MARLBOROUGH – Candidates for City Council touted their experiences and tried to answer the tough questions during an evening of debates on Oct. 25 in the School Committee room on Washington Street.
Sponsored by the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce, the event focused on the contested races. A panel of two chamber members asked questions submitted by residents; candidates also had the opportunity to ask each other questions.
Questions included the city’s tax rate, homeless families currently housed in hotels, how the city maintains its business-friendly reputation and development.
Ward debates for Marlborough City Council
For Ward 2, incumbent David Doucette and challenger James Jumonville differed on the ward’s biggest issue. Doucette said the big issue was in how to address climate change; he cited the summerlong deluge of heavy rain that, among other things, damaged the culvert near Kane Elementary School. Jumonville said he wants to focus on the “kitchen table” issues, such as paying the bills.
Jumonville wants to pay for some city projects via GoFundMe, in order to free up funds for other initiatives. Doucette replied, “GoFundMe is not a solid way to raise money.”
In Ward 4, incumbent Teona Brown and challenger Thomas Dalton cited their deep connections to the city. On the big issues, Dalton said seniors and food insecurity were his major concerns, while Brown’s big issue was public safety. She said she asked the police chief for more street lights in the ward.
Both would support the building of a Westside fire station.
In Ward 6, Maureen Brennan and Albert “Trey” Fuccillo are vying to fill the seat being vacated by Sean Navin, who is running for an at-large seat. Both are concerned about development, especially the proposed housing project for Sasseville Way.
“Three-hundred units on Sasseville does not make sense,” said Fuccillo.
They also agreed on helping small businesses in the city.
“Let’s maintain the small businesses we have,” said Brennan.
In the Ward 7 race, Donald Landers is running for his ninth term against Harmony Larson.
“The current city councilor has not been responsive [to the ward] in recent years,” said Larson on why she decided to run. Landers replied that he knows most of the residents within the ward, and that he does respond when constituents contact him.
Both agreed that changes need to be made to the city’s zoning ordinances and veterans need to be helped.
Five candidates are vying for the four available at-large seats – incumbents Michael Ossing, Mark Oram and Kathleen Robey along with Navin and Scott King, a real estate agent and retired police officer.
On the issue of homeless families in the city’s hotels, Ossing said the state’s right to shelter law was “never intended this way,” and needs to be changed.
After being asked by Oram on “opportunities to change” with a new administration in January, Ossing said he’d like the new mayor to have regular meetings with the council president.
Robey said she’s liked to have the council work more with the Marlborough Economic Development Corp.
“Their purpose is very important to the city,” she said.
The debates are available via www.wmct-tv.com.
The chamber is also sponsoring the second mayoral debate between Samantha Perlman and J. Christian Dumais on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 6 p.m. at the School Committee room, 17 Washington St.
The municipal election is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 7; polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.