Fall River election: Candidates for City Council state their platforms

There are numerous Fall River residents throwing their hats into the upcoming 2023 municipal election. The primary election will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 19, with the top two mayoral and top 18 City Council candidates advancing onto the Tuesday, Nov. 7, municipal election. The School Committee race did not attract enough candidates to require a primary, and will be decided in the general election.

As part of The Herald News' coverage of the election, we reached out to the candidates for the City Council preliminary election for candidate-submitted platforms.

Here, in their words, are their statements about why they should be elected to the City Council.

Paulo J. Amaral

Paulo J. Amaral, a candidate for Fall River's City Council
Paulo J. Amaral, a candidate for Fall River's City Council

In 1987 my parents made the decision to leave all they knew in order to make a sacrifice for the future of their children. At nine years old I left my town, school, culture, family, and friends to immigrate to the United States.

Fall River was the place that gave us opportunity and hope, now it’s my turn to give back to the city that helped achieve my American dream.

I understand what it’s like to struggle; overcoming this struggle through hard work, dedication, and perseverance. I never gave up on the hope and opportunity given to me. It’s this enthusiasm and determination that I hope to bring to the citizens of Fall River.

I’m a fiscal conservative who understands the economy and the housing crisis placing lifelong and elderly residents at risk of finding affordable housing. As Fall River’s service rates and property tax continue to increase, adding additional pressure on property owners and renters who struggle to find affordable apartments.

I will advocate for a safer city by demanding more police and fire personnel while easing the burden on property owners by helping to find solutions that create affordable housing; voting no on water and sewer rate hikes.

If you believe Fall River residents deserve more from their elected officials, I ask that you consider voting for me. Paulo J. Amaral for Fall River for City Council. Safer streets, less taxpayer burden and affordable housing for all residents. That’s a Fall River we can all agree on.

Shawn Cadime, incumbent

Shawn Cadime, a candidate for Fall River's City Council
Shawn Cadime, a candidate for Fall River's City Council

I’m excited to announce my candidacy for City Council, driven by a vision of a thriving community built on economic vitality, transparency, and responsible fiscal management. Our city stands at a pivotal moment, and I’m dedicated to leading initiatives that will propel us into a prosperous future. Economic development is a cornerstone of our city’s success. I’m committed to creating a legislative environment that attracts new businesses, nurtures local entrepreneurship, and generates meaningful job opportunities for our residents.

During my term, I have proven that transparency is not just a promise; it's a principle I hold dear. I will continue to ensure that decisions and processes are open, accessible, and inclusive. By fostering an environment of transparency, we can rebuild trust, enhance civic engagement, and make informed decisions that reflect the collective voice of our constituents.

Fiscal oversight is essential to safeguarding our city's financial health. I remain committed to thoroughly reviewing budgets and promoting responsible spending that maximizes efficiency while delivering essential services. My background in finance and experience as a Town Administrator equips me to scrutinize expenditures, identify cost-saving opportunities, and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.

I’m running not for personal gain, but to serve the community that has given me so much. I aim to bring about positive change, uplift every resident, and propel Fall River toward a future of prosperity. Your support will be invaluable in turning this vision into reality. Together, let's build a brighter, stronger, and more resilient Fall River for generations to come.

Michelle M. Dionne, incumbent

Michelle M. Dionne, a candidate for Fall River's City Council
Michelle M. Dionne, a candidate for Fall River's City Council

My name is Michelle M. Dionne I am presently on the Fall River City Council running for re-election. I was first elected in Nov. of 2019 and re-elected in Nov. of 2021. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve and most importantly represent the citizens of Fall River. No matter what the subject matter I am not afraid to ask the hard questions, meet resistance head-on, or demand accountability, in doing so I have always been honest, truthful, and respectful during my tenure.

I believe the government should work for the people, not against them. To that end as the legislative body we are tasked with being the check and balance of government for the people. This is a responsibility I take very seriously and will continue to do to the best of my ability as long as the voters of Fall River allow me to be one of nine councilors chosen to represent them. In the upcoming preliminary my name will appear 17th on the ballot. I respectfully ask the voters of Fall River to cast one of their votes for Michelle M. Dionne. Incumbent.

Paul Hart

Paul Hart, a candidate for Fall River's City Council
Paul Hart, a candidate for Fall River's City Council

Hello, my name is Paul Hart, candidate for Fall River City Council. I was born and raised in Fall River and currently live here with my two sons. I was educated in Fall River Public Schools. A graduate of Umass Dartmouth and I received my master's degree in Education. I have served the city of Fall River for fourteen years, I am currently on the School Committee entering my eighth year and served six years on the City Council.

I hope to return to the City Council where my roots are and if I'm fortunate to be elected I will work tirelessly for you, the citizens. My first priority will be public safety and making sure our Fire and Police departments are adequately staffed and at full complement for both departments. I will make sure our fire department apparatus is up to date and will meet with the Fire Chief.

I will meet with the Police Chief and see if we can increase our walking beat throughout the city and make sure he has all the funding to combat crime in our city as it relates to gangs, aggravated assaults and gun violence, I want to make sure our Chief has everything at his disposal to fight crime in our city. I will also ask to be on the public safety committee to hold public safety meetings throughout the neighborhoods of our city.

Thank you and please vote Paul Hart City Council on September 19th.

Bradford Kilby, incumbent

Bradford Kilby, a candidate for Fall River's City Council
Bradford Kilby, a candidate for Fall River's City Council

Hello, my name is Bradford Kilby and I am once again asking for your vote in the upcoming election as a candidate for the Fall River City Council. I am a lifelong resident of this City and have been married to Monique (Sirois) Kilby for the past 36 years. We have three children Thomas, Elizabeth, and Brad Jr. My wife is an elementary school teacher and I am fortunate to have such a wonderful life partner. We are all truly proud residents of this wonderful City which has provided many opportunities to our family.

I am a graduate of B.M.C. Durfee High and graduate from Bridgewater State College with a degree in Education. I taught at Durfee High School for seven years after graduating from Bridgewater State College. I subsequently attended New England School Of Law in Boston and started my law practice in the city in 1994.

I was a 10 year member of the Fall River School Committee and presently a Fall River City Councilor and have held this seat for the past 12 years. I have served on numerous committees and I am proud of many positive results that we have been able to accomplish over the years.  As always, there is much more work to do and I am truly passionate about serving as one of your City Councilors. Despite the many challenges we continue to confront as one of the largest Gateway Cities in the Commonwealth. I am truly excited about Fall River’s Future. There are truly so many positive things happening. Projects we have not seen in over a generation. I am honored to be part of it.

In closing, my family and I thank you for the past support I hope to once again have your vote this year so I can continue to serve you and always have your best interest at heart.

Thank you, Brad.

Pamela S. Laliberte, incumbent

Pamela S. Laliberte, a candidate for Fall River's City Council
Pamela S. Laliberte, a candidate for Fall River's City Council

I have had the honor of serving on the City Council for 4 terms, and I am so appreciative of your continued trust in me to hold this position. I chose to move to Fall River, and I am proud to live here. My twin girls are juniors at Durfee, and my son is in the 8th grade at Morton Middle.

Each year my approach remains the same; ask questions, verify answers, and vote for what is in the best interest of the residents and businesses in the City of Fall River. And as challenging as politics can be, I am able to agree to disagree with respect. Collaboration and communication will always get us further.

Governing and living in a city comes with the inherent issues of crime, homelessness, and residents in need of services and low-income housing. It is so important that continually working to lessen crime and assisting our residents in need with the utmost compassion remain at the top of our priorities, while still striving to elevate our city in other areas. We need to do these things consistently and simultaneously in order to grow.

As a public servant,  I am always available to help a resident with questions or concerns. Constituent services continue to be my favorite part of this job. The ability to make a difference in the life of a resident or local business owner is the reason I love what I do.

Thank you. Best, Pam

Robert Pearson

Robert "Bob" Pearson, a candidate for Fall River's City Council
Robert "Bob" Pearson, a candidate for Fall River's City Council

Why is Bob asking for your vote for a seat on the City Council?

As a former member of the Fall River Water Board, I know how expensive our water rates are for sewer and rain run-off charges. Rainwater fees do raise millions of dollars, which may be hard to do away with, but we will work hard at reducing this amount. We all know that these fees are costing, WE, the taxpayers of Fall River, lots of our hard-earned income.

In my opinion, I believe our drinking water and air quality is not where it should be. When elected I will investigate ways to improve them. First by participating in the Environmental Committee and then by asking for citizen input.

Like the rest of the Fall River’s residents, I am concerned with our homelessness problem. This is an issue that could affect us, our loved ones, or neighbors at any time so it is important to understand it and find ways to take action to reduce or prevent it. I would involve all civic leaders and use citizen input to accomplish this.

I believe that the Fall River Xfinity cable service fees are too high. I will work with others to form an exploratory committee to investigate how they can be reduced.

As your City Councilor, I, Bob Pearson, will work at reducing fees to a reasonable level for the Taxpayers of Fall River. Please consider voting for me in the next election.

For more information please visit: bpcitycouncil.com

Cliff Ponte

Cliff Ponte, a candidate for Fall River's City Council
Cliff Ponte, a candidate for Fall River's City Council

I am a former City Council president and former acting mayor. My unwavering commitment to catalyzing positive change and fostering growth within our city remains resolute. Raised, educated, and rooted in Fall River, I've personally witnessed the boundless potential our city holds. Yet, I'm equally cognizant of the obstacles that lie ahead, spanning financial accountability, infrastructure enhancement, and economic progression.

In addition to leading the largest real estate company in the region, I am also a proud small business owner of Al Mac’s Diner and Al Mac’s On-The-Go. These endeavors exemplify my profound dedication to our community. Recognizing the responsibility that lies before me, I feel compelled to rise to the occasion and contribute to the advancement of our city as a City Councilor. My objective is clear: to ensure that our City Government remains accountable, providing a better place to live for all our residents.

Central to my foundation is a commitment to transparency and accountability. I stand as an advocate for Good Government.  If I am returned to the City Council, I look forward to bringing my professional acumen to the City Council in a forward-thinking approach.  I am passionate about tapping into the potential of our diverse community, working collectively to shape a city that instills pride in us all.

With your support, we can embark on a fresh era of advancement, unity, and prosperity for Fall River.

I ask for your support and vote and promise you my very best.

Andrew J. Raposo, incumbent

Andrew J. Raposo, a candidate for Fall River's City Council
Andrew J. Raposo, a candidate for Fall River's City Council

My name is Andrew J. Raposo, and I am running for re-election to the Fall River City Council. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your city councilor for the past two years, and I ask for your vote to continue to serve the city that I love.

During this time, I’ve had the privilege to work with you, the constituents of our city. It is clear that the citizens of Fall River seek to improve the city we love, and my hope is that I can continue to be part of the progress. Advocating for funding to support Arts, Culture and Tourism, helping to ensure that our city is clean by advocating for graffiti removal machines, and providing constituent services are some of the things that I hope to continue if reelected to the City Council. When a citizen reaches out, I’ve worked hard to get answers and assistance. It is the individuals on the ground that are the heartbeat of our city, and working with them, in collaboration with city officials, allows us to make forward progress.

If I am blessed to be re-elected to the City Council, I will continue to work with you to move our city forward, and always serve with honesty and integrity. I will continue to work hard for you, and I would be honored to serve once again on the Fall River City Council. I humbly ask for your vote on September 19th, thank you!

Gloria Saddler

Gloria Saddler, a candidate for Fall River's City Council
Gloria Saddler, a candidate for Fall River's City Council

I am thrilled to introduce myself as a City Council candidate. I am eager to contribute to our city's betterment and ensure a brighter future for all. I possess the skills to lead empathetically, strategize for growth, and consistently achieve impactful results.

One particularly noteworthy achievement stems from my role as the inaugural Dean/Director of Bristol Community College’s Taunton Center situated within the Taunton Mall. Initially functioning as satellite locations in the former Friedman Middle and Cohannet schools, catering to a modest enrollment of approximately 20 students, with no degree offerings. However, prior to my departure, I spearheaded the remarkable transformation of the satellite locations resulting in an investment in a state-of-the-art facility that boasted enrollment of well over 600 students ultimately creating a thriving off-site educational destination recognized for its exemplary service.

As a proud homeowner in the Flint neighborhood of Fall River, I have played a role in eliminating criminal behavior, prostitution, and drug-related activities from locations such as Cash Street, Jencks Street, and the Cash Street Parking Lot. This accomplishment was achieved through collaborative efforts with residents, multiple mayors, police chiefs, and DCM leaders.

With your support, I am confident that I can be the catalyst for positive change on the City Council. I am ready to embark on this journey of progress together, listening to your concerns, and working diligently to translate them into effective changes. Thank you for considering me as your candidate.

Sincerely, Gloria Saddler

Joseph Salvador

Joseph Salvador, a candidate for Fall River's City Council
Joseph Salvador, a candidate for Fall River's City Council

My name is Joseph Salvador. I am a candidate for City Council. They are three things. I am passionate about safety for the elderly, education for the young, and entertainment for everyone.

I believe as taxpayers, we should get a greater return on our taxes than we had previously I believe we should create a Tif zone, the Flint is a great place to start a Tif zone. And I’m a firm believer that owner occupied tenement homes create a safer neighborhood, these are things that can be done, I hear the young up and coming adults, young entrepreneurs who are trying to make their way in this business climate, I like the direction the city is headed but we can use new ideas from our young voters.

We have to get the young voters excited about our city! Yours truly, Joseph Salvador, candidate for city council

Alexander Silva

Alexander Silva, a candidate for Fall River's City Council
Alexander Silva, a candidate for Fall River's City Council

Alexander Silva has been volunteering for years to make Fall River a better place and believes he can do more as a member of the City Council. Silva volunteers as a member of the City of Fall River’s Community Preservation Committee and is an active member on the Preservation Society of Fall River’s Board of Directors. During that time, he advocated to preserve Fall River’s history and fought for smart redevelopment in the City as well as for new protections to protect residents’ interests with the sale of municipal property.

Silva’s main priorities include increasing the amount of information available to the public, increasing community discussion and input on topics important to Fall River’s future, and developing protections to make sure the City never loses another purchase and sale agreement again.

Long-term, Fall River needs to proactively plan for economic development to foster new growth. This will provide new revenue for the city to fund expanded services to meet community needs like public safety, infrastructure, and education. The city can utilize Fall River’s assets like location, diversity, and history to generate new activity that alleviates the burden on taxpayers.

To learn more about Alexander Silva and his position on a variety of important topics affecting Fall River, please visit www.alexsilvaforfallriver.com.

Jordan James Silvia

Jordan James Silvia, a candidate for Fall River's City Council
Jordan James Silvia, a candidate for Fall River's City Council

The vast majority of people in Fall River no longer believe in our political process; 67-85% of eligible voters don't even show up, and why should they?

Neither Mayoral candidate, Paul Coogan nor Sam Sutter have integrity, it's plain as day.

Our City Council is filled with people who get paid for decades, yet don't even know how to legally do their job, such as voting on a budget. Go to a meeting as a concerned citizen, they won't acknowledge you're alive.

These people do not care about you, or your families, they care about themselves, their egos, ambition, and benefits.

If you're having a hard time getting by, Linda Pereira famously told you to just "Eat more Ramen noodles" so you can afford all their taxes, fees, trash bags, etc.

Ken Pacheco knows you can pay more, due to the number of pizza boxes he counts while looking through your trash.

Why do the poorest of us have to sacrifice more every year, to pay people in government 3, 4, or 5 times what you earn?

They believe in Reverse Robin Hood; they steal from the poor to give to the rich.

We spend hundreds of millions every year to send our kids to schools that turn them into adults who accept this horrific system; to defend rampant Socialism, Communism and serfdom as "patriotic".

Being robbed isn't patriotic.

No other person in this race will fight against government tyranny more than myself, you should already know that.

Thank you.

Joshua Teixeira

Joshua Teixeira, a candidate for Fall River's City Council
Joshua Teixeira, a candidate for Fall River's City Council

My name is Joshua Teixeira and I am a candidate for city council.  A little background about myself is that I was born and raised in Fall River. I have made many memories and enjoyed being raised here. Now, I want to raise my family here. My family is a big part of why I am running for council. Fall River once was a better place, when I was younger than it is now.

I have been a small business owner. I know how important it is to capitalize on the busy times so you can make it through the tough times.

I have been a landlord and I am a homeowner. Truly, understand the financial struggles the taxpayers face.

Community is important to me. I serve on many local boards. I am treasurer for the Bristol County Plumbing & Gas Fitting Association. Also, believe it’s important to invest in our youth which has led me to serve on the Diman Advisory Board.

Through the years I have learned the importance of people making a difference in their community.  In politics you have to keep your values. Don’t try to fit in with the crowd and follow what is right. This is something I truly believe in. Seeing that many politicians get lost along the way. You must do what is the best for the community.

I want to be part of a City Council that can make resolutions that in return will bring a bright future. To do this, I need your vote and support.

Laura Jean Washington, incumbent

Laura Jean Washington, a candidate for Fall River's City Council
Laura Jean Washington, a candidate for Fall River's City Council

In the past fifteen months, I have consistently advocated for the youth of our city, and the veterans of our city, and in fact, serve as one of two City Council Liaisons to our veterans.

I believe the youth is our future, it was my great joy to propose a youth initiative that focuses on all youth in our city.  As a result, two million dollars of APRPA money was appropriated and is now earmarked for our youth, to ensure they may participate in extracurricular activities which will help keep them focused and involved in positive productive activities.

I was also very proud to sponsor the resolution which appropriated fifty thousand dollars in  ARPA dollars to our fall river veterans.  Money which will be well spent on feeding our veterans, and their families a home cooked meal.

Over these last several months, I have served on the charter review committee, where we have focused our energy on fixing what is broken in our charter,

Fall River is truly on the cusp of a renaissance.  With the waterfront development underway, and the commuter rail corresponding, our city is poised to undergo exciting economic development.  As a member of the economic development and tourism committee, I am energized and eager to continue seeking solutions which will enhance our city’s tourism and economic engine.

If I am fortunate enough to return to the city council, I will continue to seek common ground, and build bridges to enable solutions.

The following candidates are also running for City Council, but did not submit a statement for the preliminary City Council race: Linda Pereira, Joseph Camara, Ricky Tith and Gabriel Amaral.

This article originally appeared on Standard-Times: Fall River City Council candidate platforms