ISSUES OF FOCUS:
Rick understands that for Medford to thrive, we need a mayor with vision and an in-depth knowledge of what needs to be done. But, just as important, is the knowledge that true leadership starts with listening. Let Rick and his team know what your most important issue is and provide feedback on your thoughts to achieve them!
AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMMING
As Mayor, Rick will prioritize expanding affordable and high quality after school
opportunities for all families in our community. He will take the following steps
to ensure that this necessary and valuable option is accomplished during his
first year in office:
1. Identify all available space in our schools that can be used to support
expanded after school programming.
2. Create attractive incentives for sufficient and sustainable staffing.
3. Utilize multiple funding sources to support quality programming and
support appropriate sliding scale fees to ensure an inclusive enrollment.
4. Assign funding and coordination to provide programs with technology,
curriculum, and equipment that can make after school programming both
educationally meaningful and enjoyable.
5. Partner with licensed non-school private community programs to add
options for expanded programs. This has been done in the past. Work
with school buses to transport children to alternative locations when
advantageous and desirable for parents.
6. Implement a continuous cycle of program evaluation to ensure that our
objectives are being met and that participants benefit from our initiatives.
STABILITY AT CITY HALL
Rick recognizes the hard work of his colleagues throughout city government for the time they invest and the sacrifices they make on behalf of the people they serve, the residents of Medford. Unfortunately, under the current administration, frequent turnover and job vacancies leave the city understaffed, often at the expense of our residents. With each passing day, there are more openings at City Hall, fewer applicants willing to work with this Mayor, and even Commission members who don’t reside here in Medford. It HAS to stop. We need experienced and committed staff, a professional Chief Financial Officer, Economic Development Director, a City Solicitor, HR Director, Assessor, and Diversity Director, to name just a few.
Navigating the wheels of government on its best day is a significant undertaking, but without key institutional positions filled it is nearly impossible. As Mayor of Medford, Rick will attract candidates for these positions with a vision for the long term, bringing needed stability, and support for our residents.
SMALL BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Under the current Mayor, our city has developed a reputation that it is hard to work with and that permits are difficult to obtain. Rick knows the challenges small businesses in Medford face because he owns a Medford business and has lived here his entire life. He is committed to a local “Medford First” economy. Our city has much to offer the burgeoning life science and biotech industries that have been investing in communities around us.
We must also work with potential local businesses to ease the burdens of opening. A perfect example of this is the recreational marijuana dispensaries that were approved over a year ago now. None are open, and only one appears to be moving forward. We need to understand why and re-open the RFP process to realize that new tax revenue.
As Mayor, Rick will work hand-in-hand with our business community to drive responsible development and economic growth. A major first step to achieving that goal is to finally deliver a comprehensive master plan for the redevelopment and rezoning of all Medford Squares and Business Districts which has been a priority for Rick on the City Council.
Serving the City of Medford for most of his adult life, Rick understands people rely on the things we take for granted: roads and infrastructure, waste management, greenspace and beautification, parks and community programs. Ask yourself, do the roads feel safer than they did four years ago? Are our “Squares” more vibrant than they were before?
As a City Councilor, Rick was the driving force behind the state-of-the-art Medford Library & Media Center and is the point person to deliver new city space for the arts community. When Rick hears from residents, it is often about streets riddled with potholes and how accessibility city-wide must be improved. As Mayor, on day one, the Caraviello Action Plan will refocus city government on effectively delivering these essential basic city services so city government is working daily to deliver unparalleled constituent service to our residents including a modernized 3-1-1 system to streamline communications successfully utilized by other cities.
REVITALIZING OUR SQUARES
Medford Square is the civic center of the city and includes several significant community anchors – City Hall, Medford Public Library, and Chevalier Theater. Investing in each of these community anchors should be viewed as a way to reinforce positive activity and destinations in the Square. The exterior spaces around these anchors should also be targeted for investment to improve flexible exterior plazas, landscapes, and amenities to promote extended visits and to enhance the perception of Medford Square.
The properties in Medford Square with the most immediate potential for redevelopment are under the control of the City of Medford. This point has been identified in each of the many studies. Redevelopment of these properties would increase the attractiveness of the Square and could act as a motivator to other private Medford Square properties for redevelopment. To redevelop the properties, the City should review the need for the properties, invite developer interest through a request for interest, and then request proposals. This should result in a development agreement that aligns with the community vision and new mixed-use zoning.
First responders in our community face significant challenges, and Rick has spearheaded efforts to better equip the Medford Police and Fire Departments. We hear consistent complaints from our first responders that they face significant staffing and equipment issues, as well as major structural issues with facilities that must be addressed immediately. As Mayor, Rick will work with both our police and fire departments to provide the staffing and equipment resources that are necessary to keep our residents safe without the acrimony that has tarnished the relationships between these brave men and women and the current mayor.
Every child deserves to feel safe at school. And every parent deserves to know that city and school leaders have the ability to lead and work together with all community stakeholders to protect kids from harm. The violence and lack of a cohesive safety plan in our schools is something we hear about throughout the community from teachers, students, and parents alike. This extends to our after-school programming as well.
The simple fact is that many children are in full-time afterschool programming more than they are in school. Data shows that the majority of crime happens TO children and BY children in the communities between the hours of 3 pm and 8 pm. The violence witnessed by young people at school or in the community requires a total community response. Community-based service providers and non-profits, school administrators, teachers, parents, and law enforcement all must collaborate to ensure Medford Schools are trauma-informed and safe for learning.
TRANSPARENCY AND CIVILITY IN OUR GOVERNMENT
Rick will bring a consistent, transparent, and direct approach to city government focused on Medford. For far too long, members of the City Council and the general public have been left without the basic information to run our government properly. Reports that were regularly sent to the Council before meetings and budget hearings are no longer delivered. Basic questions like, “How much have we spent on outside legal counsel like KP Law?” continue to go unanswered. This is unacceptable and will end with Rick as Mayor. He will deliver an unprecedented level of transparency and honesty to rehabilitate the reputation of our city throughout the Commonwealth so we can once again attract the best staff and businesses to our community.
INVESTING IN OUR INFRASTRUCTURE
As Mayor, this will be priority #1 for Rick. Sidewalks, roads, municipal buildings like our fire stations, and virtually every type of infrastructure around us needs significant investment. Walking along sidewalks has become a hazard. Driving on our roads has become a game of “dodge the pothole”. Our municipal buildings do not meet the basic needs of our employees or visitors. Investing in this infrastructure is more than just a quality-of-life issue. These investments show what we value as a community and how we attract new business and development to lower our tax burdens.
ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
As a community with a waterfront, we must plan for the long-term impacts of climate change and rising sea levels. As Mayor, Rick will invest in protecting our open spaces, seek grants and public/private partnerships to support the expansion of electric vehicle charging, and work with developers to ensure that new buildings are ready for solar, wind, and green roofs as part of their development plans.
Rick will work closely with our partners at the state level to take advantage of the recent Green Line Extension project that should reduce traffic, increase air quality, and enable a comprehensive Complete Streets Program for biking and walking infrastructure.
Finally, Rick will work with our municipal workers at the DPW and our trash contractors to develop a waste reduction and municipal composting plan that will reduce costs and further reduce the city’s carbon footprint.
BUDGETING, PROCUREMENT, AND REPORTING
The city government has a responsibility to be open, transparent, and accountable to the residents and the elected officials they select to help guide a community. Unfortunately, the current Administration and staff have failed every time the Council has asked for basic information.
A review of each budget filed by the current Administration shows that it has consistently been incorrect by significant margins on estimated revenue into the city. This leaves us underfunding key sectors of our budget because the people writing the budget are incapable of accurately assessing revenue every year.
The Administration’s communication has been atrocious. Violations of the city charter are ongoing including overspending line items that were approved by the Council Examples include KP Law expenditures, the lack of a City Solicitor, and a monthly financial report. Furthermore, a recent announcement of a wildly expensive afterschool program came without actually following the procurement rules of the Commonwealth.
As Mayor, Rick will hire competent and qualified staff who can re-establish the monthly reporting of financials to the Council, engage with each Council member to deliver the information they need to perform their duties, and bring the Administration back into compliance with the City Charter. Budgets will be established to accurately assess predicted revenue, fund our city services to the levels necessary, and invest in community projects that reflect our needs and values. And, he will immediately ask the Council to support increased tax exemptions based on income, age, veteran status, and owner-occupancy.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION (DEI)
Medford has long been a wonderful melting pot of races, religions, and ethnicities. Unfortunately, the current administration has failed miserably on this issue and is even being sued by former employees for violations of even the most basic tenets of respect for our municipal workers.
Our government must do everything it can to ensure we truly represent the people of our community. That starts with continuing to fund a Diversity Director position within the city. While the current Mayor filed a plan to eliminate this position, Rick helped to lead the fight against this terrible idea and was successful in keeping it in the budget.
Rick believes that fair and affordable housing is a human right. While the current Mayor has fought against multiple housing developments, Rick supported a Fair Housing and Human Rights Commission ordinance for the city. Furthermore, as Mayor, he will make sure LGBTQ+ people feel welcome and safe, and that they can do their best work while working for our city.
As mayor, Rick will do more than just change colors on a logo to show support for a particular issue. He will actively ensure that people feel welcome, safe and that they can do their best work for the people of Medford without fear. Rick will hold regular DEI trainings and host guest speakers for all employees to get a better understanding of the issues facing various communities. Additionally, Rick will convene an advisory committee to review the current Human Resource policies and identify gaps and opportunities for growth.