BRISTOL â€“ Along with Bristol Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassuâ€™s announcement seeking reelection, she has spoken about her goals for another potential term including the continued development of downtown projects and capital investments.
â€śOf our top five goals, the first is to continue to rebuild downtown to make it a flourishing and successful business district,â€ť she said.
With By Carrier set to develop parcels of Centre Square in the spring, the mayor feels downtown has continued to develop successfully. She also said she believes the return of a theatre in the Memorial Boulevard Magnet School renovation project will also provide additional downtown activity. Recently, the mayor made note that several million dollars were coming to the cityâ€™s downtown development due in part to discussions and a tour with Gov. Ned Lamont. Bristol leadership also anticipates meeting Friday with high-level state leaders regarding other capital projects.
Zoppo-Sassu's second goal is to continue investing in infrastructure so that the town is not â€śkicking the can down the road and making costly fixes because we didnâ€™t adequately maintain what we had,â€ť she said.
Her third goal is to maintain good connections with the Bristol Public Schools Board of Education. She wants to maintain these connections because student education and the townâ€™s fate are connected, she said.
Fourthly, the mayor said she wants to continue focusing on the quality of life for Bristol residents. She wants to make sure the city can continue making more attractive streetscapes, park events and services. She also wants to work with police on resident safety and maintaining code enforcement for higher-quality living spaces. The mayor also noted she wants to continue to focus on the issues of opioid abuse in the area, diversity issues and assisting the homeless.
â€śWeâ€™re an active administration,â€ť said the mayor. â€śI donâ€™t just show up at the farmers market at 10 a.m. Iâ€™m there at 8:30 setting up tents. Weâ€™re very hands-on because we think thatâ€™s the best way to meet the residents. We go to community events and are very visible. I think thatâ€™s been a hallmark of our success because people can find us easily.â€ť
Zoppo-Sassu said long-term plans have been enacted for capital investments including City Hallâ€™s renovation, a potential new firehouse for Fire Engine Company Three and energy efficiencies.
Her administration also has an assertive economic development plan in place. They have been able to recruit, retain and assist businesses in expanding to grow assets in town and jobs. Zoppo-Sassu noted that 16 businesses opened over the course of the pandemic.
The mayor is also looking forward to bringing back the Youth Cabinet, which was suspended over the course of the pandemic last year. The program was made for students in sixth grade or higher, but if there were more applicants than normal that they would be split into age-appropriate groupings.
â€śThey come and we visit a different department and we talk about its function,â€ť said Zoppo-Sassu. â€śSome will come to the meetings attached to that department so they can see it in action.â€ť