At the City Council meeting Dec. 2, Ward 5 City Councilor Robert M. Seymour said Marlborough received the distinction in Bloomberg’s annual report of best cities to raise a family.
After studying 5,418 communities in the United States, Bloomberg released its findings Dec. 16. Criteria for selection were based on school performance, the number of schools, crime statistics and cost of living. Other factors included job growth, air quality, ethnic diversity and access to recreational amenities within Middlesex County, such as parks, zoos, theaters and museums.
Attleboro came in second place.
Seymour said that while many residents already feel Marlborough is a great place to live, work and raise a family, the citation validates this. “It’s a great honor for the city,” he said.
Council President Arthur G. Vigeant congratulated everyone who contributes to the city – parents, volunteers and coaches in Little League and other sports, school and city personnel, public safety officers, the business community and nonprofit organizations.
“This is not something that happened overnight,” he said. “We do these things day in and day out and I thank each and every one of you for what you do.”
Ward 1 Councilor Joseph F. Delano Jr. said Marlborough’s tax rates were also significant factors to its selection as the best affordable community to raise a family.
Two weeks ago the city adopted tax classifications of $14.25 for residential and $27.54 for commercial/industrial properties per $1,000 valuation.
In its summary, Bloomberg noted the communities selected nationwide are “mostly middle-income earners that have good public schools, low crime and resources to keep the family entertained on weekends.”
Seymour said he hopes Marlborough will leverage this distinction to attract new businesses to the city.
“We should also put this on all city letterhead (stationery),” he said.
At-Large Councilor Steven Levy said the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), a public/private partner with the city which is working to attract new business and jobs, will likely take the lead in marketing activities related to the Bloomberg ranking.
The MEDC has also issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) from qualified, experienced and multidisciplinary consulting teams to provide professional services to complete a comprehensive economic development Master Plan next year.
Copies of the RFP are available now through Jan. 14, 2011, at the MEDC office at 91 Main St., Suite 204. The deadline for submission of proposals is 4:30 p.m. that day at the MEDC office.
MEDC reserves the right to reject any and all proposals, and the award of the contract is subject to funding.
For more information, contact George A. Ciccone, MEDC executive director at 508-229-2010; by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other business, the City Council approved to allocate $25,000 for outside legal services to assist with negotiations with city unions. Originally, the legal department requested $50,000, but the City Council reduced that by half at its Dec. 6 meeting.
Vigeant said he would vote to approve the $25,000.
“But I expect this will not last [through the remainder of negotiations]. I’d ask the mayor, through the city solicitor, to send in requests on future expenditures so that we’re comfortable that we’re spending wisely.”
The City Council, on behalf of the Marlborough Emergency Management Department, accepted a $12,500 grant from the state Department of Emergency Management.
Donald E. Cusson, Marlborough’s emergency management director, said the grant will be used to enhance alerting/communications systems. The money must be spent by Sept. 30, 2011.
The council also accepted a $6,000 traffic enforcement grant from the state Office of Public Safety and Security. With the money, the Marlborough Police Department plans to conduct three high-visibility traffic enforcement patrols.
The first mobilization, which will focus on drunk driving, will take place now through Jan. 2, 2011; the second will emphasize seat belt violations between May 23, 2011, and June 5, and the third mobilization will also target drunk driving from Aug. 19 to Sept. 5.
The next City Council meeting will be Monday, Jan. 3, 2011.
This story originally appeared here