Bristol Roundup Statewide News

Cockayne seeks re-election

Mayor Ken Cockayne released a statement Thursday that he plans to seek a second term. The top job pays $100,000-a-year. No Democratic opponent has come forward yet.

Here is the complete announcement:

Nearly seven years ago, I sat in my office on Race Street pondering the direction of our City.

As a lifelong resident of Bristol, I worried about Bristol’s future.  Bristol had become stagnant. The economy had stalled.  Blight was spreading in our community.  My parents and their families have called Bristol home for generations.  I worried if that would continue. The newest generation of my son and his cousins are growing up here, but will they continue to call Bristol their home in the future?

So rather than just sit around and worry, I decided in 2007 to run for the City Council from the 2nd Council district and work to help make Bristol better.  Thanks to the support of many of you, I served three terms as a City Council Member from the 2nd District, gaining the necessary experience to understand the inner workings of city government.

In 2013, I ran for mayor on a platform of change – one that would set a new direction for Bristol.   Serving as your mayor has been an honor and a privilege. In fact, it’s been the most professionally rewarding experience of my life.  With your trust and confidence, together we have accomplished a great deal:

∙      Our city’s image has improved. Through consistent enforcement of our building codes, we have worked cooperatively with owners to rehab properties when possible and demolish blighted properties when necessary.  Absentee landlords, as well as banks and mortgage companies, now know that we mean business in Bristol with regards to blighted properties.

  • I’m proud that our Police Department has achieved state accreditation.  Our public safety has improved.  We have hired more police officers, and those police officers are now walking the beat in our downtown to improve safety in key areas.

∙      Starting this summer, Bristol will be home to a new baseball affiliate called the Bristol Blues that will bring thousands of people to our newly renovated Muzzy Field and new business opportunities to the surrounding areas.

∙     The appointment of a new director for the Bristol Development Authority as well as our marketing and branding program are positive steps towards attracting and retaining more businesses to Bristol, increasing our tax base.

∙      Despite a sluggish national economy, we have attracted businesses to the Southeast industrial park.  More businesses are expected.

∙       Through the sale of the former O’Connell and Bingham schools, we will be adding growth to our Grand List.

∙        The brownfield site on Middle Street is in phase 3 of clean-up. Once the site has been remediation, additional land will be available for industrial development.

  • I have formed the Mayor’s Task force for Memorial Boulevard School.  This task force will present recommendations for the former school to the City Council this spring so that we can decide on a plan of action for its use.
  • I successfully finalized several labor contracts with our municipal employees, contracts that provide them with fair wages while limiting spending growth.

∙        During the 2013 election, I proposed an ordinance providing an elderly volunteer tax credit – I am thankful that the City Council has adopted this proposal which is now being implemented.

  • Working closely with Plainville, Plymouth and the Board of Finance, my administration has begun the process of moving the Probate Court out of City Hall.  This move will give the court the space it needs to better serve the public.
  • The Probate Court move will also allow the space needed at City Hall to relocate departments and services to more efficiently and conveniently assist the public conducting business.
  • We have begun preliminary discussions with the Bristol Board of Education regarding the consolidation of duplicate services in an effort to optimize staffing and create better efficiencies.
  • My administration finalized the purchase of street lights from CL&P, saving the city an estimated $190,000 per year.  Additional savings will be achieved with future installation of LED bulbs.

∙        My administration has worked tirelessly with the members of the Bristol Downtown Development Corporation to finally get the Depot Square project jump-started. After many difficult years, by this summer we will know the direction the project will take. It is my hope that our community will be rewarded for its patience with a new downtown that we can be proud of.

∙        As Mayor, I encourage residents to share their opinions and voice their concerns with me about city business and city government.  I continue to be amazed and so thankful to all the people who choose to get involved in City government.    And I’m committed to open and honest government for the betterment of Bristol.

Working together, we have accomplished so much and yet there is more we can do to improve our quality of life in Bristol.  The challenges are steep – but I believe in a better Bristol today and a better Bristol for tomorrow.  It is my hope that you will allow me to lead Bristol for two more years.  I am seeking a second term as your mayor. I am asking for your continued support and your vote on November 3rd.

Thank you

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