About Sam Sutter
Fall River Transition Team Delivers Report
Team sends Mayor part I of its findings
Fall River: The Mayoral transition team, appointed by Mayor Sam Sutter to review and assess the state of the City, today released its first report on its findings. The document is a summary of dozens of hours of meetings and discussions with department heads, employees and commissions that make up the city.
The document focuses on the fiscal situation facing the City and the Mayor as he begins to craft a budget for next year and beyond. The second part of the findings are due to be released next week and will focus more on budgetary numbers and the hard data that make up the close to $300 million city budget.
“I appreciate all of the work that has gone into crafting this document. I am grateful for the countless hours of meetings and discussions that the team conducted and the many obstacles, such as weather and an abbreviated time schedule, they endured,” said Mayor Sutter.
He added, “This document is well written and researched and, I believe, paints an accurate picture of the state of our City of Fall River. The picture is a sobering one, but one that can be overcome with shared sacrifice and hard work. Clearly we face major obstacles, but with an open and transparent process of budgeting and forecasting we can right the ship and chart a course to fiscal recovery and ultimately growth and economic development.”
The document can be downloaded here. The Transition Team welcomes all to read and digest it. Constructive feedback or opinions from any citizen are welcome and may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Our View: Recall and replace Will Flanagan
By Herald News Editorial Board
Posted Dec. 14, 2014 @ 6:00 am
In two days, Fall River voters have a rare opportunity to reverse the downward trajectory the city finds itself on. While concerns about fiscal mismanagement and a lack of planning — and the heavy-handed implementation of the pay-as-you-throw program — are the primary grievances fueling the mayoral recall process, there have been a number of indiscretions and poor decisions contributing to Fall River’s increasing distaste for Mayor Will Flanagan’s policies and style.
Removing duly elected public officials based upon policy differences alone is not sufficient reason to “switch horses midstream.” Doing so would set a dangerous precedent where all decisions would be made based on their political palatability, rather than their necessity. But the issues with Flanagan’s leadership go far beyond the initial reasons cited in the recall petition, as valid as some of them may be.
Of course, as Flanagan often points out after his mistakes, no one is perfect. Flanagan has a mixed legacy of good and bad. To his credit, Flanagan has been a very hard-working, hands-on mayor and has, in many ways, improved the quality of life in the city. Indeed, when Flanagan rattles off his list of accomplishments over his five years in office, it is impressive.
But many of the improvements Flanagan has taken credit for were made with borrowed money that the city can ill afford or that comes with strings attached. Since first being elected in 2009, Flanagan has been returned to office by comfortable margins and enjoyed strong support from many segments of the community. Flanagan has chalked up his mistakes to inexperience or being too trusting of other people.
Perhaps so. But enough is enough.
It’s no wonder Flanagan has kept making poor decisions; he had never really been held to account. While the mayor may have been granted forgiveness for making rookie mistakes in the past and he had claimed “lessons learned,” it’s clear that Flanagan keeps exercising very poor judgment. Flanagan clearly has not learned his lessons, despite professing on numerous occasions to have done so. His insincere apologies ring hollow.
The deeply troubling incidents that have come to light in the time since the initial recall petitions were certified have only convinced us more that Flanagan’s time as mayor must come to an end. The city can no longer afford the embarrassment and liability that Flanagan — who promised to raise the city’s self-esteem — has brought to our city. Multiple investigations are under way that have the potential to further erode the confidence in city government.
On balance, Flanagan’s shortcomings outweigh the benefits of what he has accomplished. Fall River needs a fresh start instead of the same broken promises. The Herald News endorses a vote for the recall of Mayor William A. Flanagan.
In former New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang, DA Samuel Sutter says he has a friend and mentor
Herald News Staff Reporter
Posted Dec. 11, 2014 @ 6:06 pm
Updated Dec 11, 2014 at 6:17 PM
NEW BEDFORD — Scott Lang is not surprised that he has not heard much lately from his good friend, Samuel Sutter.
“Campaigning is completely retail, house to house, door to door, person to person. Nothing substitutes having direct contact with the people, so I’m not surprised that I haven’t seen or heard from him. And I think that’s a good sign,” said Lang, the former mayor of New Bedford, during a recent interview at his Orchard Street law firm.
Lang, whose six-year tenure as mayor overlapped with most of Sutter’s first two terms as the Bristol County District Attorney, has become not just a political ally and colleague, but also a friend, mentor and sounding board for Sutter, who is running in the Dec. 16 recall election to replace Will Flanagan as the mayor of Fall River.
“Scott is somebody I’m going to speak to regularly, and why would I not? He was a great mayor,” said Sutter, who ran for district attorney in 2006, which was Lang’s first year as mayor of the Whaling City.
Both men said they connected during Sutter’s 2006 campaign. They discussed the need to address New Bedford’s unsolved homicides and persistent street-level gun violence and drug trafficking. Crime was the prominent issue during Lang’s successful first run for mayor in 2005.
“I knew I needed to forge a strong relationship with the district attorney’s office. I knew I needed a district attorney to come in and have the same understanding and interest to make sure the city was safe, and that’s how our relationship grew,” said Lang, a former state prosecutor for 12 years before he went into private practice.
Sutter also recalled watching a baseball game with Lang one night during the campaign season. After being elected the district attorney, Sutter said he met with Lang, and that they immediately “hit it off.” They often met to discuss the city’s public safety issues over breakfast or lunch, and together they wrote a 2009 op-ed in the Boston Globe calling on state lawmakers to close a gun loophole in the dangerousness hearing statute.
“We worked together to make New Bedford safer, to cut gang activity, gun violence, to identify the worst drug dealers, and develop strategies to get them arrested and incarcerated. We just became better and better friends,” Sutter said.
The pair also said they have similar interests in the law, politics, sports and competition. Both are about the same age — Lang is 64 and Sutter is 62 — and have three children. Sutter said he attended Lang’s son’s wedding last August.
“That’s a friendship I’ve been very fortunate to have, that I value very highly, that I will be drawing upon if elected mayor of Fall River,” Sutter said.Lang is credited in New Bedford with helping to improve public safety, in part by decentralizing the police department by opening three stations in the community. He also advocated strongly for the city’s beleaguered fishing industry and pushed downtown revitalization projects, among other economic development initiatives. Lang was relatively popular when he left the mayor’s office in 2012, and he remains a force in New Bedford politics, with his name often mentioned for various political offices and judgeships.Lang said he has told Sutter that being mayor of a small city is “the best job in America” because of the direct impact the mayor has on people’s lives.“When Sam came to me and said he was very interested in running for mayor of the city of Fall River, I told him you couldn’t get any better cause or a better mission,” Lang said. “Being able to impact people’s lives in a positive way, I don’t know any other office that allows you to do that on that frequency and level.”Lang said he also told Sutter that there are four "legs" to running a successful city: securing public safety, spurring economic development, providing sound education and engaging neighborhoods.“On any given day, one of those legs is stronger than the other,” said Lang, who thinks Sutter has the skills and experience to be a good mayor in Fall River.“I think he understands that decisions have to be made in consultation with a diverse number of groups that represent the different components of your city,” Lang said. “I think he’s been extremely accountable and responsive to the people as the district attorney, and I think he’d carry that out as mayor.”Sutter added that Lang once told him that becoming mayor was like having 90,000 new family members.“I’m fortunate that he’s one of my very good friends,” Sutter said. “He is somebody I will be speaking with a lot.”
Sutter received endorsement from City Councilors
Linda Pereira and Dan Rego endorse Sam Sutter for Mayor
Riding a wave of positive momentum leading into the December 16th Mayoral Recall Election, candidate for Mayor and Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter announced today the endorsement of two Fall River City Councilors.
City Councilors Linda Pereira and Daniel Rego today joined the growing list of officials, organizations and citizens who are throwing their support behind Sutter’s mayoral campaign to restore public confidence in the mayor’s office.
“The support I have received from so many different people and organizations throughout this brief campaign has been truly humbling. I am excited to now have the public support of these city elected leaders, all of whom have been strong voices against the type of mismanagement that has led us to this recall election. No one man or woman can single handedly turn this city around. But, with partners like those who have endorsed me today and those who continue to reach out to our campaign seeking the return of integrity and effectiveness to the Mayors Office, I know I can lead us forward in a new direction with fresh ideas that will restore Fall River’s confidence in itself and its reputation to those seeking new opportunities,” Sutter said. “I thank these city councilors for their belief in our campaign and I look forward, after the election, to rolling up our sleeves together and getting back to the business of making Fall River a place we can all be proud to call home.”
City Councilor Pereira, who made one of the endorsement announcements today, cited Sutter’s reputation for honesty, integrity and skilled leadership abilities. “"I support Sam Sutter for Mayor 100% because he has earned my trust through his actions. I know he will always do what is right. Sam is the leader we need and we can trust that he will put the good of this city and our citizens first,” Councilor Pereira said.
City Councilor Daniel Rego praised Sutter’s mix of experience, new ideas and his proven ability to work well with other officials throughout the Commonwealth.
“Sam Sutter is the experienced leader that Fall River needs. Sam has proven that he knows how to bring effective and creative change to an organization. He is a collaborator and a change maker. I am proud to endorsement his candidacy for Mayor,” Councilor Rego said.
Campaign 2014 Letter: Sam Sutter stands above the rest for mayor
Posted Dec. 3, 2014 @ 3:14 pm
On Dec. 16, we the citizens of Fall River have an opportunity to participate in a recall election of our current administration. There will be many names on the ballot. However, one name shines above the rest and that is Sam Sutter.
Fall River has been stagnant much too long and is headed in the wrong direction. We are like a ship with no power drifting from place to place with no defined course and destined to end up on a rocky shore. With Sutter as our mayor and commanding our ship, with his integrity and vision, which we will all profit from, he will steer this city on the right course.
Sutter has always accomplished what he has set his goals to be. He is the right candidate to turn a negative into a positive.
So I ask you to join my family, friends and me to vote for the recall and a much needed vote for Sam Sutter who will bring out the potential this city has to offer.
Ronald L. Angelone
COALITION FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE BACKS SUTTER FOR MAYOR
Sam Sutter receives endorsement from notable, grassroots organization in Fall River
FALL RIVER, MA- With just over three weeks before the December 16th election, candidate for Mayor and Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter announced today the endorsement of the Coalition for Social Justice.
“I am honored to receive the support of an organization dedicated to bringing opportunity and economic fairness to the City of Fall River. The Coalition for Social Justice has shone a bright light on the need for job opportunities, economic development, and civic engagement in our city. These extremely important issues are a central focus of my campaign for Mayor of Fall River. We need to work together to ensure that all Fall River residents have an opportunity to succeed through access to quality education and good paying jobs. The Coalition understands that I have the leadership, experience and vision to bring economic growth and integrity to our city, and I am grateful for their support”, Sutter remarked.
Deb Fastino, the Coalition’s Executive Director, made the endorsement announcement citing Sutter’s experience as a leading factor in their support. “The Coalition for Social Justice is endorsing Sam Sutter for Mayor because he’s a proven effective administrator. Sam has built relationships with leaders around Southeastern Massachusetts and the state which will be beneficial for our community. We know that Fall River will thrive under his leadership and are excited about the collaboration and ingenuity that he will bring to the office.”--
LOCAL LABOR UNIONS BACK SUTTER FOR MAYOR
Sam Sutter receives endorsement from two major unions in Fall River
FALL RIVER, MA- With the December 16th election less than four weeks away, candidate for Mayor and Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter announced today the endorsement of the Carpenters Local 1305 Union and the Local 3 Bricklayers & Allied Craftsmen Union.
“I am honored to receive the support of two organizations who represent the workers who built Fall River and continue to push for economic growth in our city. Fall River is made up of strong, hard working, principled individuals and these two unions represent many of them. These unions are working everyday to protect workers rights, fight for better wages and drive job growth in the city,” Sutter said. “I am anxious to begin working with these and other trade organizations to ensure Fall River has well-trained workers who are prepared to step right in to the types of new industries that my administration will work to bring to Fall River. I am proud to stand with the workers of Fall River, and gratefully accept their endorsement.”
The Local 3 Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen Union is made up of nearly 4,000 members from around New England, with the majority of its members living and working in Eastern Massachusetts. The Carpenters Local 1305 Union is a southeastern Massachusetts union comprised of nearly 600 members, with about a third of those living in Fall River.
Jim Pimental, Vice President/Organizer for the Local 3 Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen Union, made one of the endorsement announcements today, citing Sutter’s proven track record of success, integrity and advocacy on behalf of those who need a leader to speak for them. "As Bristol County District Attorney, Sam Sutter has always carried himself with the utmost integrity, has been a champion for fairness and justice as well as a strong advocate and voice for those sometimes unable to fight for themselves. We know Sam would carry those same values into the Mayor's office and for those reasons and many more, Bricklayers & Allied Craftsmen Local 3 MA/ME/NH/RI is proud and honored to endorse Sam Sutter for Mayor of Fall River!"
Ron Rheaume, Business Manager of the Carpenters Local 1305 Union, also announced his organization’s endorsement today, saying Sutter is a leader who has instilled trust from his constituents from day one. "The Carpenters Local 1305 is proud to support Sam Sutter for Fall River Mayor. We know Sam will be a leader we can trust to stand up for working families and will help to bring job opportunity and economic growth to our local families and individuals."
Team Sutter goes window-to-window
We are receiving great responses to our mail piece this week. Did you know that the postcard doubles as a window sign? That's right! Most campaigns go door to go but Team Sutter is going door-to-door and window-to-window!
Help us get out the word about Sam's campaign for #FallRiver Mayor by putting your sign in a high traffic window and posting a photo on social media, tagging our Facebook Page. Here are some photos from around town that have already been submitted!