Attleboro City Councilor Kimberly Allard collected more than the necessary 100 signatures needed to run for a City Councilor at-large seat and handed them in to the Election Department just hours before the deadline Tuesday afternoon.
Allard and at-large City Councilors Brian Kirby, Richard Conti and Peter Blais are vying for reelection to earn one of the at Large seats. Their opponents include City Councilor Cherie Felos, Albert James Buckley IV, James Dilisio, Anthony Parziale and Sara-Lynn Reynolds.
Allard, now in her fifth term on the Council, said people have been asking whether she was going to run for reelection for one of the five seats for months, but she could not provide an answer until now.
What made the councilor wait until the last day to file?
"Honestly, it was my schedule and responsibilities that I have," she said. "I wanted to be sure that I had the time to dedicate to do the job right."
Allard has been under fire by some in the public recently about time spent away from her seat in the City Council Chambers and some questioned whether she'd be available to commit to the another term.
"This term was really tough," Allard said. "I had two major surgeries during this term, which made it difficult."
Some work and family responsibilities also hindered her from being at every meeting, according to Allard.
"I’m healthy now and my work schedule and other obligations are no longer a conflict," she said.
Another term would enable Allard to follow through on concerns from her constituents and the challenging issues including the fate of the Industrial Business Park, the continuance of the downtown revitalization and the budget.
"We have budget concerns, but we have not had any layoffs and not cut any city services," she said. "We handled the economic storm well."
While Allard said there are many challenges facing the city, one of her priorities is public safety.
"If you look at my list of accomplishment that is where my heart is," Allard said.
She is referring to the several public safety issues she has introduced or voted in favor of including adding more AED defibrillators to police cruisers, bringing tablets into the hands of emergency medical technicians and improving the technology used to bill and collect for ambulance runs.
Items currently in committee including GIS (geographic information system) software and Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation software. The Dragon software would enable police officers in the field to write up reports on the field using software instead of driving back to the station and hand-writing or typing a report.
"When a police officer has to come in off the street to write reports you have now taken an officer off the street," Allard said. "To come in and do a report that sometimes that means overtime.
"For me it is a more efficient way to get reports done."