To the Editor:
I wanted to take this opportunity to announce that I am seeking re-election for the City Council in the Second District. Two years ago, I decided to run for City Council because I wanted to help make a difference in my hometown. Not only was I born and raised in Bristol, I decided to move back to this city after my schooling to open my business here as well. Since that time, I have also had two children, who are now attending school here in Bristol. Therefore, I have a lot at stake in this great city of ours, and I wanted to do my part to keep Bristol going strong.
Over the past two years, I have been assigned to many committees. As a member of the Park Board, I worked with the Parks and Rec Department, along with the Police Department, to place a police officer at Rockwell Park on the weekends in the summer, which is, obviously, the busiest time for this park. I heard the concerns of my constituents and fought for our security at Rockwell. This issue has risen again just recently, and I am, once again, fighting for the security at this beautiful park, which is a real gem to our city.
In addition, I have also been assigned to the Memorial Boulevard Building Committee. As many know, I enjoy singing, and I perform every year in the annual OM Show with my family and friends. The arts are such an important part of our culture, and I love the opportunity to try to bring more to our city. I have been working to help design a possible theater for our community to use. The old Memorial Boulevard School is such a beautiful building, and really is an icon for our city. We are currently studying the best use for the building. Rest assured, however, that I will keep fighting to save the building and its use for the arts and culture of Bristol.
Moreover, I have also been assigned the Police Board. As a criminal defense attorney, this was a good fit for me. I receive calls and emails all the time from constituents with issues to raise in front of the Police Board, and I love the opportunity to address those concerns. A few months ago, I proposed an initiative in front of the Police Board, and I anticipate that the board will vote on this initiative next month.
One thing I would like to promote in the city is good will and pride in our community. I proposed asking area businesses to donate a small gift card to our police department – maybe a slice of pizza from a pizza restaurant or a drink from a convenience store, etc. I would then ask the police officers who walk the beat in the West End to have these gift cards ready. When they see people doing something right and obeying the law, give them a gift card and thank them for being a positive part of our community. I have described this as a win-win-win situation. It is a win for the area businesses, who may be getting one more customer that would not have, necessarily, frequented the establishment. It is a win for the people receiving the card, as they have positive interactions with the police and a good feeling of being recognized for their respectable and decent behavior. And it is a win for the police, who will now have positive interactions with the many law-abiding citizens of our city. I ran for City Council to make an impact on my city, and I am hoping that, with initiatives like this, I will have an impact.
Besides my work on various committees, I have also helped to make our city green, by approving LED streetlights, which will conserve energy and save our city a great deal of money in the long term. I have helped to approve the development of our Centre Square with the hospital building and infrastructure, as this plot of land has sat vacant for far too long. I have worked well with my fellow city councilors, Democrat and Republican alike, to get the job done. I am not one to play partisan politics, as we are all Bristol residents and we all want what is best for our city. Bristol comes first for us, above all else. If elected again in November, this will continue.
Thank you for your support. As always, if anyone has any issues, complaints, suggestions, compliments, or anything to discuss, please do not hesitate to call my cell phone – 860-614-0228. I am always here to listen.
Jodi Zils Gagné
City Councilor, Second District