By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – On Nov. 1, voters will decide who will be their next mayor – Arthur Vigeant, a certified public accountant and a city councilor for the past 18 years (as well as the current council president) or political newcomer Matthew Jones, a local attorney and former school teacher. (The incumbent mayor, Nancy Stevens, chose not to run for re-election.)
Vigeant and Jones squared off Oct. 19 in a debate that was sponsored by the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce and WMCT-TV.
Vigeant emphasized his experience, and “a proven record of success and a working knowledge of local government.”
Jones replied “that it was time for change and new blood,” and that he was “an independent thinker who has no allegiances to the city's “old boy network.””
Both men said they would concentrate on attracting new businesses to the community. Jones said he had the right temperament and ability, and he would market the city by stressing its many favorable qualities. He said he would also hold more events like the Heritage Festival – but on a larger scale – and engage companies already located in the city to partner with the administration in developing opportunities.
Vigeant emphasized his continuing involvement with the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation, (MEDC) a public-private group formed to establish strategies for sustainable economic growth and development. He noted that he was one of MEDC's founding members and as such, works cohesively with the group to help develop business opportunities in the city.
Both men also acknowledged the departure earlier this year of Rosalind Baker, the former full-time director of the Human Services Department. Jones noted the current administration had “cut the department's funding at a time when the need is so great.”
Vigeant countered that he expected the department would be “back to normal” early next year.