Maple Grove Civic Club Holds Candidate Forum

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Selectmen Chairman Arthur 'Skip' Harrington addresses the Maple Grove Civic Club.

ADAMS, Mass. — Even with few races this year, the Maple Grove Civic Club held its annual candidate forum.

But only four candidates showed up Sunday afternoon at the PNA to meet with voters and answer questions. A number of candidates informed the club they were unable to attend.

Although running unopposed, Town Moderator Edward Driscoll was the first to speak. He said will have been moderator for three years if he gets re-elected.

Driscoll said his main responsibility is to moderate town meetings.

"By using essentially Robert's Rules of Order or a similar type of parliamentary procedure I run the town meeting," Driscoll said. "I like to make sure that everyone gets the chance to speak, otherwise I try to keep it as informal as possible."

Driscoll said he is also responsible for appointing members to the Town Report Committee, the Memorial Day Parade Committee, and the Finance committee, which he will have to appoint three new members to this year.

Selectman Arthur "Skip" Harrington, who also is running unopposed for a fourth two-year term, also spoke. The current chairman said he has been a selectman for six years and the boards primary job is to set policy for the town.

"We need to be able to listen to what people need and want, we need to be able to listen to our department heads, the town administrator, and other agencies," Harrington said. "We need to take into consideration all of the testimony that happens."

Harrington said he tries to bring better "harmony and order" to the board.

"I think everyone should be addressed with dignity, and I think that everyone that wants to speak should have the chance to speak at the appropriate time," he said.

The only actual race in the town is on the Parks Commission, for which there are two seats open and four people running.

But current Commissioner James Fassell was the only one to attend forum. The other candidates are current Chairman Todd Shafer, and challengers Michael V. Meczywor and Jason Sniezek.

Fassell, a retired coach, said his main focus is to keep the high school connected to the town and to make the parks the best that they can be.

"You can't worry about what the world is going to do so what I do is worry about is making the parks the best they can be," he said. "We do have a great role and that is to make the parks a useful part of what Adams is."

James Fassell, who is running for re-election to the Park Commission, explained what the commission does.

Town Clerk Haley Meczywor, who, too, is running unopposed, also spoke at the forum and said this will be her third term as town clerk.

She said the town clerk is in charge of keeping records of births, deaths, marriages, and dog licenses. The town clerk also runs elections, takes care of the census, and helps direct people in Town Hall.

Meczywor was asked if she thought it was possible Town Hall could be open fewer days to save money. She said it would be possible for her department, but may be difficult for residents.

"Sure it is possible, but I think it will be hard for our residents because they are used to just getting in there car and coming down and doing what they need to," Meczywor said. "I think it is going to be a huge learning curve but something we may have to do in the future for all of our departments."

Library trustee of near 30 years Eugene Michalenko, who also is running unopposed, said the board or trustees is in charge of the trust funds left to the library. He said they also strong advocate for the library.

"It is an amazing building, and it is something that has been given to us by our forefathers," Michalenko said. "It is pressed upon us to take care of that building and make sure what our ancestors have given us does not get torn down or thrown away."

The election will be held Monday, May 4, at the DPW garage.

The Maple Grove Civic Club will hold a fundraiser dinner at the PNA on May 23 from 4 to 7. Tickets are $8.

Tags: election 2015,   Maple Grove Civic Club,   town elections,   

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