Top issues, needs and concerns of voters in the Fall River mayoral race

Campaign season is officially underway in Fall River, with the Mayor’s Office up for grabs in November.

The race warms up:Fall River City Council Chairman Cliff Ponte announces his candidacy for mayor

Outgoing mayor Paul Coogan is so far the only candidate to have returned nomination papers and is running for his second term. Coogan was a long-time member of the school committee before becoming mayor in 2019, defeating Jasiel Correia II who was facing trial on multiple counts of fraud and extortion at the time. Correia has since been convicted and is awaiting conviction.

President of City Council Cliff Ponte pulled out the candidacy documents for the mayoral race on Wednesday, telling the audience at his Al Mac’s Diner that the city is “at a crossroads” and touting its business acumen. Ponte served as interim mayor for 11 weeks, from October 2019 to January 2020, when Correia took a leave of absence amid his corruption scandal.

After:Declaring city council passed deadline, Coogan says 2022 budget is passed

Coogan and Ponte recently exceeded the city’s budget for fiscal 2022. In May, Coogan sent Ponte and council a city budget of $ 349 million. After failing to take specific action on the budget, Coogan said by charter from the city the budget was automatically approved, sparking a quarrel between the executive and legislative powers of the city.

Fall River City Council Chairman Cliff Ponte announces his run for mayor outside Al Mac's restaurant, which his family now owns.

Two other possible candidates, Jonathan James Albernaz and Jordan J. Silvia, also took nomination papers but did not return the papers with the required 300 certified signatures from city voters. Silvia also took application documents for the city council.

We want to know: what do you want from a mayor? And do you think these candidates are the right people for the job? Click below to take our quick survey and let us know what you think.

Dan Medeiros can be contacted at [email protected]. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Herald News today.

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