Marlborough Candidate Statement – Ward 7 – Donald Landers (Incumbent)

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Marlborough Candidate Statement – Ward 7 – Donald Landers (Incumbent)
Donald Landers

Tell us about yourself

I am a 62-year resident of and was a 30-year Marlboro Public School employee. I was fortunate to have five professional jobs in the public schools: chair of the business department, vice principal, acting principal, director of data processing and assistant superintendent of schools. I have been a member of the Marlboro City Council for 16-years and have been on many committees: finance, urban-affairs and public services, which I chaired. I have been a member of the Marlboro Regional Chamber of Commerce for 30-years and on the board of directors for 20-years.

What are the biggest issues facing the city?

Affordable housing, conditions of some roads and speeding.

As a city councilor, how would you approach issues regarding traffic, public safety and speeding?

As a councilor I make sure I am around and about in the city to see various traffic conditions and hear from constituents about problematic traffic areas. I discuss areas of concern with the administrations of both the police and fire departments.  It starts at budget time with the following questions: (a) is your budget enough to do what you need to do to ensure a safe city? (b) is manpower at the proper level? (c) is equipment in a good working order, (d) is communication open and honest, (e) is the training program what you need?

Do you think the city is on the right track in relation to residential and commercial development? 

Marlborough needs more residential development which means a mixture of single homes, apartments, condos and senior housing.  Commercial development is needed to stabilize the tax rate. If we encourage commercial growth such as BJ’s and Moderna, both of which have received tax incentives, it should increase the availability of housing. We must encourage smart growth and reach the right balance. 

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?

Times change, as well as the business and living climate. We must constantly look at our zoning regulations.  We must not be too restrictive.  We must be careful not to prevent growth such as limiting height or the number of units.  Developers must be able to make a reasonable profit from their projects. 

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?

I feel it is important to get the landlords, store owners and downtown village association to work together to keep their properties in good working condition and to rent to a variety of businesses in order to encourage people to shop downtown. 

What skills and experience do you have to prepare you to be a member of the city council? 

My educational background includes a bachelor of business administration and a masters of educational administration. As the director of data processing and assistant superintendent of schools, I gained experience in city finance which included budgeting, decision making in purchasing and negotiating contracts. I was also in charge of cafeteria services and transportation for over 5,000 kids/day.

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