Zwirko Announces Melrose Mayoral Run

Alderman-at-Large Michael Zwirko announced his intention to run for Mayor on Tuesday, April 16. Below is his statement:

“After talking to many of my friends and neighbors here in Melrose, I have decided to pull papers on May 1st and run for the opportunity to be your next Mayor. Earlier this month, we saw our community take giant steps forward when it successfully passed the override. Serving on the Board of Aldermen for the last several years has taught me an awful lot about where Melrose wants to go and about the aspirations of our residents. Melrose will require a Mayor that embraces the leap of faith taken by the voters who made a financial commitment to address our fiscal challenges. I will be a Mayor who respects that trust and will not squander the opportunity this override has given us. The voters have huge expectations here, and that means we need a Mayor with the courage to be disruptive to existing paradigms and prioritize investment in the areas that sustainably improve the quality of our life.

For the first time in 18 years, the people of Melrose will be choosing a completely new candidate for Mayor. Because the list of needs are many, the old way of doing things just won’t work anymore. The next Mayor must be a hands-on Mayor. Where policy and practice meet. The next Mayor must have a determined work ethic, be dynamic, energetic, and agile. Have the ability to offer contemporary solutions by disrupting the old mind-set and the willingness to approach government differently. More of the same is not going to be a pathway to prosperity.

In a small community like Melrose, communication is essential to its success. Enhancing how our government interacts with its residents will be a key component of my campaign. Communication cannot be a one-way street, and it cannot always be top-down. There are a lot of caring people in Melrose who have insight and skills to offer. Let’s tap that potential. As Mayor, I will support initiatives that encourage ideas and promote conversations. I know that strong leadership, vision, and direction, combined with the energy of all of Melrose is what is required to put our future back in focus. Results are what I’m after; conversations often lead to better results.

Our school enrollment continues to grow and that will be a challenge over the next Mayoral term. Being able to address this while offering quality education and stimulating learning environments will not be easy, but it must be adaptive. The override helps in this regard as it supports restoring positions and eventually new space. Still, existing spaces will need to be repurposed and shifting of administrators may be considered in the future. But this is the next stage, and that will only be successful with input from stakeholders: Parents, students, administrators, elected officials and residents. We must open up these discussions and be inclusive in order to find the best path.

Education is a mainstay. But this isn’t just an opportunity to maintain good schools - it’s an opportunity to make them better. The next Mayor will confront a list of many needs. Let’s ask new questions when we consider those needs: How many people does it benefit? Is this something that makes Melrose more desirable? Does it create new opportunities for economic development? Is there a better way to do this? These questions must be asked and accountability established. We can become a more attractive place for growing families to live and still become economically viable - it will require a Mayor with creativity and sustained initiative to ensure that these goals are not mutually exclusive.

I look forward to continuing conversations with my neighbors in Melrose over the next five months. This will be a campaign of we, not me. I want to hear from you and build our vision for our community together. In fact, why not start today? Email me: Mike@Zwirko.com, visit my website at www.zwirko.com or call me: 781-662-1966, and let’s talk about how we can build a stronger city, because tomorrow matters for Melrose.”

Mike Zwirko