Ward Four Candidates Spar Over Attendance, Public Safety
Candidates looking to represent Ward Four met for a debate Tuesday night at Gomes School and addressed major issues facing the area.
From his opening statement through his closing remarks, challenger Joseph "JoJo" Fortes continuously criticized incumbent Dana Rebeiro's attendance record at City Council meetings, as well as committee and community meetings.
He says elected officials have a duty to always be present.
"It is important, as a councilor, taking a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers and making sure you show up to work on time and you're there not being absent," Fortes said.
Rebeiro responded by saying constituents can always reach her and she continuously works hard for them.
"I work very hard, everyone has access to me, if I'm late to a meeting I always call ahead. I'm not sure about those absences but I work very, very hard for the people and I hope the give me a second chance," Rebeiro said.
Candidates also addressed issues of crime in the ward that includes downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.
Fortes says he would work to increase technology and community policing.
"What I'm looking at, if I'm elected your city councilor, is to make sure we have the best technology and we have a working police department working within the ward," said Fortes.
Rebeiro says the key to lowering crime is addressing the causes.
"We can talk about more police, we can talk about cameras, but until the discussion is 'What are we going to do to stimulate jobs and home ownership?' you're just going in circles," Rebeiro said.
Both candidates will appear on the November 3 ballot.