To: You, From: Incumbent Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton

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by Mark Boughton

Photo courtesy of MayorMark.com

An unedited letter to readers of The Mercurial from Danbury’s Republican incumbent mayor, Mark Boughton.

Photo courtesy of MayorMark.com

by Mark Boughton

Over the years, Danbury has been blessed with a strong and diverse economy. Our city leaders were wise many years ago when they sought to diversify our economic base and move away from simply relying on the ups and downs of the hatting industry

Since that time, we have added a variety of industries – like technology, pharmaceuticals, and bio-science. While this diversification has served us well, we are now challenged by an economy that faces global pressure.

As I have spent the summer and the fall going door to door and speaking with our residents, they have indicated to me that the number one challenge facing them around their kitchen table is the economy, and most importantly jobs. Job growth, job creation, and the prospects for employment are the discussions that have dominated their dinner time conversations and are the three top issues that face the residents of our city.

Over the years my administration has had much success at negotiating the expansion of Boehringer Ingleheim in the Matrix Corporate Center, as well as the expansion of Mannkind Pharmaceuticals on Casper Street. We also helped a new start- up, Biodel, begin operations in Danbury. Together these organizations have accounted for hundreds of new jobs in Danbury and have shored up our employment picture.

Part of our positive business climate includes offering competitive tax rates and competitive sewer and water rates- all among the lowest in Connecticut. Our tax incentives for industry are the most competitive and creative in the state. Our bond and credit ratings are the highest in the history of our city, with national rating agencies like Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s applauding our conservative fiscal policies and our low debt burden.

In order to continue to recruit new industries and retain our existing businesses we must offer a superior quality of life.

In the November 2009 issue of Connecticut Magazine, Danbury was ranked as the sixth best city in Connecticut- improving on our ranking from 2006 of the tenth best city to live in. We were one of the few communities in the survey that moved up in rank. According to Connecticut Magazine “Danbury has improved in all of the categories” since the last time the survey was done in 2006.

Specifically, Danbury’s ranking in the categories of Education, Crime, Economy, Cost, and Leisure all improved in the in the most recent survey.

Finally, in the study, the City of Danbury and its superior quality of life outranked wealthier communities like Hamden, Milford, and Bristol respectively.

Our quality of life is marked by one of the lowest crime rates in the country, wonderful first responders, a world class hospital, an outstanding university, one of America’s top public golf courses, award- winning parks, and a terrific school system.

We have focused in on the quality of life of our neighborhoods with our customer service center CityLine 311 and the Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team (UNIT). These help ensure that companies not only want to locate in Danbury, but that their employees want to live in Danbury as well.

While the table has been set for economic success, we have more to do.

A prime catalyst for job growth in the new economy will be small- and medium- size business. In Danbury, small businesses employ more than half of our residents. Unfortunately, with this economic recession, they are under the most pressure.

During this campaign I have proposed creating a small business development center in partnership with our Chamber of Commerce and possibly with Western Connecticut State University. The Danbury SBDC will provide a point of service for anyone in Danbury thinking of opening a business, or expanding a business that they currently operate. The Center will offer a variety of services including assistance in developing business plans, access to infrastructure like computers, software, and other business tools. In addition, mentoring will be available from people who are experienced in business and can help provide insight into successfully managing a small business. Finally, the Danbury SBCD could provide a place where access to capital can be made available in partnership with our local banks.

The Danbury SBDC will be able to help retain jobs, and create new jobs in the market place.

Main Street will continue to play a pivotal role in the economic success of our city. Market rate housing, student housing, and a new parking garage have begun to interject a new economic vitality into the area. But, we have more to do. We must continue to develop our Master Plan for Main St. The Main Street Renaissance Task Force will be wrapping up its work in the spring. We should implement its recommendations as soon as possible.

By building on past successes and by helping our business owners and entrepreneurs create new solutions, Danbury will continue to grow and will remain the shining star of our state.

Economic success and job creation is also dependent on the state of our city’s infrastructure. With that in mind we have begun a number of studies and are in the process of implementing the recommendations of recently completed studies.

For example, we have also embarked on a long term study of our Fire Department that will determine the direction and the shape of first responders and the services that they deliver. With aging infrastructure and with older volunteer facilities, we are currently assessing the department and beginning the tentative steps to developing a strategic plan for this city service.

We currently are in the process of implementing our Traffic Improvement Plan. First developed in 2005 and then updated in 2006, this plan is sweeping and far reaching in looking at a variety of different traffic and transportation issues in Danbury.

We have installed cameras at many different critical intersections to monitor traffic flow and to allow residents to look in and view key intersections throughout the city before they leave home or the office.

Under my administration we have replaced seven bridges throughout the city that serve thousands of residents and businesses. We have widened White St. and East Pembroke Rd. as well as Seger St. We have paved roads and improved drainage throughout the city.

We are currently working on thirty eight different intersections throughout the city to synchronize traffic lights and to develop plans to widen and realign these key thoroughfares.

By being far reaching and visionary in our approach, we can ensure that decisions and investments that are made today will have a positive impact on the generations of tomorrow.

While we recognize the need for infrastructure and job creation, we cannot turn our backs on those less fortunate than us. Under my leadership, Danbury was one of the first communities in Connecticut to develop a Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness. With the aid of the agency tasked with its implementing the Ten Year Plan, the Danbury Housing Partnership, we will open new housing for our homeless veterans within the next several months. Danbury has received national awards for its Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness. It is also one of the accomplishments during my tenure in office that I am most proud of.

Danbury is recognized as a city on the move. Creating jobs and improving our infrastructure, developing a first class educational system, as well taking care of those who are most challenged in our community, is symbolic of a progressive, caring, compassionate community.

As mayor I have been proud to lead Danbury over the last eight years, it has been the highest honor.

On Tuesday November 3rd, I ask for your support to ensure that Danbury can continue to be a great place to live, work, and be educated in.

Visit Boughton’s website at MayorMark.com.{jcomments lock}

 

Click here to read Democratic candidate Gary Goncalves’ letter.

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