(Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)

1,462 DAYS

His decisive election victory behind him, Gov. Deval Patrick starts his second term today against a backdrop of economic turmoil and social discord about how the state should move forward. We asked Bay staters -- from the hills of Western Massachusetts to the neighborhoods of Boston, from the northern suburbs to the south coast, educators; business leaders, politicians and ordinary taxpayers -- to sound off about the one thing they would like the governor to achieve over the next four years. Here are some of their answers:

“I want someone (Patrick might qualify) to get serious about the ethics problems our elected and appointed officials are engaged in. The track record of Senators, House members and others in the MBTA, parole board, and House (Wilkerson, Turner, etc.) are prime examples of what our leaders are doing on a daily basis. This situation is the best reason for having a term limits law at ALL levels of government. Reduction of MA's sales tax back to 5% would also be a nice change for 2011. Keep the money in MASS and create some more jobs by reviving OUR economy. A salary freeze for ALL State employees would also help to balance the budget.”
— Charles Checkly, retired engineer, PlymouthETC.

“I would like to see Governor Patrick tackle taxation. We saw during the recent election season a lot of evidence that by lowering the sales tax, income tax and corporate tax rates, we can bring jobs to Massachusetts. The Governor should implement the proposal of the opposition party to adopt a 5, 5, 5 rate plan. More jobs for Massachusetts' citizens equal more paychecks equal higher tax revenues. Since the Governor has shown no willingness to cut the state budget, the only other answer to filling the budget gap is to raise tax revenues. This is the only proven method for doing so.”
— Christen Varley, president, Greater Boston Tea Party

“I would have to say that the highest priority for any state governor right now has to be to concentrate on continued economic recovery, with decreasing job loss/increasing job gains at the top.”
— Jane M. Morse, publicity manager and former head guide, Lexington Historical Society

“I would like to see the governor bring additional resources to both pre-k and extended day education...and to stabilize this funding. We need to give every kid a chance to succeed. Some won't get that chance unless we consider educating them to be our Number One priority.”
— James M. Ruberto, mayor of Pittsfield

“I would like to see the city more artist friendly. People who make things can't easily sell them retail and downtown folks have to get a wooden cart and pay a hefty rent to stand outside and sell things which to me makes the city dull and uniform. Allowing folks to sell things downtown with the state peddler's license would make the city more colorful and interesting.”
— Beth Fridinger, artist, street musician, photographer

“I wish that he could find some creative solutions to the employment problem. Something like the WPA (Works Progress Administration). Train people in skilled jobs and then put them to work in public areas. For example, construction workers who work in public schools, public housing, and parks to improve their conditions. How about teaching people to install and maintain solar panels and then put them in schools and public buildings. How about training more home health aides to take care of growing elderly population. Then, make sure there are enough child care centers so that people have the opportunity to be trained and then work. This puts people to work in so many ways and does so much good for the community! That would be a wonderful legacy for the Patrick administration.”
— Sara-Jane Griffin, teacher, North Reading

“I would like the governor to do a 'Best Practices' study by one of the big three accounting firms. The study would compare the practices of various states to see what they do better than Massachusetts. Maybe by looking at the other states we can change our practices and make them better, more efficient and money-saving.”
— George Griffin, Democrat from North Reading

“Spend the some of the political capital you won with your first term accomplishments on a balance of both budget cuts and fair tax increases to preserve education, health care, public safety, etc that we all need in these hard times.”
— Lew Finfer, Mass. Communities Action Network, Dorchester

“We hope that the Governor will continue to strengthen STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] education in our public schools. We believe the key to educating our students to thrive in today's global economy is introducing them to the engineering design skills and concepts that engage them in using their math and science knowledge to solve real problems, often fueling innovation of new technologies.”
— Ioannis Miaoulis, president and director, Museum of Science, Boston

“I'd like him to achieve commuter rail to New Bedford all the usual stuff but most of all I want him to protect the most vulnerable people in the state - children and adults with disabilities. Human service programs have become the go to balance budgets In some cases government uses cuts as an excuse assuming that they will force the legislature to think clearly about priorities. It never works.”
— Peggi Medeiros, research historian, Dartmouth

“One thing I hope Governor Patrick will accomplish in his second term is to send a message to Washington by setting an example. Massachusetts must lead the way in creating a vibrant economy that is based on eliminating greenhouse gasses, reducing our carbon footprint, exploring ways to heal our planet and supporting sustainable industries.”
— Rozann Kraus, founder, Travel Responsibility Mentoring & Outreach Project, Cambridge

“I would like for Governor Patrick to work to establish housing for all of our MA homeless vets. If we as a nation can't house our vets then shame on us. What has happened to all that housing at Fort Devens? Could it be used? ”
— Laura Crosby, executive director, Traditions of Wayland (an independent and assisted living retirement community)

“We are sending our HS graduates off to college, where, nationally, more than one million each year must take non-credit remedial courses, and half of college freshmen do not return for a second year. I would hope that Governor Patrick might try to encourage social studies and history teachers in MA high schools to assign one complete nonfiction book each year AND/OR one serious (20-page) history research paper before graduation.”
— Will Fitzhugh, founder, The Concord Review

“My One Thing is sort of multi-sided. It is that Governor Patrick achieve significant results in job creation and economic growth and stability over the next four years. My multi-sided view is that his efforts really must include a genuine effort to seek out new thinking and useful/enactable ideas from nonpolitical/nonpartisan thought leaders who work at every level of the Commonwealth’s incredibly broad commercial landscape; and with a particular emphasis on expanding affordable computing technology for business development in the life sciences and clean/smart energy.”
— Brian M. Hoffman, small business owner, North Easton

“Especially during this time of armed conflict and with young veterans returning home with significant personal issues, we hope that the Governor will continue to keep the priority on programs that equip these veterans to move from homelessness to independent living as rapidly as possible.”
— Larry Fitzmaurice, president and CEO, New England Center for Homeless Veterans

“I hope that Governor Patrick will continue to be grassroots with the goal of activating residents and neighborhoods like the 5th Suffolk District. His 2006 run inspired me at 30 yrs old. Imagine a 15 year old.”
— Carlos Henriquez, state representative, 5th Suffolk district

“The 'One Thing' I would like to see the Governor accomplish in his second term is to evolve from the State’s 'Chief Executive' to the Commonwealth’s 'inspirational leader' – not just in spoken word, but in action and deed.  In times of economic malaise, hardship, political division and caustic commentary about the state of things, it is easy for elected officials to retreat to their mahogany offices, the tinted windows of limousines, and the carefully scripted sound bites distributed by their staffs. The citizenry has an unquenchable thirst for inspirational leadership -- and Governor Patrick has an amazing opportunity to be that leader (if he wants to be).”
— David Kubick, business executive in the information management sector, Townsend, MA

“I think the Governor can show more leadership. More focus has to be on small businesses, hiring incentives, and keeping the jobs we do have. Without a strong, vibrant economy there is less money for programs that I care about, including environmental protection, good schools and affordable health care.

There is a crises in this country. We've outsourced our industrial base. The well paying blue collar jobs are all but gone. (and many of the white collar too). You can't buy anything that isn't made in China or Bangladesh. We are spending billions on wars overseas, and yet our infrastructure is crumbling, health care costs are bankrupting us, and schools are failing.

Massachusetts is a microcosm of this county's failings (Though I admit a little better off than most states).

I say put people back to work re-building our infrastructure with focus on being "green" such as:
-Alternative (pedestrian and bike friendly) transportation and capital improvement projects .
-Incentives for businesses to hire people who have been out of work for 6 months or more.
-More incentives to encourage small business start ups (50 employees or less), not just the big companies and banks.

I hope the Gov. will focus on Massachusetts, and not his on road trips to push his memoirs and to campaign for President Obama."”
— Alison Leary, community activist, Newton


What would you like the governor
to do over the next four years?

Which issue would you like to see Governor Patrick tackle in his second term?