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MY OUTLINE FOR A GREATER SOMERVILLE BY WILLIAM TAURO
My outline for a greater Somerville is to begin with restoring the dignity and integrity of the mayor’s office as well as to restore the faith of the people and to let them know that I will always hear them and that I’m here to work for them.
As I have made public in a previous announcement, I first plan on entertaining an open door policy. My belief is that right now, it is vital for communication between city Hall and the citizens of our city to be as transparent as possible. There are far too many problems that have gone unattended for many years. My team and I will be active on the ground prior to starting from day one!
The current financial situation within our local government needs a figurehead to request the proper assistance to get people back on their feet. One major thing I have learned was that sometimes from the outside looking in can provide a better solution to the current problems. I want the input of ideas and concepts of our fellow neighbors put forth so that we can come up with the best solutions to any problems or issues and act on those ideas to solve sometimes difficult tasks.
Beginning with the Somerville services such as the Police, Fire, and D.P.W., I have plans for revamping and addressing the current problems and concerns that have promoted distrust within the Administration. I plan on maximizing all departments to service the public as a collaborative rather than as individuals in past practices. Specifications for the Departments will be outlined further so there will be little confusion and general relief in knowing we are addressing the concerns and illegalities that plague us. Just to touch base on a few items, starting with the Police Department, they will receive an accelerated program addressing the widespread problems associated with drugs, depression, domestic relations, and mentally handicapped awareness issues. We will be working with other local agencies to further the success of this outreach system. Further programs will be introduced to address the handling of day to day duties of interaction directly with the public. This will include domestic, civil, and criminal situations. The education provided will demonstrate the policing actions in a more friendly and appropriate manner for citizens to be attended to properly, with identifying, and processing each case, depending upon the crisis. Providing more education to ongoing services is a key element to improving relations between the general public. In past actions the civil service has been a factor in the division of the department. My plan is to restore the chief of police’s position back into civil service and into the proper hands to ensure a solid leadership and out of the hands of any political interference.
The Fire Department has had to suffer with a lack of finance for some time. It requires more updated equipment to operate more efficiently protecting our current staff, and more personnel to run their department to minimize risks when there are dangerous tasks in need of performing.
The D.P.W. has had a number of bad situations plague its department for many years. Though there are the majority of awesome people that work for DPW, but there is always that one hand full of bad apples that makes everybody look bad. Our Team plans to readdress the illegal hiring and failed equipment as well as the day to day operations. A systematic revamping. The general irrigation system that has been repaired and bandaged together over the last 20 years has failed causing major flooding in several areas throughout the city. My plan is to immediately address the responsibility and have the irregularities repaired properly. After the major projects that have taken place within the infrastructure, many feel at this point in time, we should have a much better system up and running.
The water department has always had its issue of excessive charges to the homeowners. Our team will be investigating and making substantial changes to assist the public better and address the wrongful charging that has taken place in past practices. It is my intention to have a more efficiently run department, especially with focus upon the Inspectional Services division. Many homeowners as well as developers have expressed concerns over held back permits in order to, slow process or fund starve projects so they are forced to either abandon or sell away their investments in order to avoid total losses. We understand fully the illegal and immoral actions made in this and will no longer allow it to continue.
Once our internal investigations are completed, I plan on holding those that committed illegal acts to task. They should be punished for their actions that have caused harm to fellow Somerville citizens over the years and be held accountable for their actions. I plan on working with outside law enforcement agencies in creating a long overdue committee to prosecute elected officials (former and/or currently in office), developers, city employees including police officers who have broken the law and thought that they have conveniently slipped through the cracks during this prior administration who thought that they got away with any wrongdoing in the city of Somerville. These offenses are not limited to but including the illegal tampering of the city’s municipal hiring lists as well as for any and all theft of any kind, municipal or public dating back six years to work within the statue of limitations act guidelines before the deadline of these cases expire. I also plan on creating a committee to research properties that were taken unlawfully through illegal eminent domain takings and order that the properties be returned to the victim and/or the victims be compensated by the illegal parties who caused the original unlawful property takings. City of Somerville employees, past, present, and future will be held to a higher standard including but not limited to retired DPW employees and Police officers who all shall be held accountable for their actions. Even any/all city employee or elected official who was an accomplice in any way will be prosecuted as well!
I will also reopen cold cases that have gone unsolved for decades within the city of Somerville due to lack of cooperation throughout prior administrations and botched investigations. I will make it a top priority to get these cases solved without any political interference.
I will also work directly with the Somerville Police Department in establishing an accelerated anti-bullying committee that will protect and ensure peace and tranquillity for all our citizens and keeping all free from harm or exploitation.
No one is above the law and I will see to it that these individuals are prosecuted to the highest extent of the law. No political considerations will be offered. There will be many changes that will benefit the citizens and hope for a brighter future for our community.
Health concerns are a serious issue in the city. Rodent problems, the biggest carriers of disease, have been a blight on the community and in our neighborhoods where our citizens and their children reside. our intentions are to implement a high quality removal and extermination process to gain a better control of our own streets. Too many concerned parents have a general fear of these rodents and limit them from enjoying outside activities as a result. I am in total agreement. The focus is to protect the children and animals from this infestation and provide a safer environment..
As always, the elderly that have lived much of their lives within our community deserve the best care and treatments available. Their enjoyment in the golden years should never be hindered with worry over food and housing issues. We take a special pride in treating our elderly as they should be. Our commitment will continue as well as increase to enrich their lives.
To keep in tradition of the honors deserved, our Veterans will be given top priority in regards to greater care and focus. Special programs will be made available for their access and enjoyment. Somerville will never turn their back on the Veterans that gave a part of their lives to maintain our freedoms!
A multiple of Committees will be immediately set into motion. One such group will work hand in hand with our programs and address the homeless situation that has run rampant throughout the city. The current administration choose to ignore them and allowed the individuals no guidance or help. Just this past year we have helped out a number of homeless people in different stages of life. Some have had mental disabilities, some were elderly, and some simply ignored by the administration. This to me is totally unacceptable! We do not want to see anyone out on the streets. In this day and age it is an insult to our city officials to allow this type of action to be conducted. Not one person should have to choose between living in the streets, heating their homes, eating, or obtaining their medications. We plan on collaborating with other local programs and are currently in contact with such local organizations to learn better methods such as the Chelsea Police Department’s HUB program. I plan on creating a committee to help the city’s homeless population while working in conjunction with the Somerville Police Department and mental-health social workers. I plan on developing a neighborhood task force as well as bringing a HUB program to Somerville who will assist police and social workers in dealing with problems that could be handled with no violence but rather with needed treatment. The Chelsea HUB is a model for community safety and well-being working together to reduce risk in our community.
The HUB works with families and individuals that are facing difficult challenges and may need services from more than one community agency. Their goal is to work together to ensure families and individuals are safe, healthy and have the opportunity to thrive. The Hub is a police-led initiative made up of designated staff from community and government agencies that meet weekly to address specific situations regarding clients facing elevated levels of risk, and develop immediate, coordinated, and integrated responses through mobilization of resources. There are now 25 participating agencies who come together voluntarily each Thursday morning, and they’ve already covered over 450 situations.
This innovative model mobilizes resources already in place to address specific situations before an emergency occurs. The Hub reduces demands that are currently borne by the criminal justice system, health system, and families by more effectively applying the capacities of our human service partners and our police resources, and mitigating those critical upstream risk factors that lead to harm, crime, and/or death.
Moreover, the criteria for intervention is unique: the case must signify a high probability and strong intensity of harm, and require a multi-disciplinary approach. The case is then “filtered” to determine whether collaborative intervention is necessary, a process used to protect the individual’s privacy. Their model is efficient: they don’t have lengthy meetings diagnosing anything. Each case takes approximately four minutes.
This program will be launched in conjunction with the Chelsea Police Department, the Somerville Police Department the city of Somerville and run by a civilian community engagement person. I will encourage that Somerville Elder Services and the Somerville Council on Aging be onboard as well. Together we will improve our system of outreach.
Taxes will be addressed and specifically focusing on homeowners that have not just been owner occupied but elderly homeowners that are on fixed incomes. We understand that past planning could have never conceived the increases in the economic rise of the current economy. The elder that have worked so hard and now live on fixed incomes are usually the hardest hit by these rates. It is here that people were caught off guard with future planning and may fall short.
I will propose a special reduction for elderly folks living within their homes without general assistance who will receive larger tax breaks. Our program will provide security and safety to a stable home environment. Tax breaks in specific will be implemented for those who qualify. The financial strain has always been the issue of our homeowners. We will readdress the finances within the city revenue base..
I plan on accessing the engineers to address the parking issues that have applied a stranglehold on all outside business. The enlarged sidewalks that have taken away individual parking for the consumers have largely caused a negative impact on many local businesses that need access to their small businesses. Streets and throughways that have been constricted and shut down for lack of reason will be reopened and accessible for all the uses intended.
The Somerville Traffic and Parking Department will be made into a more user, friendly access for our citizens. The parking meter issues will be reduced to assist in the support for local access to our small businesses.
I intend to appoint a committee to work with parents of special needs children to help create long overdue and well needed programs to help these families in anyway which way we can to make their lives better. Another strong promise is that I intend on creating more affordable housing throughout the city and make Somerville affordable once again for our local residents to live, work and play here.
I plan on opening a teen/recreation extended program to keep our teens occupied and off the streets but more involved in recreation and all community sports including Somerville Pop Warner. I have been a strong advocate for Somerville Pop Warner for over the past 10 years. They do a wonderful job with kids ages ranging from 5 to 15 years of age and they are doing a great job and I intend on accelerating that program citywide.
I plan on accomplishing all of these campaign pledges within my first 100 days of taking office in January of 2022.
One of my strongest beliefs is in term limits. I urge everybody in Somerville to take pride in our city and to think of better ways to improve it. Fresh new minds are good for all political systems and so I strongly urge many of you to run for political office when you can and make those needed changes as the need arrises. Whether I do a great job or I do a not so great job, after my second term I will not seek reelection for the office of mayor of Somerville in 2024.
I am here to help and serve the people. These are just a few of the many changes coming to aid all of the community in these troubled times. My plan is to bring experience, thoughtfulness, morality, determination, compassion, historical preservation and tradition to name but a few to City Hall. Join with me. Together we can do great things and improve where we live so our generation and all to come can enjoy.
You can reach out and get in touch with me by using the contact information listed by emailing me at Wmtauro@aol.com, inboxing me on Facebook or simply texting me at (617)293-2016. Please visit my website at Williamtauro.com and please like us on Facebook at (William Tauro for Mayor)
With all of these requirements in place, we will restore and preserve all of our Somerville values and traditions that have been slowly fading away throughout the decades and we will rebuild a better future for Somerville for today’s and tomorrow’s generations here in our city.
Once elected, things will change, but things won’t change unless we make positive change and that’s why I’m running for mayor of Somerville in 2021 and I am asking for your support.
William “Billy” Tauro