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Candidates for city helm address voters

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Marlborough – On Tuesday Nov. 3, Marlborough voters will head to the polls to vote for mayor, city councilors and School Committee members. Running unopposed for re-election are City Councilors Joseph Delano (Ward 1), Robert Seymour (Ward 5) and Edward Clancy (Ward 6) and School Committee members Michelle Bodin-Hettinger, Mark Hediger and Jennifer Hardy. Opposed are Mayor Nancy Stevens, Ward 2 City Councilor Paul Ferro, Ward 4 City Councilor Peter Juaire and Ward 7 City Councilor Donald Landers. Matthew Elder and George Stein are both vying for the Ward 3 seat. Four residents are challenging Councilors at-Large Steven Levy, Patricia Pope, Michael Ossing and Arthur Vigeant.

The Community Advocate offered space to each candidate in the contested races to make a statement to our readers; we asked that they address their own personal attributes that make them qualified for the position and to identify the most pressing problem facing the city. The statements from the candidates for councilor at-large and Wards 2 and 3 are in this issue, while those for mayor and Wards 4 and 7 were in the Oct. 23 issue. Within each race, candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Candidates for Ward 2 City Councilor

John (“Jack”) Chagnon, Democrat

challenger

 

I support the seniors and veterans living in Mass., more specifically, the people who are living in a mobile home park.

About 98 percent of people living in a mobile park are living on a fixed income. The current state economy has placed nearly all of them in a hardship condition. More painful and outright harmful is the mobile park owners have, in the past three years, raised the rents up to $660 a month. Also many of them have increased the monthly operating fees…

Three out of four park owners refuse to set up a clubhouse for the elderly and veterans to come together and talk, play cards, bingo or other activities…

City Council, to help our hardship people in the parks, needs to support a rent control board … [with] the Mass. Attorney General’s Office involved…

As a Marine veteran, I have proposed a city bill, “Veteran Job Recovery Plan.” Veterans, unemployed, shall have the first priority for any job interview public or private. All jobs must be posted in two newspapers. Veterans are to have a 10-point advance rating. Any position denied to a veteran shall be challenged for any type of bias. Later, the job position goes to the veteran.

Another proposal is “Driving Ban on Cell Phone Use.”…

After the election, before Jan. 15, City Council [is] to establish a Rent Control Board Committee. The board [is] to set up plan after consulting with four other rent control board committees, … the unit owners, … [and] park owners.

Paul Ferro
incumbent

As a veteran Councilor with six years service to the people of Ward Two, I have a proven record of accomplishment for voters to judge. I know how the City Government works, who to call to get a constituent issue resolved, and how to get things done. With extensive service on multiple Council Committees, I have had a direct hand in 80 to 85 percent of the substantive work done by the Council over the last two, if not the last six years. I’m not a Show-horse, or a one-issue candidate, but a workhorse who has a record of producing results for the people of Ward Two. I will use that experience to focus on the issues important to all the residents of Ward Two over the next two years.

While there are many largescale issues facing the City as a whole, as a Ward Councilor the issue I would most directly address over the next two years is the condition of our streets and roads. While I have been successful in getting more than our fair share of road work funding in Ward Two over the last six years, it is not enough.

That is why I propose to work with the Mayor, DPW, and in particular my Ward Councilor colleagues to develop a comprehensive five-year plan for road improvement and reconstruction across the Ward and City. Specifically, I will seek funds for the improvement of Church Street and its connecting streets, as well as many of the streets immediately off of Farm road.

Ward 3 City Councilor

Matthew Elder
candidate

 

I have many traits that would make me a great city councilor. At 23, I was a single homeowner and a small businessman. Being in that position, I learned a lot about time and money management, watching budgets, and being as efficient as possible. Since then, I have continued to develop my ability to effectively run a successful small business in a very competitive field where I am the most expensive option. Being in this position, I must rely on impeccable customer service and a top notch product. I will put that to use as your city councilor. Also, I think I would make a good candidate because I have a strong grasp on the issues and a vision on how to address them to improve everyone’s quality of life.

The biggest problem in my ward is that the residents of Ward 3 need a strong voice to fight for them. I will fight to control city spending, make sure we develop responsibly, and address current road issues throughout our neighborhoods. To do this, I will look at long-term planning with every spending and development decision to make sure it best represents the ward. Also, with many street and road issues in the neighborhoods, I will fight to make sure these are addressed.

Marlborough is in a better place financially than many of the surrounding communities, and with possible turnover on the Council, that can quickly change. I will fight for your tax dollars to assure the taxpayers that our money is spent responsibly and efficiently.

George Stein
candidate

As a Senior Project Engineer, with 25 years industry experience, I am currently responsible for multiple projects exceeding $500,000 in revenue. I manage these projects through all phases of development including design, implementation, and delivery. Working in a competitive engineering environment has made me proactive not reactive. I actively search out new opportunities rather than waiting for them to come to me. These management and problem-solving skills translate directly into those required by a Ward councilor. Bringing an engineer’s analytical approach to our problems, I will develop new and innovative solutions and deliver successful results.

The recession is the most significant issue facing the city today. Marlborough must be prepared to weather the storm. We must openly address the budget and promote sensible commercial development. The Mayor’s Office, School Committee and City Council must address these challenges together by finding creative solutions to our problems; learning from other cities that have found remedies to the issues we face. We must rely on local resources to assist us along the way (e.g. our schools, colleges, churches and volunteer organizations). We must educate our children by supporting Marlborough Public Schools and providing resources required for quality education. We must care for our seniors by ensuring comprehensive programs are available while maintaining safe and accessible neighborhoods. We must invest in our environment by upgrading and beautifying Ward Park, expanding recycling efforts and mitigating traffic and drainage problems. Most importantly, we must work together if we are to survive these tough economic times.

 

Candidates for Councilor at-Large

 

Steven Levy 
incumbent

My education and work experience in accounting and finance set me apart from other candidates. I have handled multi-million dollar transactions on a daily basis and been responsible for overseeing $60 billion in assets. I have experience managing budgets, identifying waste, and creating efficiencies.

As an exceptionally hardworking Councilor, I use that experience to ask the right questions, make difficult decisions and control spending in the City and specifically on the Finance Committee where significant issues aff ecting our city are discussed. That leadership has positioned Marlborough to withstand the current economic downturn with minimal impact.

Ask ten people about the top problem facing Marlborough and you will probably get ten answers. That’s because every service government provides is important to someone, and each deserves our attention. But the one thing all services are dependent upon is funding.

Massachusetts is facing the worst economic time in recent history. Local Aid has already been cut and further cuts are expected from the Governor. FY2011 is projected to be worse.

In order to continue providing services people depend on and avoid layoff s, we need to prudently use our cash reserves, trim the operating budget, and re-think how we do things, becoming more efficien t wherever possible. We must also plan for long-term investments in infrastructure, managing its impact on the operating budget. I will continue to push for a longterm budget and capital plan and use my experience to help Marlborough preserve the level of services residents expect.

John McEnaney challenger

006p6.jpg As a candidate for City Council, I consider myself to be rational and deliberate. If elected, I will serve in this capacity, humbledby the responsibility entrusted to me by my fellow voters and ever-mindful of my need to be responsive to their needs.

Having worked in government at the federal, state and municipal levels, I have a deep understanding of the legislative process and appreciation for what benefits elected officials can provide as community leaders. As a homeowner, private businessman, son, husband and father of two girls, I also have an ability to appreciate various perspectives from our city’s stakeholders for whom services need to be appropriated with wisdom and care.

The greatest problem facing Marlborough is how we position ourselves for an economic recovery. Will it be as the City Council and Mayor work in an antagonistic manner or, through a healthy and respectful debate, will these bodies prove to show that leadership – heeding what we most value as a community? My hope is the latter prevails and I am able to work alongside the honorable men and women of Marlborough to see a bright and prosperous future.

Mike McGorty challenger

My experience consists of four years as Mayor of Marlborough, six years as a Councilorat Large, and two years as Ward 5 Councilor. I have served as City Council President, and as Chair of the Marlborough School Committee, Community Development Authority and Marlborough Cable Trust Committee. Professionally, I worked for 16 years as a newspaper reporter for a major daily newspaper, serving a union president for six years; worked for 10 years as Director of Administration for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office; and for the past 10 years, I have worked in a senior management position for the Middlesex Sheriff ’s Office. My responsibilities have included budgets and personnel, grants management and offic e management.

As a Councilor-at-Large, I would use my experience and background skills to tackle the many issues that face the city, especially in this difficult economy. It requires the careful expenditure of taxpayers’ money, while still providing the best possible services for police and fire protection, public works department functions, human services, the public library, and of course, the public schools. And common sense and responsible decision-making are paramount to serving the best interests of the City.

These and other considerations, such a responsible growth and expansion of the business community, and a genuine respect for our environment, all contribute to Marlborough’s quality of life as the city moves into the next decade. It will mean a concerted eff ort between the Mayor’s Office, the City Council and the School Committee. It would be an honor to again serve the City of Marlborough and the people who live here.

Mark Oram challenger

My personal traits include my strong work ethic and my interest in caring for others. I have worked since I can remember including helping the elderly with side jobs. I worked and continue to volunteer at Marlborough Hospital, been part of the Rotary Club in Marlborough for over 25 years and help with many local chMark Oram Mark Oram aritable events in our City. My children and I have been educated in our school system. I was honored to be given the opportunity by voters in Ward 6 to serve them as their City Councilor from 1990 to 2001. I have taken courses in public administration since my last term.

The City Council plays an important role in making our community a viable option for families who wish to reside and work within our community. We need to make sure we provide aff ordable and a comfortable level of living for all our residents, especially those who are on a fixed income, such as our elderly population.

New residents are attracted by our resources, including the most important resource, our schools. We need to continue to support our education system.

We also need to be mindful of ways to make programs work in an efficien t an d fai r process. There are many ways to save our residents money including conservation programs and smart growth concepts. I have been involved with these programs in my employment as a municipal health director.

I ask our residents for the privilege to serve them as a City Councilor.

Michael Ossing incumbent

I am running because I believe my experience, education and passion for a government that solves problems will ensure that Marlboro plans for and prospers in the future.

I am currently serving my fifth term as your Councilor at Large. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering and have been employed at the Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant for over 28 years serving as the Engineering Program Manager.

My passion and more significant contributions over the last two years have been as Chairman of the Finance Committee. Accomplishments include:

* Using $2.5 million from free cash to lower the tax burden

* Reducing the budget by over $1.3 million dollars during the last two fiscal years

* Increasing the balance in the rainy day fund to over $8 million dollars

* Increased our unused levy capacity to over $12.4 million dollars

The most significant challenge facing the city in the next two years will center on financial issues. My performance as Finance Chair has positioned the City to address these issues in a fiscally prudent manner while minimizing the financial impact on the tax payers.

I offer the citizens of Marlboro a councilor that is independent. I have accepted no money from individuals or special interest groups. I have used my money to run the campaign – not yours. Your money belongs in your pocket. This enables me to focus my energies on what is and not returning political favors or debts.

 

Paul Polewacyk
challenger

After 43 years as a public servant I will be retiring from the Fire Department for the city of Marlborough and hope to continue my service as a city councilor. I have seen this city go through some tough times and have been part of it. As your representative on the City Council I will do my best to keep Marlborough in the best shape as it has been in the past.

    If elected, my goal will be to keep our taxes to a minimum while providing this city with the best services possible from our Fire and Police departments, Department of Public Works, schools and ambulances. I will also be concerned with our street conditions and trees that need attention for being too close to public ways or branches that hang too low or are dead and have the possibility of falling onto a passing vehicle. I will work on having our roadways clear for winter traffic.

    Budgets are something you cannot control; every year things are sure to change it. With each new contract I will carefully examine and make sure what is needed will not be overlooked.

    I devoted my life to the city from the time I was 16 years old as a member of the Auxiliary Fire Department and want to keep it that way for these next two years, if I am elected.

    I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 3 for Paul Polewacyk for Councilor at-Large.

Patricia Pope
incumbent

For 12 years I have served the residents of Marlborough as both a Ward Councilor and Councilor-at-Large. During this time I have

Patricia Pope Patricia Pope been an effective steward of your money. In addition I have served as Chair of Urban Affairs, ensuring that growth in our city has been both appropriate and controlled. During the next 2 years these qualities are what we need in our councilors. [Other qualities include] my willingness to openly debate the issues that face Marlborough, and represent you with the passion you deserve. I have never had a personal agenda; my only agenda has always been what is right for the city.

We face many serious issues as a city, like every community we are faced with an increasing budget and decreasing amount of state aid. We must look at creative and innovative ways to fund the services we provide. I have been a leader in this area with creative ways to obtain alternative sources of funding. We also need to begin looking at regionalization of certain city services as a more efficien t use of our tax dollars. The time has come to begin discussions with the surrounding municipalities to find areas where it is benefi- cial for all parties involved. It is irresponsible in these trying times to think that we can continue to go it alone. I will continue to focus on growth and ensure that it is in the best interest of Marlborough. I will continue to work on these and all issues that concern you as an experienced leader in our community.

Arthur Vigeant
Incumbent

As President of the City Council, I have been honored to serve Marlborough for sixteen years.

When I first ran for office, I pledged to demand accountability of taxpayer dollars. My financial background as a Certified Public Accountant brought a unique perspective to budgeting practices based on the premise that taxpayers’ hard earned dollars should not be wasted. The tightening of departmental budgets during my several terms as Finance Chair translated into a fiscal position for Marlborough unlike other cities that experienced layoff s of municipal manpower, as well as closings of schools and public safety facilities. During the last two years, the increase in residential real estate taxes was kept to a minimum because of hard work done over the years to keep a tight reign on the budget.

The state of the economy continues to be the most important issue facing all of us. Unemployment is on the rise and we can expect continued state cutbacks in local aid. Marlborough has been fortunate to have a strong economic base which helps support the budget and lessen the burden on residential taxpayers. Over the years, I have been a strong advocate for controlled economic development to lessen the demand on residential taxpayers. It is more important now than ever to balance future growth with spending practices to secure a strong financial future for the City of Marlborough.

I thank you for this opportunity, and ask for your vote on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2009.

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