Janet Leombruno is one of three candidates running for two Framingham City Council At-Large seats. Below are her answers to a District2Framingham.com questionnaire. Election Day is Tuesday, November 5.
Why are you running for the At-Large City Council seat?
I believe I can bring my experience, energy and my ability to work collaboratively to the Council at this time of transition. I have worked for decades in Framingham whether in youth sports or serving on numerous boards, including Town Meeting. I have been active and engaging since I was 10 years old. I am excited to put my years of community service and energy to work in the Council. We need to be a team and collaborate on the issues affecting everyone from seniors to families. We cannot get anything done if we aren’t open to working together. I am committed to being that bridge and ensuring all voices are heard in our city government.
What would you like to tell voters about your qualifications?
I have been active in Framingham my entire adult life, from coaching youth sports to serving on Town Meeting for 14 years.
- Framingham Housing Authority, Governor’s Appointee
- Former Town Meeting Member, Precinct 5
- Chair, Standing Committee for Public Safety
- Former Commissioner of Framingham Baseball
- MetroWest Conference for Women, Executive Board
- Resiliency for Life, Board member
- Framingham Business Association, Executive Board
What if any are your plans to keep in touch with residents in the district – to seek their input and communicate your votes and other activities?
I am a good communicator, constantly accessible, and will regularly reach out to voters for their input.
What do you think are the most important issues facing the city? What are you plans to address those?
As At-Large Councilor, I pledge to work towards:
- Keeping Framingham Affordable: More and more seniors and young families are moving out of Framingham due to increased property tax rates, and water and sewer rates. We have to control these taxes, and grow the commercial tax base to keep Framingham a community where everyone is welcome.
- Strengthening Our Neighborhoods: There are former Town Meeting members filled with knowledge of Framingham and ideas on how to make it better. It is time to enlist them, listen to their ideas and work together to implement them. This is wasted knowledge that the city needs to embrace. The future of Framingham is based in collaboration.
- Embracing Our Diversity and Reflecting It in Our Government: Appointments by our government do not truly reflect who we are as a community. If we are serious about giving everyone a seat at the table, then we need an appointment process that is accessible, inclusive and proactive. Additionally, the Charter recommends funding a fulltime Americans With Disabilities Act Coordinator. As the sister of an individual with disabilities, I know all too well the struggles of this population and that our government needs to do more to make our facilities more welcoming. It is time to take action.
How is our city government working? What (if anything) do you believe needs improvement?
Our new Charter promised a more open and transparent government. While we have made some progress in this area, we still have much work to do. The municipal budget needs to involve more citizen input in its formulation and public hearings before it is adopted. We need to do more to inform and include resident in our decision making.
What if any role does the City Council have to play in dealing with national political issues such as immigration and gun control?
We do not want our local government to mirror the dysfunction of our national government. That said, our local government should represent our local values, which welcome and include everyone. We also need to focus on keeping our schools, businesses, places of worship and homes safe.
Traffic and transportation infrastructure are among the most pressing issues facing eastern Massachusetts. Do you have any thoughts about city government’s role in dealing with traffic, transit, and pedestrian/bicyclist issues in the District 2 area specifically and Framingham in general?
Traffic is a problem throughout Framingham. The Charter established the citizen-driven Traffic Commission to adopt, amend and change rules and regulations regarding traffic on Framingham roads. This is a critical tool to address these concerns. We need to fund the Commission, instead of cutting funding. We need to give this Commission the support to get the work done. As a Councilor, I would like to see Framingham increase public transportation opportunities, such as working with our state delegation to expand the MWRTA and launch the bike share program that was announced last year.
What’s the best way for voters to find out more about your candidacy? (Web site, Facebook page, etc.)
My Facebook page is www.facebook.com/janetforframingham.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
What else if anything would you like to tell the residents of District 2?
I was born and raised in Saxonville and live and raised my three kids in Nobscot. As such, I am a neighbor and friend to District 2. I know the institutions and the people, the public facilities and roads, and will carry that knowledge into everything that I do in the City.
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