Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Forum Introduces Candidates for Selectman

Yesterday evening the Wellfleet Forum held a meeting to introduce the three men running for the two seats open on the Select Board. Retiring Selectman Ira Wood moderated. The three candidates are, from left to right above, John Morrissey, Dennis Murphy, and George White. The first two men have been members of the Finance Committee for several years. George works as a fireman in Wellfleet. Ira asked each candidate to answer a few hardball questions. The first was regarding whether or not they would support the Town Administrator should his position be challenged. All responded by the affirmative. As a second question, Ira asked for an opinion on possible regionalization of the elementary school. All the candidates hope that will not be necessary. The third question was whether a new town clerk should be elected or appointed, since Dawn Rickman plans to retire. While George said he believes all town officials should be elected, he felt "split" regarding the town clerkship. John and Dennis stated they are in favor of hiring the future town clerk. Ira’s final question was about the vacation rentals tax, which will be discussed at town meeting, no doubt at length. All three candidates are in favor. Then there was a short Q&A.

The prize for the most complicated question goes to Barbara Gray who requested each candidate take a shot at explaining the special character of Wellfleet, then asked for their positions on historical preservation, open space, and affordable housing. The prize for best trivia goes to Dennis Murphy who mentioned having saved a Wellfleet movie theater ticket, costing 35 cents, to see Creature of the Black Lagoon, which he tied into the question on historical preservation. (The theater used to be located beside the Congregational Church.) The prize for the most unexpected comment goes to Ira who began the meeting by saying, “You will really enjoy some … of it … Your life will be changed by it.” (Sorry his tone does not come through, but use your imagination!) The audience got a glimpse of what the two new selectmen will face when former Selectwoman Helen Wilson warned about the “wave of decisions” that would come at them. And, the issue to which everyone seemed to have devoted the most thought? Affordable housing and job creation in order to allow young Wellfleetians to live and work here, something the town, with its expensive real estate, had not yet managed to resolve. Did you attend the meeting?