By Bradford Randall
Posted Jun. 4, 2015 at 10:32 PM
Updated Jun 5, 2015 at 2:55 AM
State Sen. Bob Hedlund, R-Weymouth, said he wants to better prepare students for graduation, increase staffing at the police and fire departments, hold developers of SouthField accountable for meeting goals, and attract new businesses during the formal launch of his campaign to become Weymouth’s next mayor Thursday night, June 4.
Speaking to a large crowd at the Elk’s Lodge, Hedlund emphasized his legislative experience to differentiate himself from Weymouth School Committee Chairman Sean Guilfoyle and incumbent Mayor Susan Kay, both announced candidates for mayor.
“I believe I bring a different skill set to the task at hand,” Hedlund said. “I represented nine communities in my time on Beacon Hill and I’ve seen what works and what hasn’t.”
The major issues of Hedlund’s campaign took shape during the current state senator’s speech.
“Together, we can improve our schools by restoring key curriculum and ensuring more and better prepared students graduate,” Hedlund said.
Hedlund addressed under-staffing at the fire and police departments and said Weymouth “needs to ensure the safest possible town for our residents.”
“This is a paramount situation with or without and override,” Hedlund said.
Hedlund said the town needs to keep the development of the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station moving forward and hold SouthField developers accountable to meeting goals.
The state senator said Weymouth needs to “really work hard to increase Weymouth’s historically low municipal revenue growth rate by attracting new businesses and broadening our commercial tax rate.”
Hedlund, who is a business owner in Weymouth Landing, said he knows how hard it can be to open a business anywhere.
“We’ll work to make Weymouth welcoming to small business,” Hedlund said. “People who seek to invest here, businesses of all type, not just coffee shops and storage facilities.”
“I will be that ambassador that brings business here.”
Hedlund said he wants to work to continue to develop Kay’s park improvements and work to develop “a real park and recreation maintenance plan.”
“Some of our current playing fields are an embarrassment and would not be tolerated in other communities,” Hedlund said. “It’s my opinion that some municipal functions here in Weymouth have been neglected.”
Hedlund said the basic function of town government should be to fix, maintain and clean streets, parks and playing fields.
“It was unacceptable this winter that our sidewalks did not get plowed ever,” Hedlund said to a round of applause. “The DPW has been cut a significant level, but they need to have the support and equiptment to get the job done and they must be accountable.”
Read the full story about Hedlund’s campaign kickoff in the print edition of Weymouth News Wednesday, June 10.
Bradford Randall is editor of the Weymouth News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the Weymouth News on Twitter @weymouthpaper.