Truth be told, I was considering running for public office upon retirement. That’s enough to scare some of my constant critics. I can easily imagine the outrage and the letters.

Just when I was no longer the executive editor and my column was no longer weekly, I would actually sort of be making news. That’s enough to make some readers lose all hope.

However, wiser heads than mine prevailed and my retirement plans include much more writing for this publication (as long as they will let me) as well as books, my work for Focus Springfield and a podcast in the fall. No rocking chair is in my future just yet.

That should be enough to fuel the hate letters. Don’t worry, I put elected office on the most back of my burners.

I was considering a run for City Council in my hometown of Springfield. The field of 21 candidates for the at-large seat is large enough, though. No need for one more retired old white dude to join the fray.

Considering my platform, I looked at historic ones. Thomas Marshall, the vice president under Woodrow Wilson, was well known for his quote: “What this country needs is a really good five-cent cigar.”

I can concur, but I would settle for a really good $5 cigar.

In a campaign ad in 1928, supporters of Herbert Hoover promised voters that as president, Hoover would make sure there was a chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage.

Well, neither of these really would work well in 2023, although most people do love some tasty chicken.

Here is part of my platform if I had run:

I would support every local effort we could make to reduce our carbon footprint. We need to make every municipal building as fuel efficient as possible and apply solar technology to every building and unused property that we can. We need to partner with the commonwealth and the federal government for this effort. This is for both our survival and to create jobs.

I would advocate for the planting of more trees in the city to also address climate change.

The new courthouse needs to be placed in a location in the city that is not only convenient for people but more importantly, could be used as an economic engine to encourage the growth of small businesses around it.

Springfield needs to aggressively market itself as Holyoke has done when it comes to the cannabis industry – not necessarily more dispensaries but grow facilities and manufacturing. Cannabis means jobs.

Tourism also means jobs. Could the members of the City Council work to encourage greater synergy among the region’s attractions to better market the many points of destination we have?

I agree with some candidates that we need a municipal internet provider. The coronavirus pandemic taught us that many people cannot afford broadband as it’s now offered in the city and that our existing fiber optic network could be utilized for municipal broadband. Chicopee is doing it, Westfield is doing it.

Why not us?

City government should encourage public arts, as public arts can draw people to the city and is part of economic development.

I would strongly preach to MGM to live up to its original employment numbers and fully reopen the casino. I view the casino as another key part of the city’s long-term economic plan.

I would watch and report on every potential development project in the city. Exactly what is going to happen to the now former Eastfield Mall? What are the plans for the Mardi Gras building, an entire downtown city block with 132 parking spaces? Has there been forward movement with the buildings bought by the city in the South End? The decisions made with properties such as these will affect employment and taxes.

How we can better access and develop the riverfront as an economic engine would also be one of my projects. And, I would make a list of available spaces for community gardens and work to have them established in as many neighborhoods as possible.

Okay, that’s enough about what I would do if I was running. To repeat, though, I’m not running. Really. Not at least this time. We will see in two years, though.

One thing I’ve learned in retirement is to keep doors open to possibilities.

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