Cheered on by enthusiastic supporters, Mayor Edward M. O’Brien officially kicked off his 2017 re-election campaign with a gala opening of his headquarters.
June 14 O’Brien opened 397 Campbell Avenue; the event was standing room only in a strong show of support from the community. Touting his accomplishments and the progress made in his first two terms as Mayor, O’Brien made the case that West Haven is on its way to an economic rebirth under his leadership.
In his remarks to the crowd, O’Brien stressed his team’s record of economic development.
“The amount of economic development and private investment in West Haven during my time as mayor is unprecedented not only for our city, but for cities of our size across the nation. Multi-million dollar projects like The Haven and The Atwood as well as the opening of various small businesses will provide increased city revenue, jobs for our residents, and will serve to beautify areas of our city that have been ignored for too long.”
While the mayor intends to continue working with businesses already in and moving to the city, he says he plans on listening to the advice of business owners and economic development experts to make the city as business-friendly as possible to continue attracting new development. “We want to start focusing our development efforts on the downtown and train station areas now that our other major projects are underway,” O’Brien said.
Mayor O’Brien explained that economic development is the key to cleaning up the city’s longstanding financial issues.
“Growth is essential to a strong future for West Haven” said O’Brien, “We can tighten our belts when we need to and we have, but economic growth is the only way to ensure we stabilize our finances, allow our residents to find jobs, and protect the city services that our citizens expect and deserve.”
O’Brien says that continuing the trend of strong economic development will always be a priority of his administration, but that is also important for a mayor to have a well-rounded agenda.
O’Brien’s plan includes ensuring the trend of rising test scores in West Haven public schools is sustained along with continuing increased building maintenance efforts. He says the largest education project will clearly be the construction of the new West Haven High School, starting this summer, which he is going to make sure is completed within budget and on time.
O’Brien also reiterated his commitment to blight enforcement and keeping the city clean. “We have dramatically increased the enforcement of blight ordinances during my time as Mayor and we have seen real results that I intend to keep delivering on,” O’Brien said.
CT Democratic Party Chairman Nick Balletto also spoke to the crowd and offered his strong support for Mayor O’Brien. Brian Reilly was also announced as O’Brien’s campaign manager.