BURRILLVILLE – Maintaining the balance between the town’s rural character and its growing commercial base is a priority for Town Council candidate Justin Batalon.
And he says he has more time to devote to the task of researching and understanding issues than the average contender.
A 38-year-old Pawtucket native, Batalon worked in varying municipal departments in his home city for some 15 years before he was injured in an accident that disabled him. He moved to Burrillville – a familiar stomping ground where his father had lived for 25 years – with his wife and kids in 2013.
“I love it up here. It is a beautiful town,” he said.
Batalon is running as a Republican, and is one of 11 candidates for four open seats on the board.
“I have the time to dedicate,” he said. “It won’t impact my body. ”
“Having worked for a municipality, I understand what employees need as well as management, so i can bring both points of view to the table,” Batalon added.
Over the past few years, Batalon says he has dedicated his time to enhancing that knowledge by attending municipal board meetings.
“If I get elected I’ll have even more understanding of subcommittees and things of that nature,” he said.
Batalon said his priorities include keeping taxes low while maintaining quality services, and continuing the fight against the proposed power plant. He said he’d also like to see Burrillville’s recycling program expanded to town businesses.
“I believe that the town is run very well and I’d like to continue that,” Batalon said. “We have a good balance of business and residential. I would like to see that path continue for many years to come, and continue to grow while we maintain that small town feel.”
A life-long Rhode Islander, Batalon said his lack of political experience could be a positive.
“There’s some people that are entrenched in the machine,” he said. “I could bring a fresh perspective.”
When it comes to political parties, Batalon notes that the “R” by his names means far less than it does on the national scale, where politics are far more divisive. He notes that while more people tend to pay attention to what’s happening nationally, town politics have the potential to have a greater impact on them.
“Local is important and affects people’s day-to-day lives,” he said.
Batalon said his greatest strength as a candidate is the time he’ll be able to give to the job.
“I can devote more time to researching issues more fully than perhaps some of the other council members,” he said. “That’s not a knock on them- it’s just because I have the time.”
“I think i could give back to the community in a wide spectrum of things,” he added.
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