After attending many City Council meetings as an interested resident over the past several years, Alex Stone said he decided to run for an at-large seat because he sees great potential for the city.
“I think Westbrook’s great,” said Stone, D-Clifford Street. “But I think it could be better.”
As he sees it, Stone said the city has to do more to attract commercial development. “I haven’t seen a whole lot of commercial development this year, and that’s unfortunate,” he said.
Attracting more commercial development to the city would broaden the tax base, said Stone. However, he said he also wants to be careful about the types of projects that are proposed here. “I want to protect the residents,” Stone said. “We shouldn’t just do something for the sake of doing it, just to lower the tax base.”
When it comes to the city budget, Stone said while he thought the city has done a good job for the most part, he thought there was still more that could be done. He said he thought city operations could be streamlined further than they already have been, and he said he would look for “outside-the-box” ways to bring more savings.
One idea Stone supports is hiring private contractors to do some work currently done by city employees. He said the city could hire a reputable private security company to work at sporting events instead of having police officers there. Stone feels a private company could do the same work for less money, and it would have the added benefit of freeing up officers to concentrate on other duties. Stone also suggested the city should explore hiring an outside contractor to handle landscaping as well.
Stone said if he were elected to the council, he would bring an open mind to the table. “I want to come in and hear what people have to say and make a decision based on that,” he said. “I have the energy, and I have the thought process that will continue to help us move forward. I have a lot to offer, and I think a new voice would be helpful.”