What are the two most important issues facing Somerville and Ward 3 right now, and what would you do on the Board of Aldermen to address those issues?
First of all the most important issue to me is the Budget. I am amazed in this tough economic time, we have a budget that continues to escalate. I can’t understand why the 2012 budget would not have stayed the same as 2011. Instead we have passed on to the constituents higher fees for services to offset this. We are turning away business, Why has the vacant Star market building sat empty for almost 2 years now? This has represented lost tax revenue for the city. Now we have the vacant Circuit city empty. Will this be the same case. Wal-Mart wants to open a food store there. But all I hear from the board, is there treatment of employees is questionable, This is monitored by the state, and records are inspected by the state. We should think about generating tax revenue and creating Jobs. The mayor and the board are getting to choose who and what business is best, Instead of them thinking about what they like, they should be thinking about what is best for the city and it tax payers, This is who they represent, or have they forgotten, they are elected officials, they are supposed to represent us, Not try to tell us what we need. The second important issue is the condition of the streets and sidewalks in ward 3 and the city. We as a city will spend money to close streets during the summer for street events, which is an inconvenience and costs the city money. But we can’t repair some of the safety issues on sidewalks that are rising and have become tripping hazards.
Tell us about your background
I have been in the retail industry since 1991. I am currently an assistant store manager for J.C. Penney. Prior to that I was a Store manager for Kohl’s. I have experience in balancing a budget, controlling costs and ensuring my company and stores make a Profit. I have vast experience in dealing with a large number of employees who directly reported to me. I have the ability to multitask and help people find solutions to problems. Retail is like politics, If your customers are not happy they do not shop, If Your constituents are not happy you do not get re-elected. I have lived in this City since 1995 when I married my Wife Virginia, I have 2 step sons, T, J, and Nicholas Chella. Nicholas has autism and was integrated into the Somerville school system, My wife and I believe Nicholas’s success was a result of the services he received. Both of our son’s graduated from Somerville high school and completed College. I believe we have one of the best school systems in the state.
Why should Somerville residents vote for you?
I believe this city needs change, I represent change. There are many long term politicians in this city who are too comfortable in their positions. They have forgotten why the people voted them into office. When I went door to door to get my nomination papers signed, I listened to voters feedback and concerns. The common denominator was people are tired of the backroom deals and want a new voice. I will be available to my constituents that I represent. I will always put the interest of the City of Somerville First. I will work with all the departments in the city, to find ways to ensure the tools they need to do the job are available for them. There will not be an open check book, I will challenge the city of Somerville to run a cost effective government. I believe we have the ability to control the bottom line, provide resources to get the job done and ensure the constituent’s needs are met.