I'm running for mayor because I believe an open community is a strong community, and I think we can do an even better job of opening Cheverly up for everyone. Here are a couple of the things I'm working on.
I believe that our community spaces should be as accessible as possible so that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy them. As a town council member, I pushed to install an automatic door at the entrance to the community center, and I am working to ensure that the Woodworth Park playground will be made accessible when it is renovated. These are small steps, but I believe they are important nonetheless.
In addition, I would like to make town facilities such as the community center more available to residents for activities and events. The gym is a tremendous resource that often goes unused due to the restrictions associated with getting access to it, but over the past few months I've been trying to change that. Several locally-owned businesses have recently started holding classes there during the day, providing an opportunity for children and adults alike to try new workouts and learn new things without having to leave the neighborhood. Moving forward, I hope to further streamline and simplify this process so that the gym can be a community center in practice as well as in name.
Since joining the town council I have been working hard to get regular newsletters out to my subscribers (if you want to sign up click here! ), but I think the town can still do a better job of telling you what we are doing. In response to multiple requests and suggestions, I'm proposing that the town hire a public information officer whose entire job would be to communicate with and respond to residents' questions and concerns. I would also like to install a public alert system, allowing residents to receive timely notifications of public works projects, road closures, and other important events. Since many of our residents don't speak English as their first language, these communications would be dynamically translated into the needed languages as well.
We live in such a tight-knit and safe community, but it is important that all of our residents feel as if they are being protected by our police department. Acting Police Chief Towers is eager to move our town toward a community policing model which will ensure that all individuals in town feel safe to work, play and thrive. In support of this goal, my colleagues and I on the town council introduced the Cheverly Non-Intervention Act, which stated that our police shall not ask individuals about their immigration status. Another initiative I've been working on is the inclusion of "threat of force" incidents, where an officer points their service weapon at an individual, in the monthly crime report. Together we can make sure that Cheverly's streets are both open and safe.
Open for Fun
Let's be honest, fun is important. We have some great community groups in town, and it seems like the Legion and the churches keep coming up with new activities every day! But I think the entertainment opportunities for older kids (tweens & teens) are not as extensive as they could be. And of course, we still don't have that coffee shop. I've been talking with some folks about a few ideas on this, but I'd love to here more comments and suggestions.