Here’s a voter map I have compiled from the 2021 general elections. We can quickly see how voters north of 195 have more influence when it comes to deciding elections. More than half of all casted votes come from the north end of Fall River. It’s interesting to see that there’s a tremendous number of unenrolled voters throughout the city, although for now the city remains mostly democratic. I suspect that unenrolled affiliations will continue to increase given the current distaste for both major political parties. Regardless of party affiliation one thing is for sure, the political imbalance that has plagued Fall River going back to the city’s inception.

For a candidate from the south end, such as myself, it’s certainly more difficult to gather the support and votes needed to win an election. This could be due to a lack of political interest or one that is closely related to economic and educational factors, as traditionally the better performing schools and top wage earners are located on the north end of the city. Whatever the contributing factors are, we need to do more in order to irradiate this imbalance of political power and change the political landscape of this city.

Traditionally most candidates and donors are from the north end of the city; this remains true today as it did 100 years ago. We must do better than this; supporting those candidates that not only have the best interest for all citizens but will advocate for their respective neighborhood. Including myself there’s only two other candidates running for City Council are south of 195, with one currently serving on the City Council. The south end needs more representation and more needs to be done; perhaps this could be accomplished via a ward-based system. Since as it stands without such a system, we will never have the political balance needed for equal representation in local government throughout the city. This lack of opportunity and equity creates a political imbalance that unfortunately is here to stay unless we become proactive in bringing about change.

Neighborhood associations south of 195 should be promoting these candidates and doing more to bring awareness and support to those candidates who reside in their neighborhoods. Residents of these neighborhoods, that lack proper political representation, need to get more involved and vote. We must look at what has been done in the past; analyze what has and hasn’t worked, and choose a path that will bring about change and a balance of political power to our great city. Until we do this, we will forever be in a perpetual state of political imbalance and inequity.

If one truly wants their neighborhood to have better roads and infrastructure then those who reside in those neighborhoods need to get up and vote. When you have a power imbalance in local politics you will never be served like those in power. The evidence speaks for itself as it has for hundreds of years in this city. Just take a walk in the highland area and compare that to the south end; now ask yourself why things are better in the north. The answer is one of imbalance and power.

I’m Paulo J. Amaral and I ask for your vote for Fall River City Council on Nov. 7th.
 We are in the age of technology; a postindustrial era that has provided us with instant on-demand satisfaction and gratification. Thanks to the advancements in technology and the ease of availability and obtainability, we have little patience when it comes to waiting. With the latest FRPD incident that resulted in the killing of a Fall River resident, as police responded to a domestic call, it’s no surprise that the lack of instant information and answers created speculation and anger. Given the current and past problems at the FRPD this speculation only serves to further create a divide in our community between the police and its citizens. Trust in local government is paramount to a strong community, when this bond is repeatedly broken, we lose the ability to trust and support. The FRPD has broken this bond multiple times over the last couple of years; faced with financial abuse, internal problems and accusations of misconduct that have resulted in lawsuits. This lack of trust and leadership slowly erodes the public’s support and confidence. There’s a lack of leadership and vision when it comes to the administration’s handling of issues related to the police department. Citizens elect local officials to be the voice of the community and to lead us in a positive direction; to change what is fundamentally wrong and make it right. The executive branch along with the nine-member legislative branch should be actively engaging in pursuit of a more modern and transparent FRPD. This means being committed to discipline and putting body cameras on all FRPD officers, creating the transparency that we are entitled to. Many homeowners in our city have purchased and installed video cameras to protect their properties and businesses. This affordable technology acts as a deterrent and offers a sense of safety and more importantly it offers a recorded record of an event that either happened or didn’t. Other communities have embraced this technology and have equipped their officers with body cameras — So why is the FRPD behind on this technology?  Body cameras will not only protect our officers from baseless accusations and frivolous lawsuits but give the community the sense of transparency it deserves and wants. Now is the time to get together with union representatives and work towards a collective understanding and agreement on body cameras that will benefit every taxpayer from future lawsuits but more importantly protect our police officers from baseless claims. I urge this administration to act now and use ARPA funds for this necessary and qualified capital expense. This administration must step up and do more to create the confidence that our community demands from its police department. This includes the discipline of bad actors and the removal of ineffective leaders within the police department. Supporting independent investigations into misconduct and audit financial abuse while equipping our officers with body cameras. Transparency opens the door to trust and acceptance while true leadership offers the citizens of Fall River a sense of hope.

“FALL RIVER — Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the district attorney’s office, Fall River Police and Homicide Unit prosecutors are actively investigating a homicide that occurred in Fall River Monday night.”

It’s a very sad day when someone who is doing the right thing; working and being a productive taxpaying member of this city, is shot dead. We still don’t fully know all the circumstances and details of this case but this is another sad and dark day in Fall River.

Over the last couple of years things have gotten progressively worse; we still have guns on the streets and violent criminal activity that has now spilled over from certain traditionally high crime areas to what were once considered safe neighborhoods.

 Not only is this a problem in Fall River but it’s a national trend across the country, despite certain crime being down overall, we continue to have a rise in violent crime that has become even more prominent in our cities and urban areas.

 These issues are a direct product of a failed family unit, lack of respect, lack of morals and overall failure of parents and schools to discipline kids in today’s society. This is especially true in states like Massachusetts, California and New York.

 It’s not hard to understand how we got here, one only needs to look at what has gone missing, the respect and family structure that was the pride and joy of this country. The ever-increasing demand for more individuality and the perceived notion that personal rights and freedoms are greater than that of the overall community have made it extremely tough to discipline our children and teach them right from wrong. Because of this we have created a lost generation with lack of direction and values, a generation of entitlement and instant gratification. 

 Going forward we must demand a return to the old values that made this country and society great. We must demand that our judges protect us from repeat offenders and use the law to protect our citizens from criminals. We simply cannot afford to release potentially dangerous repeat criminals back into society, they need to be jailed and serve out their full sentence or be rehabilitated. While I believe the criminal justice system has a serious issue with the lack of rehabilitation, it’s time to put the innocent hard-working citizens ahead of the needs to repeat criminals and their rights.  

 Schools must step in for the lack of parenting and discipline that only seems to be getting lacking even more. We must change our education system and teach respect and discipline in our schools instead of just writing and arithmetic. Structure and respect must be part of the education system and have a greater role in a student’s education. We must give back the power to those teachers and faculty that have their hands bound by out-of-control laws that support individual rights over society’s greater good.

 We need a strong and clear safety presence in Fall River. This starts with more police on the streets and creating police substations in high crime areas. Utilizing more surveillance by embracing technology to help us fight crime and be more vigilant. We must support our local police departments and fill all vacancies, creating a police force with a number of officers that is compatible with our city of over 90 thousand citizens, going beyond the 235 officers that is the current goal of the Coogan administration. 

Just throwing money at the problem is not going to fix this situation alone but having more than 10 to 12 patrol cars on the streets of Fall River will make a significant impact in the short term.  More police combined with judges that uphold the law, an education system that teaches respect and structure are key to long term success in eventually turning around the violence that has plagued our society and city. 

“FALL RIVER — Kennedy Park will see some major renovations and new facilities, thanks to a hefty state grant that was announced this week.”

Fall River has been granted 400,000 from the Massachusetts PARC grant program. This grant helps communities with a population over 35,000 residents renovate their public parks. The PARC grant money can be used for

Acquisition of parkland
Development of new parks
Improvements to existing parks

According to the Herald News, the Coogan administration will use the money for tennis courts and Pickleball.

“The money will go toward renovating four tennis courts at the park and installing pickleball courts, the first in the city.”

While I have no issues with some of the money being used for tennis courts, I must admit I had no idea what pickleball was. I’m assuming it’s something most Fall River residents don’t know much about and participate in.

The issue with this appropriation of funds comes down to common sense and priorities. Most, if not all, our public parks have had their restrooms locked without public access for years. This includes Kennedy park where the grant money will be used. Instead of creating a pickleball court; that few people know or heard of, why aren’t we using some of this grant money to renovate and open public restrooms. We should be modernizing and implementing controlled access through ID or credit card. This would allow citizens to access the restrooms while generating some money for upkeep and maintenance while preventing vandalism, which is the reasoning why the restrooms are closed.

Many senior citizens visit Kennedy park with their grandchildren and have no restroom access. This is something that affects their quality of life and is a constant worry when they visit the park with their grandchildren.

The City Council must accept all grants and have a discussion on how to best expend these funds. Given the opportunity to serve you as City Councilor, helping our seniors is something I will advocate for and take seriously. I will ask questions and make common sense decisions that are best for our citizens’ quality of life, this includes restrooms over pickleball courts. Once again both sides of government are playing the political partisan game, with some current members of the City Council leading the way. Why not leave the theatrics behind and focus on giving the citizens of this city what they deserve. A city that has updated and reliable equipment for its departments, especially for police and fire.This City Council has been holding a grudge for the handling of the FY2022 budget. Now is not the time to keep punishing the great people of this city with your selfish justification for rejecting 1.6 million in capital improvements that would help keep this city safe.Things have gotten so hopeless between both branches of government that the City Counselor who heads the Committee on Public Safety; the same person who helped appropriate 150,000 after the Corky Row shooting, did not show up to vote, claiming he was absent due to personal matters.

We need people in the City Council that understand when to put aside personal feelings and instead do the right thing for the people they claim to serve. Continuing to punish this city is not the right thing to do, nor is it acceptable. I pledge, if elected to serve on the City Council, to leave the personal skirmishes behind and instead vote in the interest of the people I will serve. If you are a property owner, landlord, small business or a hard-working taxpayer, I ask for your vote.
With south coast rail fast becoming a reality we need to think about the pros and cons of this project. Personally I believe that convenient and safe public transportation should be made available to all citizens. Although the cost of this project will not be recovered for generations to come; this marks a significant milestone in public transportation for the state and Fall River. What was once a subject of jokes is now a worrisome anxiety for many. On the upside; this will make connecting to Boston much easier for the working and casual commuters. Making the Southcoast more accessible to the greater Boston area, but also allowing many people who never thought of coming to Fall River to ride the train and explore the area. This hopefully will bring new people to our waterfront, restaurants, local attractions and spend money in our city, this in turn helps us, the taxpayer. On the downside, there’s no doubt some people will not only come here but decide to stay here. This includes working class people as well as homeless and down on their luck folks. Unfortunately we don’t get to pick who comes to Fall River and decides to live here. Instead we get a mixed bag of the good, the bad and the ugly. Ultimately once the rail route is completed, you will get more of everything. More folks with disposable income to spend around the city, helping small businesses. More crime and homeless panhandling and sleeping on the sidewalks. For all the convenience to a better paying job market in Boston, via the south coast rail, we do not get to choose who has access to Fall River and who stays here. Without a doubt rents will increase, forcing many longtime residents to leave the city. For all the positives that the rail will bring, mainly more cash, you will lose the sense of community and culture that is Fall River. As the city slowly changes from an immigrant to a young professional community. The local feasts will be a thing of the past, the smell of Portuguese and Spanish food in our local neighborhoods will no longer be there to bring a smile to our face. Clothes hanging on a clothesline next to the grape vine will disappear and become a memory in your mind. With the rail, Fall River’s population will grow, generating more taxes and local receipts. Hopefully allowing the local government to improve life for all its citizens. Unfortunately more cash does not necessarily mean local politicians will suddenly govern better. Often the more money we have the more problems we will surely see, especially if the same tired politicians, outdated methods and failed ideas are continuously used and applied to a much bigger budget and city. We must understand that there will be pros and cons and be ready to accept the consequences, should they be positive or negative. Regardless there will be an impact felt like never before in this City. We will now, more than ever, need new politicians with new ideas to guide this city forward and keep a balanced harmony between the new and the old way of life. What’s your your thoughts on this?

Fall River is on the move, and revitalization is on every local officials mind. The Mayor is proposing we fund and revitalize the Flint area along Pleasant street. Revitalization is something I’m a big proponent of. Initially revitalizing the Flint area makes sense; but when you step back just a little, it’s obvious that appropriating money towards revitalizing this area might not be the right approach.
Many streets and neighborhoods have been neglected in the last few years, with most of the attention being directed towards the waterfront. The last, somewhat successful, attempt at revitalizing a neighborhood was the cityscapes project, which I was a proponent of. Today we find ourselves living with a lack of general city maintenance as evident by overgrown grass, litter and overall putrescent decay in our city’s infrastructure.
While the idea of taking a rundown main street and turning it into an ostentatious destination with restaurants, coffee shops, posh living and dog parks sounds great, we must first address the root of the decay. At the heart of the problem in the Pleasant street, Flint area, is crime, low income and neglect. These factors are major catalysts for businesses to shutter or stop investing in that neighborhood, since there is no possibility of profit or success. I myself own property in the Flint neighborhood and while there are some changes in certain areas, Pleasant street itself sees no such hope.
The lack of hope and progress in this area is a direct general failure of local government. Once the local government stops showing up to cut grass, fix sidewalks, remove litter and enforce the law, neighborhood pride starts to die out as conditions worsen; some of the good people living in the area are forced to move out as crime moves in. Over the years crime increases and an overtasked and short staffed police department has to try and deal with an out of control problem that has been getting progressively worse over time.
The reality is funding a project to revitalize a neighborhood sounds great, but we must take action to stop and reverse the root problems, before we commit to spending more money on revitalization. Hope needs to be brought in, policing needs to be a present priority and criminal activity needs to be dealt with first. If I’m allowed to serve in the Fall River City Council, this is something I will demand. I will tackle the tough issues on your behalf and not spend your money without just cause.

Sixty-nine million dollars in ARPA money is going to be given to Fall River by the federal government to help combat the fiscal side effects caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Initially a private, behind closed doors committee was tasked on the best way to appropriate the first  thirty-four million of these funds.

Recently, this was moved to a public setting and was transparent, which you can watch below. I enjoyed listening to Alexander Silva and agree with most of the ideas he presented. Adding open spaces and creating the infrastructure for outdoor dining along with new parking areas to support local events. 

I especially liked Alexander’s idea of expanding the Quequechan Trail to the waterfront. I believe this would further drive local tourism to our city – attracting folks from nearby towns who might be willing to spend their dollars at local businesses while they’re here. With the initial thirty-four million dollars, of the sixty-nine million, there are many opportunities to improve this city, as suggested by multiple speakers. 

Councilor Lee, with his outside of the box thinking, suggested finding creative ways to help sewer and water and install new cameras to further improve public safety. I also believe a large part of these funds should be going to water and sewer to alleviate these ever-increasing fees that are a continuous burden to the property owners of this city. 

This is an investment that will pay dividends for the future of our community in the form of cleaner water, environmental preservation, and fee mitigation. This also ensures we borrow less money in the future, saving the city in debt obligation. It’s great to see these meetings being moved to a public forum where we can all share and exchange ideas on how to spend the funds, in a way that will have a positive impact.   

Allowing citizens to have a voice in this process in order to better our city is a great start and something I’m very happy to see. As citizens we should all pay attention to these meetings, with the right plan in place, this can help our collective burden.


While I believe in human compassion, charity and helping one another I strongly disagree with how this CARES money will be used. Rewarding those who received stimulus payments and additional weekly benefits and chose to not pay their rents is punishment to the hard-working men and women of this city.

The citizens who go to work each day (many of whom don’t even get days off) and pay their rents and bills on time are once again left struggling. Governments continue rewarding those who choose to not contribute instead of helping those who make sacrifices every day. This is just another insult to the workers of this city.

The mayor and local officials could have chosen to appropriate the CARES money to benefit ALL citizens and not discriminate against those that do the right thing by working to the bone to make ends meet. Why not extend this program to mortgage payers? Small business owners? Why don’t we — those who pay taxes — ever seem to get relief?

If you elect me to a seat on the Fall River City Council, trust that I’ll be asking these questions regularly and looking out for your interests as a taxpayer.

A loss for the citizen.

The Fall River city budget has barely “passed” with the echoes of quarrel still being heard, and already, your preliminary property tax bills are in. With each year that passes, taxes soar in what seems like a never-ending upward spiral. But what are we to expect when we keep reelecting the same politicians? Different results? 

Today, I received my preliminary FY 2022 property tax for one of my properties, and I was billed $2,500 for the first two quarters. That’s an estimated $5,000 tax bill for a single property. As the current Mayor and City Council officials squabble over the city budget, at the losing end [once again] are the homeowners, landlords, tenants, and all of the hardworking residents of Fall River. 

The administration’s budget has “passed” and the maximum permissible rate under the law was levied on the city’s taxpayers; increasing property tax revenue 5.2%, or an additional $6 million, for the city to spend as they see fit. We should not be subject to this ambush after a once in a lifetime pandemic.

It goes without saying that local officials should have set aside the partisan politics and sophomoric theatrics and instead put their heads together to support the hard-working property owners and tax payers of Fall River. Unsurprisingly, they did not. Now you’re footing the bill.

We have been provided with millions of dollars in ARPA money that could have easily offset our tax levy by using this one-time funding to help pay off our current outstanding debt. In turn, saving on interest while concurrently minimizing our debt obligation and putting the city in a much-improved financial position to borrow in the future at favorable rates. 

Instead, it has been decided to increase property taxes to the maximum allowed under Proposition 2 1/2. As a private citizen, I’m appalled at the extent of our local government’s irresponsibility to properly look out for its citizens. We cannot afford to continue to elect careless politicians who will drive the already heavily burdened taxpayer out of their home through their impulsive decision making. Particularly those who haven’t bothered to read the City Charter close enough to recognize how to pass or reject a budget.

I sincerely ask for your vote for City Council, because like you, I feel the ever-increasing squeeze and assault on the taxpayer living in this city. It’s getting far too expensive, with too little appreciable return.

Let’s put the citizens of Fall River first. 

What we witnessed on June 29th in the City Council chamber, during the budget talks, was a failure of the local government to get together and work for the citizens of Fall River.

The great egos and grandstanding of our local politicians, once again, have cost the taxpayer in more ways than one. What you and I saw does little to put Fall River on a positive trajectory to future prosperity. The Coogan administration, along with the City Council, have created a partisan and toxic relationship between the executive and legislative branches of Fall River.

While I certainly agree with the City Council’s decision to question, reduce, or reject certain parts of the budget, the overwhelming self-entitlement has clouded the decisions and the minds of some members of the City Council. Some of the incumbent City Council members have served Fall River for many years and they still don’t understand a total rejection of the budget is not possible under the current charter.

Corporation Counsel Alan Rumsey presented a great opinion on what he deemed to be the law and what power the City Council has and does not have. Not only was he extremely clear in his interpretation of the law as it stands today, but the current City Council President, along with other members of the Council, were aware of and experienced a similar situation several years ago — which Counselor Rumsey also made mention of.

In my opinion, Counselor Goldberg, along with members of the City Council, were simply not as prepared and were lacking in facts, answers, law, and experience. As a result of the City Council’s lack of preparation, the Council President’s back was clearly up against the wall and he had to resort to asking for the spirit of cooperation after Counselor Rumsey educated the members of the Council with facts and examples that gave merit to the Coogan administration’s right to let the FY-2022 budget pass.

The City Council members, along with the Council President, were all seemingly unaware and couldn’t understand that they needed to reject or reduce specific line items and not the whole budget. This happens when certain members of the City Council, especially in a leadership role, mistakenly think they know more than they do.

The City Council collectively allowed their personal opinions to get in the way of laws and bipartisan cooperation, neglecting to work together to achieve a common goal; to better this city by putting it on a better financial path. Members of the City Council, some who have been elected officials for many years, should be familiar with both the law as it is written and the budget process. This means understanding how to pass or reject a budget, which amazingly enough, they proved were not equipped to do properly.

It is extremely disappointing when our elected officials are making decisions on a budget when they themselves don’t fully understand the process – which is clearly outlined in the City Charter and readily accessible to anyone with a quick Google search.

Both branches of local government could have settled this in a more professional manner instead of blaming each other and pointing fingers. The Coogan administration has, in my opinion, circumvented the City Council with the budget. In doing so, it demonstrated another partisan and combative example of the worst in politics. Council members and the mayor could have sat down and discussed this further to clarify and save our community this embarrassment.

I am hopeful that going forward, both branches relinquish some of their perceived power and find common ground for the sake of the city’s citizens.

We need elected leaders who understand that their job is to work for and be accountable to the citizens of this city and eliminate the drama and theatrics. That is what I intend on doing if I am fortunate enough to receive your vote and am elected to the City Council.

“FALL RIVER — The Fall River Police Department has more than $3.2 million in unfunded liability in police officers’ comp time, due to years of collective bargaining agreements and past practice obligations — often during some of the city’s fiscally leanest times.” I commend the Mayor and Chief for allowing this audit to take place and I fully support more of these audits. These inefficiencies that Fall River faces end up costing the taxpayer over time. These audits should occur on a regular basis as they help find problems that otherwise would continue undetected potentially for years.It is especially concerning to me that the Police Department apparently does not keep these comp times on the city payroll system. This is where ongoing transparency is lacking, and we must work jointly to change this. We need to fully fund police positions and allow officers to work regular hours as opposed to accruing additional overtime PTO — which ends up costing the taxpayer more in the long run.To combat this PTO issue, we need to hire more officers/firefighters to keep up with the ongoing population increase in Fall River. This will alleviate current officers from working more than 40 hours and not having the taxpayer on the hook for PTO. We are exceeding the federally mandated cap of 480 hours of PTO due to collective bargaining agreements that were never fully vetted.The bottom line is we need to hire additional police and firefighters when needed, and this in due time will save our city money. There may be some officials at City Hall who do not see this as a problem, but I take this extremely seriously and if allowed to serve in the City Council, I will demand accountability every opportunity I get.…/audit-fall…/7605005002/