Tell us about yourself
James Jumonville of 232 Phelps Street. I have lived there with my wife Deusuita, our grandson Lucas and his mother Ana Julia and his father Arilson. I’ve worked 50 years in the steel industry, I’m a blue collar guy. I’ve refereed in High School and College sports for over 30 years in the local area. I have a Criminal Justice degree from Quinsigamond College in Worcester and President’s award from MMA for 900 hours in Management and Finance. I’ve been in Marlborough for 15 years. I served the public in my former community for 4 terms (12 years) and 3 terms consecutively as a Selectmen. My lifetime experiences and public service background will be an asset to the taxpayers of Ward II because I’m right there with them to solve the kitchen table issues that are on the city’s financial horizon. I was raised, educated and job trained “Old School” and this is my lifelong asset that I’ll bring to the taxpayers and citizens of Ward II as their City Councilor.
What are the biggest issues facing the city?
The most overpowering issue that I personally will face when I’m elected Councilor of Ward II will be balancing my commitment in opposing any further tax increases while finding ways to fully fund the municipal and educational needs of the city. To address the aforementioned, I will have five personal goals at the forefront of everything that I do as the Councilor of Ward II. 1. My allegiance to the taxpayers. 2. To increase city revenues without increasing taxes. 3. To maximize the use of every tax dollar. 4. To provide the Mayor with a clear and consistent direction prioritized for the short term against long term goals for the city. 5.To work as a team player with all other branches of city government, and 100% constituent service to the taxpayers of Ward II.
As a city councilor, how would you approach issues regarding traffic, public safety and speeding?
As for Ward II, I would eliminate all large tractor trailers from traveling on Farm Road. All commercial trucking will use Route 20. I’ll advocate for traffic stops on Farm Road and other streets in Ward II as the Police Department can schedule to slow traffic down. Farm Road will always be top priority because Kane Elementary school and the long straight away on which the school is located.
Do you think the city is on the right track in relation to residential and commercial development?
No. The city needs to take advantage of all open space it can lay its hands on. They dropped the ball when they let the Magee Farm pass bye. The ratio of residential to commercial is to large that trend must end. Commercial development is good for the city if it’s done in the right way and in the right areas. Good tax money, less strain on our infrastructure and workers spend money in area stores and restaurants. Residential development means more strain on our infrastructure and that means more schools. Marlborough has enough condos, apartments and we should expand the commercial and not the residential development.
A series of zoning changes were vetoed by Mayor Arthur Vigeant earlier this year. Now, there are proposed changes in the Village District’s zoning. How would these changes improve the district?
A lot of conversation still needs to be done. When elected I’ll walk the District and analyze all issues that exist so that the village district can move forward. However, parking is and always be a major issue in the city. I want the appearance of the district to be maintained, but I’m not against growth as long as it is within reason. I want developers to make money, but I’m against price gouging if it offsets the look of the district. I will look for balance which in return is good for the city.
Currently, there are several vacancies on Main Street, in addition to the vacant lot next to Welly’s. As a councilor, how would you support downtown revitalization?
The main issue with Main Street is parking, parking and parking. This was caused by decades of neglect. As Marlborough grew in size, plans were not made for Main Street’s growth. That is the reason and the solution is in the revitalization is to add another parking garage of some sort near Main Street for walking or shuttle bus service from parking lot. The two parking garages now are used all the time by people who work on or near Main Street. Quick access is what’s needed and I believe this is the best idea to help business on Main Street.
What skills and experience do you have to prepare you to be a member of the city council?
I’m a 12 year veteran of Public Service as a Selectman in my former community. I served 4 (3 year terms) three consecutively. There’s no learning curve for me and I can hit the ground running for Ward II when elected. For my all successes the 4 things I’m most proud of are:
1. Brought back Memorial Day parade for our Veterans.
2. Built Senior Center on Main Street.
3. Change in state funding formula for Regional Schools. Met with Governor and Secretary of Education to which every community in Commonwealth paid its fair share towards education.
4. Sewer agreement with Worcester got $30 million dollar judgement for former community. Won at jury trial and won at appeal.
For me as a person, the people of Ward II need to know I’m not the type of guy that goes along to get along. I know and will break a few eggs to make an omelette. We are heading in to tough financial time and I’m the best candidate to navigate through the tough times ahead. It’s time for change, the time is now!