Creating Community, One Neighborhood at a Time
From Nobscot to Coburnville, Saxonville to Pheasant Hill, each neighborhood has its own identity and history. Likewise, the History Center and Danforth Museum, Framingham Business Association and Elks, Keep Framingham Beautiful and Voices against Violence, Force and SMOC, and many others, all contribute to what makes us special. Together, these diverse neighborhoods, institutions, and community organizations are pieces of our community fabric, and woven together by our common values.
Our community is as strong as our neighborhoods, institutions, and organizations. Strategic Planning needs to focus on what makes neighborhoods strong. Focus on our vision for ensuring the continued vitality, sustainability and prosperity of every neighborhood and thus enhance the quality of life for every Framingham resident and family.
The lack of a robust dialogue with our residents and a clear vision squanders our resources and threatens the vitality and sustainability of our neighborhoods.
Parcels of open space are threatened by development, while parcels zoned solely for commercial use stand vacant or underutilized. Road construction projects burden residents with detours and missed deadlines. Underperforming schools jeopardize the reputation of our great school system. Contaminated sites go unattended and taxes climb without explanation.
John will support policies, budgets, appointments to empower citizens to create a community wide vision that will:
- Review Our Current Practices: Current zoning, planning, environmental, recreational and related bylaws and municipal practices will be analyzed to determine the strengths we have and the challenges we will meet as we go forward with the creation of a Strategic Plan for Framingham. We will draw upon the expertise of local and statewide experts to assess our strengths and challenges neighborhood by neighborhood and make recommendations for positive changes to our bylaws and municipal practices.
- Ensure Our Neighborhood Integrity: Encourage Smart Growth economic development policies and strengthen the character, security, vitality and environmental integrity of each of our neighborhoods.
- Enhance Our Quality of Life: Increase the quality and positive outcomes for our schools, respect and celebrate our diversity, and preserve open spaces and increase recreational opportunities.
- Preserve Our Essential Services: We need to review the government from top to bottom to ensure that we are providing services in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible, eliminating redundancies and waste wherever they exist. We need to keep Framingham affordable, while maintaining the level of services we expect from our government.
- Create a Sustainable Future: We must join other communities across the Commonwealth in realizing the economic potential of renewable policies. Cost savings from reduced energy consumption and greater reliance on sustainable energy can provide thousands of dollars for other services. New sustainable policies will ensure that Framingham reduces its carbon footprint and its impact on taxpayer’s bottom line.
- Grow Smarter. We need to be smarter in where and what we develop, not all growth is productive. We need an overall approach to development that encourages a mix of uses and building types, diverse housing and transportation options – what’s right for one neighborhood, might not work in another. That means that we need to slow the pace of new apartments and shrink the areas where new apartments are permitted in Framingham to better plan their placement within the context of a masterplan. Any growth plan needs to also assess public infrastructure, locate private amenities, consider impacts on traffic, and coordinate public transportation. Smart growth strengthens the people, places and institutions that make Framingham a great place to live, learn, work, and play.
Our community is as strong as its neighborhoods. We need to strengthen ours. Strong healthy neighborhoods enrich our daily lives, enhance the overall well-being of our community, nurture our families and bring people together to share common ideals and interests.