News

Oct 5, 2013

LISA BALDELLI-HUNT


STATEMENT BY LISA BALDELLI-HUNT ON WOONSOCKET REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY PROPOSALS TO FIX WOONSOCKET ECONOMY


After being left dormant for almost nine years, it was good to see the Woonsocket Redevelopment Agency getting back to work in terms of bolstering Woonsocket’s depressed economy.

Category: News Room
Posted by: Craig

STATEMENT BY LISA BALDELLI-HUNT ON WOONSOCKET REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY PROPOSALS TO FIX WOONSOCKET ECONOMY


After being left dormant for almost nine years, it was good to see the Woonsocket Redevelopment Agency getting back to work in terms of bolstering Woonsocket’s depressed economy.

But hearing their proposals raises the question “Why did the Mayor wait until six days before the primary to come up with an economic development plan?” This is an administration that has been asleep at the wheel when it comes to bringing businesses and jobs to our city.

As a State Representative, I’ve been urging city officials to clean up our blighted neighborhoods for years. I’ve pushed for “Gateway Enhancement” type projects to revitalize key entry points to our city. I’ve been talking economic development for the last nine months. And now six days before the primary, the Mayor is finally interested in doing something? It’s good to hear Mayor Fontaine jump on the bandwagon and adopt the ideas I’ve put forward, but the fact is he had every opportunity to enact these plans years ago and chose to do nothing.

As a result, we’ve seen too many businesses leave Woonsocket, too many blighted properties, and too many people who don’t even feel safe walking the streets in their neighborhoods.

Releasing grand plans and ambitious programs in an election year is easy. Doing the work to make things happen is what matters—that’s what people want to see. The reality is that this Mayor hasn’t even been able to keep the streetlights on in our neighborhoods. How are we going to bring businesses to Woonsocket if we can’t even keep the lights on? And while we all recognize how critical it is to keep Landmark Hospital up and running in our city, this Mayor didn’t even bother to testify in favor of the proposed sale of Landmark Hospital at the recent Health Department hearing.

As Mayor, I’m going to hit the ground running right away to start cleaning up our neighborhoods, bringing businesses to our city, and helping existing businesses stay here and thrive. I’ve laid out a plan to do just that, starting my first day in office. It involves turning the streetlights back on, taking a serious approach to targeting blight in our neighborhoods, and making economic development my top priority. That means taking advantage of every opportunity to promote Woonsocket and to reaching out to state and regional business leaders to highlight what our city has to offer.