The city has very serious problems – a violent crime epidemic, streets in disrepair, blighted neighborhoods, an unacceptable dropout rate and taxes that go up while services decline. Even more troubling, the mayor has created collective bargaining chaos.
Recently, the mayor and his advisers allege that my candidacy is a front for city unions. This is totally untrue. What is true is that I will resolve the labor disputes which the mayor has created in a fair, prompt and cost-effective manner for the taxpayers. I have 27 years experience representing major corporations, small businesses and working people. Good labor relations is based on trust and respect. The mayor has neither. I have earned both over my career. Trust and respect will define my administration.
I know state and federal labor laws. In my administration, both labor and management will obey them. If I had been mayor, and some members of the police union conducted an illegal picket line, I would have filed an unfair labor practice charge, sought an injunction, disciplined the unruly employees, and moved on. This mayor did nothing. I would never worsen the disagreement by playing politics with the police. The war should be on crime, not on those who safeguard our neighborhoods.
I will be fair, respectful, and I will communicate. No one owns me; I am not for sale. I will always listen, but no one will tell me what to do. I will be responsible and answer to the citizens and taxpayers of this city. I view the position of mayor as a position of trust.
New Bedford Editor’s note: Mr. Lang is running for mayor.