Cliff Ponte Explains Calling Fall River Mayor Job ‘Ceremonial’
The Fall River Herald News published a story this morning that sourced an internal memo, written by Fall River Mayoral Candidate, Cliff Ponte. In the memo, Ponte's goal was to make it explicitly clear that he will not be stepping aside from running his team of real estate brokers, his real estate office, or his position as a broker.
"It has taken me 11 years to build my real estate business," reads the memo, "And I'm certainly not going to put that on the back burner for a 24-month term."
Ponte's memo explains that in his opinion, the mayor of Fall River is "without a doubt a ceremonial position" where if he surrounds himself with the right people, there will be no reason he wouldn't be able to continue to run his real estate business while running the city.
We invited Ponte onto Michael and Maddie to address the article.
"This is clearly an indication that the current mayor that I'm opposing is concerned and worried about the candidacy and the plans and vision that I have," he said.
Ponte told us that as the CEO of Fall River, he would set a vision, set goals and expectations, and then point the department heads in the right direction so that they follow his same vision.
"I have an ability to empower people and make people feel welcomed and that they're part of a great organization," he said.
When asked about why he used the word "ceremonial" to describe the position of Mayor of Fall River, Ponte said that a good part of the job truly is ceremonial. He described the duties of appearing at the openings of local businesses, bringing new business to the city and meeting with constituents as falling under the description of "ceremonial."
"If I am elected, make no mistake about it, I will be a full-time mayor," he said. "I have a tremendous work ethic. I will work until I'm tired."
When asked how he will be able to work full time for his real estate company and full time as mayor, Ponte said that he has put a tremendous team in place to help him.
"The headline might appear to be that I would be a part-time mayor, but make no mistake about it, I will be full time," Ponte said. "I'm not going to be a mayor that's going to be out showing houses at two o'clock in the afternoon."
If elected mayor, Ponte told us that he would be supervising his businesses (like Almac's Diner, Almac's On the Go, and his real estate company) from afar on the nights and weekends. He estimated that might take about 10 hours a week.
Ponte stressed that Fall River could benefit from his background in business.