Name: Richard Conti
Education: bachelor's of arts from University of New Hampshire, and post graduate work at the University of Massachusetts.
Seat: Attleboro City Councilor At Large
Attleboro City Councilor Richard Conti is a local business owner who has served as City Councilor At Large for the past two years.
Conti and his wife Martha run Conti Real Estate located at County Square. When he's not running the business, Conti can be found at Council Chambers at City Hall. Outside of government he has served on the board of directors for the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus and United Way. His most recent community involvement was helping to organize and launch the Attleboro Farmers Market.
The Attleboro Farmers Market saw hundreds of visitors on opening day in July and has flourished ever since with dozens of vendors. Conti continues to support the market.
While the councilor does not have children in the Attleboro school system and the Attleboro Municipal Council's impact on Attleboro's education is limited, it has not stopped him from volunteering to start an Interact Club at Attleboro High School.
"As a Councilor, I ensure they have the resources to get the job done, but have limited ability to monitor the inner workings of the education system," he said.
In fact, he has merged two his interests of politics and education together by mentoring the Attleboro Youth Commission because as he said "volunteering does make a difference in education."
Offerings: Attleboro’s location is its strongest asset because it's the midpoint between Boston and Providence, according to Conti. "Many families who come here for a temporary move stay here a lifetime," he said. "As a City Councilor I have supported education, business development, recreation and maintaining the services which make living in Attleboro a rewarding experience."
Hot Issues: Conti said one major issue for him is that the people of Attleboro were promised that none of their tax dollars would go into the development of the Industrial Business Park and Inter-modal Transport Center under the guidance of the Attleboro Redevelopment Authority.
"I am the only councilor who voted against the city paying off ARA lawsuits with state lottery money when the funds could have been used for urgent local capital improvements," Conti said. "Now the city has a budget line item for ARA settlements opening the door for the city to pay additional ARA debt. Millions of taxpayer dollars are involved."
A big problem affecting Attleboro is its obligation to an unfunded liability in Other Post Employment Benefits, which caused a $13 million deficit in last year’s budget and Conti said he believes it may reach $15 million in this year’s budget.
"Nearly every city in Massachusetts has a similar problem," Conti said. "I think it is a problem that needs to be addressed on Beacon Hill."
One mayor issue that impacts Conti, his opponents and other candidates is the low turnout of voters. Conti hopes everyone will get out, register, then exercise their right to vote on Nov. 8.
"Voter apathy is a serious condition," Conti said. "Approximately 6,000 residents voted in the last municipal Council election in a population of over 23,000 registered voters."