The DeSalvatore Manifesto
I got this e-mail from City Councilor Ted DeSalvatore this afternoon. I won't comment on the policy ins and outs throughout -- I'd be here a while. But it's a pretty interesting read and exceptional insight into where the guy stands right now. Rarely would I dub something here a must-read, but this certainly rises to that level. Here's my favorite line: "Fear of being seen as too aggressive has frozen our city officials in there tracks." Councilor, thanks for sharing. He asked if I run part of it, to run it all. Enjoy.
Thanks for the conversation the other day; it gave me an opportunity to
Is Crime my number 1 issue? No but it may seem so since it is
tied to so many other antagonizers and bringing attention to it is imperative to
accomplish anything. We have much to do but without the truth there is no
incentive and that is where we’ve been.
Now for a direction of
where we can go.
I’ve provided a link to the ultimate alternative
to turning our problem neighborhoods into parkland.
always be an option but in the meantime...
need a Community Redevelopment Corporation of sorts.
A CRC could
be publicly owned and funded for the greater good with the ultimate goal of
eradicating the habitat used by those giving us the bad name.
transfers the responsibility of the City due to an abuse of a slumlord or an
overwhelmed landlord to a party or parties that would oversee the management and
renovation of the problem properties. Overseeing the properties, instilling
proven practices, upgrading neighborhoods and finely renting to responsible
tenants of good behavior is a must to bring this city back form the brink. The
brink of what? Receivership!
Crime and criminal behavior cause
city decay due to the effect on property value and burden of city resources.
Absentee landlords or better said, slumlords open the door to crime.
Inexperienced, overwhelmed or overextended landlords can emulate a slumlord but
the end result is still about the same. The safety and quality of life of the
neighborhood of one of their buildings ultimately does a nosedive. The cost to
the city is astronomical! Police, fire, health and building departments are
overwhelmed by the necessity of repeated visits and the value of the surrounding
homes plummet. This equates to a lose lose situation. That’s why I’ve hinted to
demolition albeit the process isn’t cut and dry the end result is an end to the
abuses of our city’s (taxpayer funded) resources.
habitat and watch the problems melt away.
Fear of being seen as to
aggressive has frozen our city officials in there tracts. Nothing is stopping
the forward advancement of the criminally minded. Final outcome can only have
one result; we (as a city) lose! Every neighborhood, every ward, every
Crime needs to be hit commando style. Our present Chief of
Police likes the soft approach teaching in schools what would be better learned
in the streets by showing consequence to criminal behavior ending the reign of
terror permitted by turning the blind eye.
Slumlords must also be treated as
criminals using every tool the city can muster. Is that too harsh? NO! 48% of
all livable space in the city of Fitchburg is rental property. Nearly Half! Only
2 properties are legally licensed boarding houses but you can be assured there
are dozens being used housing multitudes of individuals!
In addition to
crime and slumlords, utility costs must be challenged as well as the
accessibility to this city via a Rout 2 connector. These are a must and must be
placed in the forefront, only then can we truly compete with our
Building new projects, adding new responsibilities, requiring more
diversion of our already stretched city recourses must come to an end to allow
opportunity for the rebuilding of our decaying infrastructure.
you think equal competitive utility bills will help business stay and new
Do you think easier, faster accessibility to the city will
help that growth?
Would a Rout 2 Connector cause new interest in Main Street
or the Burbank Hospital?
Yes; to all three questions.
Are any of
our issues tied to exorbitant utility bills or lack of a good artery for
accessibility to the heart of our city? Yes
To much crime, to few jobs, low
housing market, urban decay, the list is endless and most is tied to root causes
but the answers are within fighting reach.
If you get the
opportunity, take a tour of B.F. Brown Middle School. If you don’t come out with
tears in your eyes I would consider you apathetic or heartless. Diverted funds
and patronage have taken Fitchburg on a downhill slide towards a very gloomy
fate. Add to that the soft hands approach of our police chief and you have the
disaster we have become. Once beautiful neighborhoods now lay virtual waste
lands of filth and those that grew up there are being penalized for enduring. Is
there no shame?
New or not this is my home. I have never been so
emotionally charged by any community and or inspired by its underlying issues.
We can make this city the hub of prosperity it once was but it will take the
collaborative efforts of the entire community with a leadership that challenges
the status quo and inspires change.
I offered myself in the guise
of a City Councillor because I saw the problems from a fresh unslanted
perspective. I have learned the problems won’t go away easy unless we can break
the hold of the old ways. Watching as different entities work against each other
trying to get a piece of the action is pathetic. We need leadership, we need
direction and we need a plan.
City council has some good people
with some good intensions on it however infighting and personal agendas cause us
to move at the speed of dark.
On city council we don’t always get
all the information we need to vote properly on any given
New information can change my vote or solidify
Moving petitions with an intended outcome is fine; moving
petitions, slanting information for an intended outcome is
Blocking any information gathering process is absolutely
Sitting on a petition or holding it in committee
just to keep an individual from gaining a feather in his or her cap is
I am discouraged by the behavior of some councillors yet
encouraged by the behavior of others.
The next election needs to
offer more choices and a greater understanding by those who
Fitchburg is known for our crime, drugs, and prostitution,
not our art museum, schools, roads, malls, parks or Main Street.
change is past due!
If we aren’t working on the real issues we will fail.
I’ve been told frequently that I am taking chances. I am
telling everyone that they are taking chances by turning a blind eye and
expecting it all to rectify itself through our present leadership. Unless we
make it move, it will sit still and we will continue to slide in the wrong
direction as a city.
As the Founder of Back Streets Association I
am proud to announce a mission statement aimed at the real issues for the only
appropriate reasons. “Our mission is to address and when possible eradicate
anything that diminishes the safety and quality of life of every resident of
this community.” The community is invited to join in the effort since it is you
all this is about.
My commitment and best wishes to
Ward 4 City Councillor
Ted E. DeSalvatore