FRAMINGHAM - Framingham Mayor Charlie Sisitsky spoke about local accomplishments, projects, and goals for the upcoming year in his annual State of the City address on Monday, January 29.
Speaking in Nevins Hall at the Memorial Building, Sisitsky was joined by a group of city officials, municipal employees, and community leaders. The mayor began by touting what he described as positive developments made in the last year throughout Framingham.
“This has been a year of achievements and change,” Sisitsky told the audience.
“As we look towards the future, I am proud to report that the state of our city is strong.”
Among those recent developments highlighted by Sisitsky included the acquisitions for a new community center project as well as a new school on the city’s south side—a site that he is planning to serve around 650 students when it’s ready—along with the start of a geothermal energy project, plans to clean up Mary Dennison Park, and expansions of Framingham’s rail trails.
Sisitsky also took time to praise the response from local organizations and community members to the regional migrant crisis, which began to impact the city over the summer, as well as the increased involvement from residents in municipal governments matters. According to the mayor, 311 people—representing all of the city’s districts—applied to various boards, commissions, and committees in 2023. Sisitsky noted that the total amounted to a 124% increase from 2022, as 62% of last year’s applicants noted that they had not served on any board, commission, or committee in the past.
“I am excited about the significant increase in this civic engagement,” Sisitsky continued.
Sisitsky outlined additional challenges and goals for the year ahead. Additional measures for traffic mitigation and infrastructure improvements were some of the matters he brought up, alongside issues persisting at local medical centers and concerns raised by members of the downtown community. In regards to the latter point, Sisitsky mentioned the creation of a Community Impact Unit (CIU) back in October. The CIU features police officers specifically assigned to interact with residents and business owners—especially downtown—to address calls for help and other needs.
Sisitsky also detailed his intention to continue the development of trail and park projects, the new community center and south side school plans, and the proposal to open a new regional dispatch center for first responders along Concord Street. He said that he’s looking to create an economic development committee to assist with large projects on the horizon, adding that the state’s revenue “has not kept up with projections”—meaning that the city has to be prepared for any fallout and its meaning on local aid.
Other goals facing Framingham that were discussed by Sisitsky during his address included finding a solution to the ongoing school bus shortage, filling vacancies within the city government, and bringing more performance arts events into the Memorial Building.
In 2024, Sisitsky explained that he hopes transparency can be maintained by the city government, while a “civil and respectful” relationship with the City Council can continue.
“I’m disappointed to note that there were occasions when this broke down,” Sisitsky said.
“With the new year and new City Council, my hope is that we will engage in respectful and constructive dialogue to find balance with a lens of gratitude for the critical work that we’re all doing.”
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