NB waterfront project, school violence included in Mitchell’s State of City address

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The fruits of an 18-month planning project have been revealed.

Hours before Mayor Jon Mitchell’s State of the City Address, the city of New Bedford announced plans for a redevelopment project at the city’s waterfront – to take advantage of all the landscape has to offer.

“As you’ve heard me emphasize so many time before, the highest card in our deck is our waterfront,” Mitchell said. “We want to knit our waterfront into our downtown and make it multidimensional and that’s what this roughly two-year long plan has been about.”

The general idea of the 90-plus page plan – based upon public meetings and steering committee exchanges – is to maintain the historic working industries on the waterfront, while mixing in newer visions of making it accessible to the general public, “anchoring the city’s role as the economic and cultural hub for the greater South Coast region.”

During his address, Mitchell also asked to lengthen the term of the mayor’s tenure from two to four years.

“When it comes to improving the city’s long-term prospects… this one is a no-brainer. We need to get it done,” he said.

Mitchell also addressed recent violent incidents at schools in his city that have caused serious concerns for parents.

“This is a solvable problem… and I say to parents out there the School Committee expects it to be fixed,” he said.

The Bristol County District Attorney said his office plays a role in securing the schools.

“We do community outreach. I speak on a number of issues as does our community affairs department,” said DA Thomas Quinn.

Mitchell gave Eyewitness News a preview of next year’s State of the City.

“This city’s got a lot of momentum and were going to continue to propel it. I hope that this time next year we have even more to brag about,” he said.

Mayor Mitchell ended his address by speaking directly to younger Americans – saying he’s concerned about how the candidates for president have handled the debates. He said being a politicians is as noble as you chose to make it.

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