This Event was: Sunday, May 1 at 2 PM – 4 PM
Thank you all for joining me today.
Elections are for choosing. Choosing a vision for our community. Choosing a path for the future. Choosing a leader to help us on that path.
Today, I offer myself as that person, the leader of our community as we begin a journey towards a better future. I want to be the next Mayor of Brunswick, and today I’m asking for your help to accomplish my goal.
This is not a journey I take lightly. I have lived here my whole life, I’ve seen the good times, and I’ve seen the challenges. I know the people, and I know our heritage. Learning from our past and celebrating our history allows us to embrace a brighter future together.
We were promised transparency, yet we’ve been given secrecy. We were told that the citizen’s voices weren’t being heard, but we see an Administration that ignores the will of the people.
We were promised an active, responsive government. We’ve been given a chief executive who defers to appointed staff, including a contractual administrative professional that works a 4-day week and ignores the will of the elected city Council. The Council work schedule is down to one meeting a month, when almost every other community of similar size has twice as many, if not more, public meetings each month. The Council is an after-thought in the mind of the current Administration.
Here’s what I think it takes to start to turn things around.
Customer focus- a visit to City Hall should be a positive experience, not a source of dread. Open doors, welcoming assistance and timely responses, even if it isn’t the hoped-for answer, are all that folks expect. That’s the kind of government I’ll put in place.
Affordable government- A healthy fund balance is a sign of a well-managed city. Large surpluses contrasted with crumbling infrastructure show us a failure to plan and execute. Tax dollars and utility payments don’t belong in the bank, they belong in necessary improvements and capital projects. As a career healthcare financial professional, I understand how to budget, how to monitor expenditures, and how to report our progress on a timely basis. I will reinstitute the Finance Committee, and involve civic volunteers that specialize in financial management to work with us. That’s how the City should be run.
Policies- As your Mayor, I’ll listen to voices of the Council and our citizens when designing policy initiatives. I know we won’t always agree, but I won’t try to ram programs through over the objections of my fellow elected officials and the people they represent. To be a truly effective city, we need a sense of shared priorities to guide our programs and investments. It’ll be my job to lead those conversations, not to tell you what we’re doing. I will never hide behind the secrecy of the Open Meetings Act to conduct regular business. If I schedule a meeting, unlike the current Administration, it will only be because we have no choice. Your public business deserves to be done in public, and on a timely basis. That’s the kind of government I intend to run.
Public Safety- As the liaison to Fire & Rescue, I understand the critical work of volunteer and career personnel to protect our lives and property. Company 5 and Company 19 will truly have a friend at City Hall. I have the utmost respect for Chief Frech and the Brunswick Police Department. I will ensure that they have the resources they need to continue to keep us safe.
Investments and Opportunities- Einstein’s definition of insanity is to do the same thing, the same way, over and over while expecting a different result. When it comes to economic development, we know what hasn’t worked. It’s time to convene a workgroup, comprised of local businesses, committed volunteers and regional and statewide experts to look at our experience and the efforts of other jurisdictions to find the best practices and policies to help us redefine what success looks like. My relationship with state leaders has already lead to multiple offers of assistance, and my ability to work with anyone, regardless of politics, means that we can take these ideas and turn them into policy.
Ladies and gentlemen, while I ask you to make me your next Mayor, I’ll always just be Jeff. The love I have for our City is the result of a lifetime of experiences, people and events that have made me who I am. It isn’t ego, or a desire to seek higher office, or even the accumulation of power that motivates me to ask for your vote.
It is instead my sincere love of our hometown, a desire to improve the infrastructure and opportunities, and a firm belief that by getting the fundamentals right, we can leave Brunswick a much better place for future generations.
If you’ll give me your support and your vote, I promise I will give you my best effort, every single day, to run an effective, efficient and productive city government, and to make you proud of your choice.