Collaboration has been central to Mayor Linda M. Balzotti’s administration. As Brockton’s first female Mayor, she has prioritized public safety, education, and economic development in the city and worked together with local stakeholders as well as state and federal agencies and representatives to advocate for Brockton residents and these priorities.
Elected for the first time in November 2009, Mayor Balzotti is serving her second term as Mayor. Within days of first being sworn into office, a rash of gun violence occurred. Since then, Mayor Balzotti has made it a top priority to bring together representatives from the Brockton Police Department, Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, and State Police to increase patrols and reallocate resources to develop a zero-tolerance approach to crime in the city. Since taking office, several law enforcement sweeps conducted in Brockton have resulted in the arrest of several dozen people involved in the illegal gun and drug trades.
Continuing this commitment to public safety, 13 police officers have been hired. Twelve fire fighters have also joined the department. In 2012, the police department purchased six new cruisers for their fleet and two new fire engines have also been funded.
As mayor, Linda Balzotti has aggressively pursued grant funding opportunities for Brockton. In the last four years, more than $20 million in grants have been secured for public safety initiatives, youth programs, economic development efforts, and infrastructure improvements.
Working closely with the state delegation and the administration of Governor Deval Patrick, Mayor Balzotti secured $140,000 in funding to support planning and economic development initiatives — the cornerstones of her vision for the revitalization of downtown Brockton. To date, three Brockton redevelopment proposals have received Historic Tax Credits from the state totaling $1.5 million, a first for the city.
Investing in the city’s infrastructure has also been focus for Mayor Balzotti. Utilizing a $1.5 million MassWorks grant from the state’s Executive Office of housing and Economic Development, a portion of Commercial Street was repaved, and roadways at four historic downtown overpasses were replaced. Sidewalks were also installed, drainage infrastructure was replaced, and lighting was also installed to make these gateways to Brockton’s downtown more inviting and pedestrian-friendly.
In 2012, the city invested $600,000 in federal grant funding to make improvements at 11 parks and playgrounds across the city.
Mayor Balzotti, in each of her four budget submissions, has maintained essential city services. Public safety personnel have continued to be hired and the three branches of the Brockton Public Library remained opened on an abbreviated schedule.
As Mayor, Balzotti also serves as Chairman of the Brockton School Committee. She works closely with school department staff to ensure Brockton children receive a first-class education. In 2011, Marciano Stadium at Brockton High School underwent a $1.2 million renovation, and eight Brockton Public School buildings have undergone renovations as part of the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s Green Repair Program. Brockton was the second largest recipient of funding through this program, receiving $35.6 million, 80 percent of the total cost of the project. The City of Brockton was responsible for $7.1 million.
In addition to her work with the school committee, Balzotti has maintained and expanded city programs for youth including the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program and Brockton After Dark. Brockton has also been named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People four times, twice during Balzotti’s administration.
Recognizing the importance of keeping the public informed, Balzotti led the effort to redesign the city web site to provide information to residents and visitors more effectively. She also increased the city’s social media presence. Mayor Balzotti implemented monthly constituent office hours to open up the Mayor’s Office to city residents, and has worked to keep City Councilors up-to-date on issues and events.
Prior to her election as Mayor in 2009, Linda Balzotti served as a City Councilor for 12 years.
In 2010, Governor Deval Patrick appointed her to the Massachusetts Work Force Investment Board. That same year, Mayor Balzotti presented with four other mayors at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics on Helping Urban Areas Thrive.
Mayor Balzotti has also shared the important work and accomplishments Brockton has achieved at a number of local and regional events: Keynote Speaker, Metro South Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon (April 2013); Panel Participant at MassInc’s Strategic Directions: Investing in Public Transportation for Regional Economic Growth (April 2013); Panel Participant at Gateway Cities Transformative Investment Legislative Breakfast (January 2013); Keynote Speaker, Cranberry Chamber of Commerce “Elements of Excellence” event (May 2012); Featured Speaker, Bridgewater State University Distinguished Speaker Series (March 2012); participated in The Mayors’ Institute on City Design hosted by the Penn Institute for Urban Research at the University of Pennsylvania (September 2010).
Mayor Balzotti has been recognized for her commitment to public service by a number of organizations: Massachusetts Sons of Italy Public Service Award (May 2013), 2012 Public Service Award from Community Services of Greater Brockton (June 2012), and the Richard Carroll Award for service to the community by the Brockton Housing Partnership (January 2012).
A life-long Brocktonian, Mayor Balzotti holds a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and is a proud graduate of Brockton High School.