The Roundup has once again sent questionnaires to every local candidate running for public office in this year’s election. In an effort to properly inform voters, their answers are unedited. The goal is to give the candidates the opportunity to offer their thoughts on issues directly to their constitutes. In return, it gives voters the opportunity to formulate their own decisions on what their candidates’ have to say.
Name: Jeffrey Caggiano
Candidate For: City Council 1st District
Occupation: Adaptive Biotechnologies- Key Account Manager
BEHS Lights Committee, Volunteer at Zion Lutheran Church Food Kitchen, Soccer Coach/Referee, Obliteride, Calhoun Challenge, Member of St Gregory the Great Church
Zoning Board 2 yrs, BOE Commissioner 4 yrs and RTC Chair for 2/12 years.
Campaign website: Facebook- Cagg4Council
What motivates you to run for office? Name three priorities and how you will achieve them.
I am motivated to run for office because I want to change how government operates.
Although I have always had interest in politics I have only recently decided to engage as I am frustrated with the lack of common sense and fiscal responsibility with our hard earned tax dollars.
I look forward to being part of a new generation of politicians that value accountability. I will put sound policies in place for the majority of the people in Bristol and place that over any individual desire for power and control and re-election bid.
I believe that we need to focus only on the 3 P’s of a Municipal Government.
1. Public Education. After serving on the BOE these past 4 years, I am saddened that we would take state money to rebuild Memorial Boulevard and not have a plan to restructure our schools to fit a flat/declining population of children with growing needs in job training. The surrounding Bristol area has ~7000 available manufacturing jobs, and Bristol has a “Do Nothing” 10 year Capital Improvement Plan for our schools. We need to invest in our schools and teachers in an innovative way. I am hoping that if elected I will be able to continue my push for this innovation as a liaison to the BOE.
2. Public Safety (Police, Fire, and Sanitation). Although Bristol is a relatively safe “City”, we have had an increase in car break-ins and thefts and our citizens can always feel safer. We also have a looming trash problem with the inability to cost effectively dispose of our recyclables. I believe we have invested heavily in our Fire Department and staff recently and should be in a good position in the short run.
3. Public Infrastructure includes our roads and public works. Realistically, we can strive to be more technologically advanced in City Hall, but generally I think there are cost savings with long-term consolidation of resources. This should not be forced and requires a sound plan and patience. Combining departments to then give large raises and create new positions is not effectively cutting expenses or improving efficiencies.
In general I am looking forward to using my experience in business and innovation to bring a new generation of accountability to this big small town. Since I have lived her all my life and raised my kids here, I believe I have a good reputation and relationship amongst the people of Bristol.
I am passionate about bringing Bristol back to its prime (turn of the 20th century) where business thrived and the businessmen of the time set up our government with a fiscally conservative agenda. This requires innovation as government is stuck in doing things they way they always have and afraid to evaluate their performance. Our success depends on doing things differently. Although the investments may not sound fiscally responsible as they are all in need of investment of tax dollars, I will also add the fortitude to stop doing the things that are not productive.
For example, the plan to add city-wide public internet at a projected cost of 65 million dollars is wasteful. When we added universal free breakfast and lunch to our schools when we were already providing 42% of our children free and reduced lunch based on need we set ourselves up for failure… and that program was mismanaged last year and the City was on the hook for a $106,000 fine from the Federal Government. Additionally we ovespent the budget by $92,000 last year. This well intentioned program did not solve any problems but instead added 200 k of debt on the taxpayers’ back.
What have you done that makes you qualified for Council?
My most valuable role to prepare me for council was a job as a “Change Agent.” The role focused on leadership development and bottom up organizational development. I can’t think of a better way to enter this role other than as an innovative disruptor and problem solver, which I learned over the nearly year long position that included development in presentation, organizational and leaderships skills.
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