Mattapoisett’s Board of Selectmen met with two candidates who have come forward expressing their interest in serving as members of the Finance Committee. With two open slots and a third vacancy approaching when Judith Mooney ends her service to the town, longtime resident Paul Amoruso’s and new resident Kevin Geraghty’s interest in stepping forward to fill the positions was met with a hearty welcome.
Town Administrator Michael Gagne told the Board that appointments could not be made without first convening a meeting with the Town Moderator and the Chairman of the School Committee as required per town bylaws. He said that he would bring those decision makers together so that Amoruso and Geraghty could be considered. Then the candidates were asked to share some information on what inspired them to seek appointment to the Finance Committee.
Geraghty shared that he and his wife had recently moved to town from Sutton, where he had participated in town government for many years. In Sutton, he was on the Board of Selectmen and Housing Authority. His wife had been a School Committee member. He highlighted that Sutton has a $27 million annual budget and a population of 9,300. Geraghty said he had participated in Mattapoisett’s town meetings this year and felt the town was moving in the right direction in the way it managed its budget.
Amoruso declared that he had “no experience in town government, [but was a] businessman, lived in town 35 years, kids went through the school system,” and was interested in contributing to the town. He said he understood and had been responsible for handling very large budgets, noting that in his work experience he had aided four municipalities’ school systems in the wake of natural disaster.
“I think volunteering and contributing is what you should and must do,” he said.
The Selectmen thanked Amoruso and Geraghty, saying they would be hearing from them soon.
From Gagne’s report, the Board learned that “home rule” petition for the position
of harbormaster submitted for approval to the Governor back in November of 2012 had been received. Gagne applauded the diligence of Rep. William Strauss for keeping him informed on this and many other pieces of legislation pending in the House of Representatives.
Gagne was also very appreciative and wanted to make the Selectmen aware of the efforts of many trades in bringing the public restrooms up to handicap access with a special shout-out to Barry Denham and his crew, whose talents as craftsmen from carpentry to masonry has given the harbormaster’s building much needed repairs and face-lifting.
On the subject of the town’s solar project, which is slated for development at the Mattapoisett town landfill, Gagne told the Board that he had met with the four vendors competing for the work, saying the discussions had been very good. The next step is the development of terms and conditions that the vendors will need to review before closing the deal with one of the vendors.
Rounding out his report, Gagne read from a notice that is up on the town’s website and wanted to make sure that the TV audience and those in attendance were aware regarding an upcoming public meeting. The notice reads in part: “The Town of Mattapoisett is looking to seek funding from state and federal funding sources to address the condition of Main, Water and Beacon Streets. We also want to address Marion Road to the Route 6 intersection. The town has had preliminary discussions with State Highway and Planning Officials and we are advised to seek community input at the very preliminary stages of planning. Now is time to give us input which we can then use in coming up with design considerations.” The meeting is scheduled for June 20 at 6:30 pm in the Center School cafeteria. Gagne said the success of the project is dependent upon the communities’ participation and willingness to give input.
Earlier in the evening, the Board approved a request from Lee Healt for a one-day special liquor license for 45 Water Street, home of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Jolliff, who will be hosting a fundraiser for the New Bedford Art Museum on July 26 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
In announcements, the Selectmen said that summer band concerts would begin July 10 and be held every Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:00 pm through August 28. The summer teen dances will begin every Thursday from June 27 through August 29 from 7:30 to 10:30 pm.
The next meeting of the Board of Selectmen is scheduled for Tuesday, July 9 at 7:00 pm.
By Marilou Newell