Targeting the current administration’s handling of properties such as the Fuller building and waterfront properties like I-4, C-2, Mac Bell kicked off his mayoral campaign Friday in a visit to the Times, and with promises of public events and campaign website to follow next week.
Bell, who joined the race by taking out nomination papers and then submitting the required signatures at the 11th hour to challenge the then-unopposed incumbent Mayor Carolyn Kirk last month, said Friday he considers the city’s lack of investment in the Fuller building and neglect in its demise a “mismanagement” of the property. And he called Kirk’s buying of the long-vacant I-4, C-2 property on Rogers Street in 2010 a mistake for the city.
“The city has an abominable record in handling properties,” Bell said.
Bell, who works in commercial real estate, says the administration has “badly disrespected” taxpayers and their dollars by investing heavily in the I-4,C-2 property, a property that’s development has been completely restrained by its location within the Designated Port Area.
“The city inappropriately bought it, and has inappropriately spent a fortune on it only for the city to come around and realize, Gee, we have a problem here,” Bell said.
One of the city’s youngest ever city-councilors during the early 1970s, Bell intends to stick with the grassroots effort of his former campaign for council, but will also incorporate some of today’s technology with his website due to go live Tuesday at Mac4Mayor.com. He said he will also host a campaign event at 44 Commercial St. from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. next Saturday.
Running under the slogan “energize-engage-revitalize,” said he supports aspects of the Designated Port Area mandates, and believes in the city’s marine industrial base, but he said he would also seek to expand uses of waterfront properties through the use of deed restrictions.