 4 (October 20, 2009)
Related: Election '09: Introducing James Tranchemontagne (October 20, 2009)
Related: Election '09: A Look at Ward 2 (October 19, 2009)
Related: Election '09: Introducing Victor Chau (October 19, 2009)
Related: Election '09: Introducing David Tapley (October 19, 2009)

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