Saturday, October 21, 2017

Lynn Councilor At-Large 2017 Q & A: Brian LaPierre

Brian LaPierre currently serves on the Lynn City Council and is running for re-election in this year's municipal race. LaPierre is among the eight candidates running for the four councilor at-large seats. 

One of the major issues in the forefront during this year's election is the city budget with many often calling for "an increased commercial base." What specific steps do you think Lynn should take in order to attract new business? Do you believe that TIFs (tax increment financing) make strategic as well as financial sense in this regard?

I want to lead the charge in bringing new development, both residential and commercial to Lynn and that is why I am advocating for Amazon to locate their headquarters here in Lynn. We need to develop Lynn’s waterfront and have taken the necessary steps through rezoning and ridding the powerlines for a vision that includes retail, market rate housing, restaurants and a publicly accessed boardwalk along the Lynnway. On TIFs, sometimes they are necessary and sometimes they are not. I have only voted on one so far in my two years on the council and that was for Beacon Chevrolet site that will yield a new infusion of over $50 million dollars in revenue over the next 30 years. The prior council had to do a TIF with Market Basket or they simply would not have located in Lynn, in exchange, we got 86% of the local workforce to be from Lynn. I will pledge to use TIF powers strategically and on a need by need case in the future, realizing that the major priority right now is to grow our commercial and residential tax bases respectively through innovative jobs, hi-tech smart growth and in demand manufacturing high wage jobs.

Another pertinent topic is the increase in violent crime this year. In what concrete ways do you think this could  be addressed?

We need to go back to basics on crime and public safety as a whole and work to support our uniformed police, fire and EMT’s. We need to be the eyes and ears of our neighborhoods again. We have to work in conjunction with our local law enforcement to rid our neighborhoods of drug houses, prostitution, blighted, unkempt, homes and the like. We should be obtaining grants and making use of both public and private funds to equip the Downtown and major intersections with cameras and surveillance. We also need to enact the app called Nextdoor so that neighbors can anonymously report crimes as they happen to local police to investigate. They can also report violation to the local parking, DPW and inspectional services departments for concerns around, noise, loud music, trash, illegal dumping, speed, drug trafficking, prostitution, and other home violations.

What do you believe is the main issue that, if addressed, would have the most positive effect on the city of Lynn?

It’s about job creation and attracting small to medium size businesses to Lynn. We have the talented workforce of over 90,000 smart capable and willing residents ready to work and make a good living for families to work, play, and go to school here. We need to advance our citizenry by creating the skillful jobs that are both high wage and high skilled. We need to continue to foster a training curriculum that is cutting edge in our schools so that Lynners have the skills they need to compete in this fast changing, global economy. Lynn is up to the task and is labor ready. We must do better and ask ourselves on Amazon for example, why not us? That will be a regional game changer for the entire Northshore and beyond, providing upward to 50,000 at very high and competitive salaries for our residents and others across this region.

Obviously, the city is made up of people from a variety of ethnic/racial backgrounds, socioeconomic classes and of all ages. Do you think the city's governing bodies are currently overall being responsive to the needs of its diverse constituency? 

I recognize that there is much more to be done in this area. I am proud to have supported many board appointments of people of color with very diverse backgrounds that want to serve our city in many capacities. I am also very proud to have advocated for the hiring of a bilingual employee for the council office last year. We need to do more to attract candidates of different cultural backgrounds to our teaching, policing, firefighting and city hall professions. I am a firm believer of equality, celebrating a diverse workforce and responding the same way to constituent issues and concerns, regardless of race, religion, orientation etc. I will continue to promote those values not at city hall but in our community at large.

Why should Lynn residents consider re-electing you to the City Council?

Well, I respectfully ask for one of your four votes for Councilor at Large because although we have done a lot in two years, we still have more work to do. I am proud that I have responded to over 1,000 constituent requests during my first term in office, I am proud of the work I have done in our community around making streets cleaner and our neighborhoods safer. We have seen over 30 new businesses open in the past 2 years, including the new Market Basket, which employs over 400 employees (86% are Lynn residents). We have a strong, collaborative, hard-working, city council that works well together. I want to continue to be a part of Lynn’s renaissance in the areas of arts and culture, business development, attractive places to live, work and raise a family. Please consider me for one of your four votes on Tuesday November 7th

Thank you. Brian LaPierre, Lynn City Council

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