Mayoral, City Council Ward candidates address voters
Editor's note: Candidates for mayor and four ward seats on the Marlborough City Council were given the opportunity to submit brief statements and photographs for this issue of "The Community Advocate." They were asked to address the following two questions:
• What type of experience/ personal traits do you feel makes you a qualified candidate for this position?
• What is the most significant problem the city faces today, and how do you plan to remedy that problem?
Their answers are below in alphabetical order, with the mayoral candidates first and the City Council candidates following. Mayor
Patrick Hogan, challenger
In my 11 ½ years serving Marlborough as a police officer, I have developed many traits that I feel have prepared me for success as your mayor. First and foremost, is my ability to form a common sense opinion, make an informed decision and then take decisive action. I have honed my skills as a mediator, peacekeeper and problem solver. Oftentimes in the worst of circumstances. Compassion and empathy are powerful tools and things I feel are missing from city hall today. I feel I am uniquely qualified to address the concerns of my fellow Marlborough residents.
My time as a union officer has provided me insight into the inner workings of this city. Of course, I do not have intimate knowledge of every aspect of being mayor. Don't be fooled into thinking political inexperience is a liability. I believe honesty and hard work can overcome inexperience. Marlborough needs a new voice. Someone hungry to learn and motivated to make positive change. I believe I can make a difference.
The biggest problem is the mismanagement of tax dollars. I will ensure our city finances are in the hands of capable, trusted people.
Mayor Nancy Stevens, incumbent
During my time as Mayor, we have enjoyed unprecedented cooperation and communication between the Mayor's office, City Council, and department heads. The efficiency and operation of our government has improved, and our budget process has been streamlined. We rehired police officers laid off before I took office, and both restored and added two community-policing officers. New collective bargaining agreements with the 13 unions that serve our City's employees have been successfully negotiated, and $1,600,000 has been restored to our City's Stabilization fund, repaying 40 percent of the loan that was used to erase the 2003 deficit in the City's Health Care Trust Fund. We have also secured a $10,000,000 grant that will be used to offset the cost of the mandated upgrade of our wastewater treatment plants.
My number one priority is to continue the work needed to place our City on sound financial footing. I want to ensure that we maintain the path of fiscal responsibility that this administration, with the support of the City Council, has worked diligently to implement. Supporting only those initiatives and contracts that we can afford is not a choice, but our only option. Every proposed expenditure must be scrutinized with this limitation in mind.
Paul Ferro, incumbent
I have a proven track record of getting results as a City Councilman over the last four years. As a life-long fifth generation Marlborough resident, and a product of the Marlborough Public Schools, with a B.A. in Government from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, my life experience and educational background make me uniquely qualified to serve as Ward Two Councilman.
The top issues facing Ward Two and the City as a whole over the next two years are the issues of taxes, and quality of life. I will continue to work to make sure that the city lives within its means, and does not place an excessive tax burden on the residents and businesses of the city.
I will continue the great strides we have made in cracking down on blight issues in Ward Two. Holding absentee landlords accountable for over-crowded apartments, and related issues is an important part of being a Ward Councilman. I have a proven track record as a Councilman on these issues, and I want to use my earned experience to make even greater strides in addressing these issues during my next term. I humbly ask for your vote on November 6th for Ward Two City Councilman.
For more information, please visit my website at www.paulferro.com.
I believe that my education and government experience can be put to work for the people of Ward 2 and the City of Marlborough. I attended the Marlborough public schools k-12. I graduated from St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., in 2001 with a BA in Criminal Justice, Cum Laude, and from Suffolk University Law School in 2006. I served as Legislative Aide to current State Representative Steve LeDuc for over three years. I have everyday experience in government that can be used to help the people of Ward 2 solve some of their issues as well as skills that will help me advocate for our city and its residents.
I am running for city council because I believe that the people of Marlborough, and especially of Ward 2 need a councilor who will be accessible, responsive, and effective. Marlborough is a city of untapped assets and limitless potential. I have enjoyed talking with our residents and listening to their take on the needs of this city. Should the people of Ward 2 elect me, I plan to host community meetings and hold regular office hours.
In my opinion, the top issues that need to be addressed in the coming two years are the reinstatement of the city's traffic enforcement division of the Police Department, an increase in citywide recycling, and long range city planning. Ward 3
My name is Paul Brodeur. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Worcester State College with minor concentrations in Political Science, Geography and Economics. I received a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Anna Maria College. I worked in a division of Dennison Manufacturing for 37 years, though the division was sold six times. I worked from the ground up, finishing as the IT Manager. As IT Manager and database developer I learned about the power of technology to help drive positive numbers and successful administration.
Continued on following page Our city government has a great need to update its data collection and technology to improve information gathering, streamline communication with residents and make sure we get our bills right.
I have lived in the city my entire life in the historic Ward Park neighborhood and have deep understanding and appreciation for the lessons of local history.
The greatest problem in the city is planning and development. I believe that we need to review the methods and practices we use in planning and find a way to better incorporate the concerns of the neighborhoods while upholding the basic right to conduct business.
Scott Shafer, incumbent
I have had the opportunity to serve the residents of Ward 3 as their City Councilor for four years. During that time, I have listened to residents' concerns and have made decisions and put forth initiatives based on this input. I recognize that I am making a commitment to the residents of Ward 3. I want to fulfill that commitment by continuing to work hard to research the issues and making informed decisions based on residents' input. Most importantly, however, I will ensure that the residents of Ward 3 continue to have a voice that is heard on the City Council.
In the next two years, the City will continue to face fiscal challenges. Based on my experience in successfully navigating the City through these difficult fiscal challenges, you can count on me to continue asking the difficult questions of department heads and the Mayor to ensure that the City remains fiscally responsible. I will continue to evaluate carefully the need to provide residents with important City services such as police, fire, education, and infrastructure improvements while ensuring that this City remains affordable for its residents. Ward 4
I am a lifelong resident of Marlborough and have been involved with the City for the past 28 years as a full time firefighter. I am also completing my first term as the Ward 4 City Councilor and feel I have done a good job in representing the residents of this ward. I have the time and availability to represent the people both during the business day as well as night.
We have a few problems that I have been involved with in my first term. The biggest problem I have seen in my ward is traffic problems that plague our streets. I have voted for and will continue to vote to keep our police department fully staffed and will encourage the chief to reestablish the traffic division as I have been asked by many of my constituents.
The other major problem that I have seen all has to do with Code Enforcement. Whether it's abandoned buildings or building code violations I have seen over the past 2 years our code enforcement office has become a vital tool in this city and I have and will continue to support funding this office so that our city is both safer and more attractive to live in.
My name is Steven Kerrigan and I am a candidate for Councilor for Ward 4. This year we have an opportunity to elect a true representative for the people of Ward 4.
My experience on the Planning Board and background in management are qualities I know will make me an effective Councilor for Ward 4. The residents of the ward deserve an active voice on the council. Over the last 2 years, my opponent has had to abstain on a number of votes, including important budgetary matters, and I ask is this fair to the residents of Ward 4? We deserve a councilor who can and will be an active member of the council, not just an observer!
The bonding of $40 million dollars for the treatment plants is one issue the council will handle and we need a councilor who will ensure there is a plan in place before spending your money! Ward 4 faces issues of blight and overcrowding and I will work with the Code Enforcement Office and other officials to help combat this problem. I will work to tighten up the blight ordinance.
I respectfully ask for your vote on November 6th. Remember your vote is your voice! Ward 7
I, Ralph Belmore, a lifelong city resident, married, with two daughters, graduated Northeastern University 1985. As a newcomer to the political arena, I am hopeful to provide a voice for the constituents as a council representative and help the city progress during these challenging times.
One very significant condition is the overcrowding of our city residential housing units, a hot topic amongst residents. We as a city were hoping to acquire the services of ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) office within the city to help curb the illegal resident surge. The ICE option will not be feasible. Hopefully we can curb this by being vigilant, reporting issues of overcrowding to our Code office. Unless we can differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants, Marlborough as well as other communities will face a long-term stalemate in finding a solution to this problem.
I will also continue to address street and road conditions within the ward to insure surfaces are at an acceptable safety level. What I pledge is to maintain an open mind, solicit Ward 7 residents involved in some of the decisions that confront us as a city.
I am seeking the Ward 7 seat on the Marlborough City Council. I will use my experience as an educator, administrator, financial manager, and a small business owner to sustain and improve the quality of life for the people of Ward 7, and Marlborough as a whole.
I retired from the Marlborough Public Schools as Assistant Superintendent in August 2001, where I developed and managed a budget that had grown to $35 million annually. Earlier, I had taught in public schools in Hopkinton, Hudson, and Marlborough. When I retired, I started D.R. Landers Landscaping and Design. I have been a member of the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce for 17 years, having served as the Chamber's Chairman of the Board of Directors.
The most significant problem Marlborough faces today is the need to increase revenues without increasing property taxes. Following are ways we can increase revenues.
* Collect past due taxes from several property owners, some dating back to 1990.
* We must continue to support smart new growth, as there is land still to be developed.
* We must support tourism and programs at our sports arenas to attract people to stay at our 1200+ hotel rooms. This would increase the hotel room taxes.
*We must pursue more federal and state grants.
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