Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Candidate blog series: Ward 4 candidate Todd Tittle

Todd Tittle
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“Why are you running?” Often it’s the first question I hear when speaking with a voter in Ward 4. My response is always the same. I want to make Norwood a Stronger & Safer city. It’s my campaign mantra. Let me elaborate:

In the eight years my family has lived in the City of Norwood, I've seen streets falling into disrepair from lack of planned maintenance, water leaks creating sink holes and covering the road in ice, or sidewalks not replaced after repairs have been made. Simple things that start out small turn into much larger issues because of poor planning and neglect. I want our city focused on solid, reasonable, realistic, and. most importantly, scheduled preventative maintenance. We need to correct issues before they become big problems. To pay for it we, as a city, should more aggressively seek out all available state and federal grant monies in concert with a reasonable city street budget to meet the matching funds requirement for those grants. The process for a proper street plan and obtaining grant money will be a multi-year plan involving prioritizing streets, setting a plan in place under a local budget, and identifying those streets which qualify for grant money.

Better utilization of technology in running our city and its many departments will also make for a STRONGER Norwood. Drawing on my professional experience in information technology will provide a solid foundation to assist in planning and implementation of the core systems that are so sorely needed. Unbelievably, some of the departments are still using decades-old pencil and paper workflow methods. This is not an efficient way to run a city. What’s more, Norwood actually has had software in place for almost three years that can optimize services to the community. From my understanding, however, there has been no serious effort to integrate the system into our core departments. We should empower the employees of our city by giving them access to the best technology and develop a coherent plan to further enhance the tools made available to help us work smarter. By doing this, we’ll be able to vastly improve the turnaround time for work processes and provide taxpayers with more responsive, more efficient government.

What else can make Norwood STRONGER? Making sure we provide opportunities to small, medium and large businesses to come and set up shop here in our city. While many of the new projects such as the Linden Pointe are just now coming on line, they were put into motion years before this current administration. What’s missing is a plan for future development that can continue to help meet the economic, social, and environmental needs of Norwood. I'm excited that this former Brownfield spot is getting a new lease on life and will provide positive returns to our community. What concerns me is that there seems to be no clear ideas for where we go next.

Making this a SAFER place to live is another way to make Norwood STRONGER. As I’ve walked and talked with Norwood citizens in Ward 4, I've heard a lot of heartfelt concerns about personal safety among my neighbors. Drugs, robbery, sexual offenders, vandalism, these are some of the crimes I hear them talk about. How do we best combat crime? Cooperation. We need citizen input and more involvement in programs like Citizens on Patrol (COP), Block Watch, and Neighborhood Watch that enhance the effectiveness of law enforcement. We need to empower our police, fire, building dept., public works, health dept., and other agencies to work together to serve the greater good of Norwood.

Providing greater opportunities for our young people will also make Norwood STRONGER. How many times have you driven down the street and seen a ball dart out from between a parked car or kids playing in the street? We have a real need to serve the youth of the community by working with the Recreation Department and other groups to provide proper facilities and programs for safe activities. I believe our City Government should take an active role in working with area schools and other youth organizations to develop, promote, and educate parents as to what is available or what needs to be developed.

All these plans will be for naught unless they are accompanied by fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers of the community. Council members need to be good stewards of tax dollars by providing a solid financial plan for living within our means while providing the best services possible. We need to seek out alternative revenue streams and fully utilize state & local grant monies. We need to get away from the mentality of living paycheck to paycheck or waiting for the rainy day fund to come down on us. This will mean taking a long hard look at updating our current tax code that has been on the books for many years. Maximizing income tax collections means bringing into compliance all those persons living, renting, or working in Norwood who should be paying into the city coffers. We are missing out on potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue by not embracing current technologies or processes to work smarter.

I appreciate Citizens for a Better Norwood for providing this forum to express my views to the voters in Ward 4. There are many wonderful people whom I've had the opportunity to meet and talk to. As the Republican Candidate for Norwood City Council in Ward 4, I will continue to listen and work for you when elected.

Todd Tittle
Republican Candidate for Ward 4 Norwood City Council