Candidate at a glance

NEW BEDFORD RESIDENCY
Has lived in New Bedford for 34 years
WORK:
Retired Mass. DOC / St. Luke’s security
ENDORSEMENT:
Greater New Bedford Educators Union, Greater Southern Mass. Labor Counsel
WEBSITE

Q&A
David Sullivan

Tell us briefly about your qualifications and why you are running.

I am a retired director of security for Mass. DOC and an elected member of Ward 5 Democratic Committee. I see missteps by this administration and council, and it’s time for new ideas. We need to create more growth.

Organic growth has occurred because business owners have seen opportunity in the city — mostly due to arts and restaurants. This growth must be encouraged. Offshore wind is a great start, but it must include jobs for city residents.

There is great potential for 21st century industry here, and we must develop a work force for jobs that will stay and grow.

Amid rising home prices and escalating monthly rents, what can New Bedford do to ensure there is enough affordable housing for those who want to continue living in the city?

We must encourage development of abandoned properties and create new housing, specifically near the new commuter rail station.

Commuter rail is a two-edged sword. Some will be encouraged to move here and pay lower rent/properties than closer to Boston. We should try to ensure that properties are bought for owner occupancy and not by developers who will jack up rents. I believe new renters and owners will contribute to the tax base, but there must be guard rails. There is potential for federal and state money in New Bedford, and some funds should be spent to alleviate this problem.

Police and fire departments recently shifted staff and consolidated operations in a new public safety station in the city’s South End. Is there still adequate public safety across the city? How will you work to keep the neighborhoods safe? 

Public Safety is a core of any vibrant city. This city has undermanned its police and fire departments for several years, while spending too much on overtime. Analytics must be used to ensure that public safety resources are being put into the appropriate areas.

While the City Council has limited power to control this, they should be vocal in their insistence that tax dollars are spent appropriately. I will be a voice for the Police, Fire and EMS departments. The new public safety station in the South End is a long-overdue move to help public safety, but it must continue.

New Bedford has a higher rate of COVID-19 than the state average, along with a lower vaccination rate. Are you in favor of mandatory vaccines or testing for municipal employees as announced by Mayor Jon Mitchell? If not, what would you do to make New Bedford residents safer?

I don’t see the need for mandatory vaccination of the general population, but “public servants” owe a responsibility to take appropriate and scientifically approved steps to lessen the impact of the terrible pandemic that has damaged our economy and left over 700,000 dead. Many companies insist on vaccines because they’re safe, effective and allow business to proceed in a predictable way. Medical professionals say COVID-19 and its variants will be with us for the foreseeable future. We need to get ahead of this and stay there. This is not about politics or conspiracies; it’s about science.

So yes, I believe public employees should get the vaccine.


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