Frank Cooke: My plan for city improvement

frank cooke mugWhen my wife, Claudia, and I came to Cambridge 15 years ago, I recognized a place similar to where I grew up. We bought the Victorian that I could only envy as a child. Within a few years, we were fully engaged. Claudia and I began to work as tutors in the Dorchester public schools. I signed on and continue to coach the C-SD Tennis Team. In 2010, Mayor Jackson-Stanley and the Council appointed me to the city’s Board of Appeals. We also refurbished numerous houses and buildings in Cambridge. In 2014, I defeated three candidates to complete the term of Ms. Saunders, representing the 3rd Ward.
During the past 2+ years, I have thrown myself into the work of the Council. I fully supported the transition to City Manager, who has saved the city millions since coming on board in December. I gained a reputation as a tough negotiator who got better deals for our citizens and the city – YMC, HUD, COMCAST, etc. At Council, I am always prepared and am always ready to challenge the status quo. It is just part of my engineering background to seek continuous improvement.
We are now at the regular four-year cycle and I plan to accelerate my efforts to improve the city. Here are my positions on the issues:
• Sailwinds – If it doesn’t create lots of good-paying jobs, don’t bother. Take advantage of the rare deep water. I supported the 15-year lease of 2 acres to YMC, who is expanding their operation and becoming a job creator. I also support a common sense approach to Governor’s Hall. Do not shut them down until we know how the remaining 10 acres will be used.
• Jobs – Cambridge has the best tax incentives in the state and developers are discovering us. I predict a resurgence in outside investment both in production and distribution. We are already seeing that. Such investment translates into jobs. Working with the County and the business community to advertise our advantages only makes sense. Is that not what the Four Horsemen did?
• Housing – In making my rounds to visit voters, I see the condition of the residences. We need a two-pronged approach – one policy for landlords, another for homeowners. Some of the big landlords have been skating, with the help of the city and the court, for years. My message: fix it or else. We will all benefit! To our elderly and fixed-income homeowners, we need to show compassion. Let’s use existing and proposed grants to help. Enlist Habitat for Humanity and create groups of volunteers in the community. It would be a great opportunity for old and young to work together.
• Crime – Chief Dan has a plan. He will need your help. Look for more community policing, bike patrols, officers assigned to your neighborhood, and neighborhood watch programs. The latter could be the genesis of more community involvement (housing, crime, etc.). We are all tired of the bad behavior of a few. I am sorry some people make the decision to get involved with drugs but they are not going to operate on my street. Get help or else! Is that clear?
To be sure, many of the issues are complex and interrelated. City government plays a major role and I will do my part by holding our officials accountable and by working with Council to refine our policies so that they are effective. If we all pull together, our ship will not founder. I ask to be your representative for the next four years. Vote Frank Cooke on July 12 at Sailwinds.
Frank Cooke
Candidate for Ward 3

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