Malden News

ELECTION 2019: Final Questions for Candidates: Political Philosophy & Campaign Team

 

 

By Prisco Tammaro

The 2019 elections in Malden are approaching. The Municipal Election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.

To provide Malden voters with information, Neighborhood View  has been running a series of “Quality of Life” questions and answers with the city council and mayoral candidates. Suggestions for questions were provided via Facebook on a Malden (MA) Politic’s poll; 10 questions were formulated by the moderators in consultation with Neighborhood View and sent to all  candidates. Each candidate was given 150 words to respond to each question. Every effort was made to reach out to every candidate.

Below are answers to Question 9 and 10. Question 9 focuses on political philosophy and Question 10 asks about campaign committees. 

Please note: all opinions here are those of the candidates and Neighborhood View has not checked the accuracy of these comments.

See links for previous questions at the bottom of this page. 


QUESTION 9:

As an elected official, what is your philosophy? Is it your responsibility to follow the will of the voters or do what you think is best for the people?


MAYOR – Incumbent – GARY CHRISTENSON

I think it’s both. It starts with being in touch with the voters every day, being so involved in the community, that as a public official you have a great feel for the will of the people. Engaging with voters at local events, returning phone calls and emails timely, and being willing to listen to all members of our community is what forms the foundation of being  ̃in touch.” However, there are times when a public official has to do what’s in the best interest of the long-term future of the city and that may be at odds with the will of the current voter. Good leaders know the difference.

 


MAYOR – Challenger – JOHN MATHESON

The mayor and I disagree on this. I put Malden Hospital to a vote, and 79 percent of people wanted more open space. He ignored the people, resisted open space, and continued to push for a dense apartment development. After 70 percent of residents voted for change to the blue trash bag program, our mayor promised that change if elected. He broke that promise. In June, our mayor endorsed a ban on all plastic grocery bags in Malden beginning in January. Meanwhile, I proposed giving the voters a choice on the subject. In a democracy, government is supposed to serve the interests of “The People.” We need elected people to decide laws and budgets that require time and research. However, some questions are easily understood and are of broad public interest because they affect our daily lives. In those cases, the voters should decide. That is true government by “The People!”


At Large Councillor – Incumbent – CRAIG SPADAFORA

The idea that one is right and other party is wrong is the problem. Flexibility is about understanding the give-and-take aspects of politics, and the ability to find the common ground. Good leaders listen carefully to all sides, to not only hear their arguments but to especially learn what it will take on behalf of all parties involved to reach a consensus. It’s hard to believe in today’s world that “other side” be right. Leaderships allows political leaders to recognize setbacks and criticism, to learn from them and move forward. Many politicians still dismiss public opinion as mercurial or irrelevant or both.

 


10-demaria

At Large Councillor – Incumbent – DEBBIE DEMARIA

Those who voted for me entrusted me with making decisions for them. Now, does that mean I do what I want to do? Absolutely NOT. As a city leader, my first priority is to the safety of our community. Every day I listen and learn from my constituents; those who voted for me and those who didn’t. Everyone has a job to do. My job, being a Councillor-At- Large in Malden, is something I am honored to do as I follow the will of the voters.

 


11-winslowAt Large Councillor – Incumbent – STEVEN WINSLOW

I take action based on the needs and expressed desires of residents, including those who may not be as vocal or connected. I certainly give the will of the voters great weight. The challenge becomes how to truly determine what the will of the voters is and to resolve contradictions between demands to provide more services and the desire to be fiscally prudent.

 


12-leone

At Large Councillor – Challenger – JERRY LEONE

Councilors have a responsibility to the voters who are taxpayers and we should act in their best interest; at the same time councilors should make certain decisions to improve the quality of Malden.  

 

 


1-crowe

WARD 1 Councillor – Incumbent – PEG CROWE

Did not respond.

 

 


2-condonWARD 2 Councillor – Incumbent – PAUL CONDON

Did not respond.

 

 

 


3a-LinehamWARD 3 Councillor – Non-Incumbent – AMANDA LINEHAN

I believe that elected officials are entrusted with public office to use their best judgment in making decisions for the good of the ward and city. Any responsible elected official must do the hard work of gathering meaningful community input through as many means as possible to give all voters (and residents who can’t or don’t vote) an opportunity to understand and offer feedback before making decisions. As an expert in communication and community engagement, I’m very experienced in diverse, inclusive outreach and am committed to transparency, and I already do this in a public sector role, so I know I will hit the ground running in developing a meaningful civic engagement plan for Ward 3. Information gathering must be both broad and deep, designed to include partnerships with diverse community groups, and reflective of the makeup of the community in order to be statistically significant and impactful.


3b-OrsinoWARD 3 Councillor – Non-Incumbent – JULIANNE ORSINO

We live in a democracy. Elected officials serve at the will of the people. It is imperative that we elect leaders who are able to engage with constituents productively, openly, and without a pre-conceived notion about what people should want. There needs to be a rich dialogue to generate ideas and learn from each other. Listening to differing viewpoints, respectfully disagreeing without being disagreeable, and facilitating conversation that leads to a common goal are skills I will bring to the role of Ward 3 City Councillor. Constituents can trust that I will put Ward 3 and the city of Malden first!

 


4-omalleyWARD 4 Councillor – Incumbent – RYAN O’MALLEY

Open and honest conversations with my constituents and colleagues inform my positions on various issues. I make it a point to hold judgement of issues until I have had an opportunity to research the matter and hear the discussion at public meetings and hearings. One thing I’ve learned from these discussions is that often times the public is intentionally misled by people who hold positons of influence. Sound bites in the newspaper and on campaign literature may sound convincing to those who do not have the time to fact check the public record. This is why I have been such an ardent advocate for the transpancy of meeting minutes and other public records. In order for the public to make informed opinions and decisions the people need easy access to THEIR public documents.


5a-murphyWARD 5 Councillor – Incumbent – BARBARA MURPHY

My philosophy is and always has been to follow the will of the voters. Last year I put forth a bill to lower the height of residential dwelling units in the Central Business District from 12 stories to six stories. This was the will of our residents as was proven by the largest survey ever conducted in the history of Malden. This survey said that 75.96 % of the respondents wanted the height for multi-story residential buildings to be six stories or less. Although it failed to pass the City Council on the first try, I did not give up. After waiting the mandatory time limit to resubmit a proposal, I put forth a compromise bill that would allow the City Council to approve a 7-story limit, a compromise I made to make movement on this goal. I am happy to say ultimately it passed.


5b-najmiWARD 5 Councillor – Challenger – DANYAL NAJMI

Follow the will of the voters. If I feel strongly that something is good for Malden, it is my responsibility to share the facts that make me believe this and convince the voters of its value. I don’t know everything, and I am counting on the community to continue to guide and inform me to making the best decisions for Malden.

 


6-camellWARD 6 Councillor – Incumbent – DAVID CAMELL

I don’t think it has to be mutually exclusive. If there is a mismatch between those two goals, then we have to have a conversation as a community. I view it in a very similar way as my career in private industry as an engineer. My job ultimately is to serve clients and shareholders of my company (and in the case of being a City Councillor, my constituents). There are certainly times when I have more technical familiarity with a situation, and there is a difference of opinion with the client. There is a proper way to reconcile that difference, though it is not always the easiest way. It is incumbent upon me as a professional to provide as clearly as I can the pertinent information, give my recommendations and alternatives, and seek their feedback. In the end, unless it is a crucial moral issue, residents deserve the final say.


7-andersonWARD 7 Councillor – Incumbent – NEAL ANDERSON

Did not respond.

 

 


8a-sicaWARD 8 Councillor – Incumbent – JADEANNE SICA

The role of Ward Councilor, I think, is unique in that we really are expected to be the voice for the residents of our wards on day-to-day quality of life issues. Of course, we also are involved in more global citywide issues. However, for the most part, I see the role of the Ward Councilor as following the desires of the ward we represent, understanding that on larger issues, we have checks and balances that will provide an opportunity for other elected officials to weigh on as it relates to the city as a whole.

 


8b-vanni-no imageWARD 8 Councillor – Challenger – ANDREW VANNI

Did not respond.

 

 


QUESTION 10:

Who is your campaign committee? 


MAYOR – Incumbent – GARY CHRISTENSON

One of the differences for me between this campaign and my past campaigns is that I had to engage help to manage the campaign. The job of Mayor is demanding and it simply wasn’t an option to divert attention away from the day-to-day needs of the city. My campaign is led by the Campaign Institute, a local firm that has worked on many Malden campaigns. More importantly, they are supported by dozens of energetic community members, who have helped us enthusiastically connect with thousands of voters personally over the past several months.

 


MAYOR – Challenger – JOHN MATHESON

Our team is comprised of volunteers from diverse backgrounds. We include men and women of different ethnicities and religions. Our team members include professional tradespeople, attorneys, accountants, and small business owners. No one is paid. All of our important decisions are made as a committee. We are grassroots. Our donors and volunteers are great Malden residents we met on the campaign trail. We are funded by many small donations, which I personally match dollar for dollar. Nearly all of our funds go to printing and postage to educate the public on the issues facing Malden and our solutions for them. Our goal is to empower people with facts and information. I chose to give up my Council seat, pension, and law practice because I love my hometown, and I want to apply my education and experience to serve all the residents of Malden.


At Large Councillor – Incumbent – CRAIG SPADAFORA

Did not respond. 

 

 

 


10-demariaAt Large Councillor – Incumbent – DEBBIE DEMARIA

Being blessed with many wonderful friends, my role as Councillor At Large is so rewarding. Some volunteers help me as I feed the hundreds of seniors in eight citywide locations. Together, many friends and I make thousands of calls, both during the summer and continuing through Nov. 5th. My dedicated team of volunteers love to wake up early and stay up late, hold signs, knock doors and host events. I am also honored to have three super champions that strategize with me daily. But above all, my husband, Al, is my Manager.

 


At Large Councillor – Incumbent – STEVEN WINSLOW11-winslow

My wife, Helen, chairs my Campaign Committee; Cynarra Canatella of Maynard Street in Ward 8 is my campaign treasurer and Ari Taylor of Mount Vernon Street in Ward 5 is my campaign manager.

 


12-leoneAt Large Councillor – Challenger – JERRY LEONE

My committee is comprised of several individuals who feel that I can help the city succeed as councilor.

 

 


1-crowe

WARD 1 Councillor – Incumbent – PEG CROWE

Did not respond. 

 

 

 


2-condonWARD 2 Councillor – Incumbent – PAUL CONDON

Did not respond.

 

 

 


3a-LinehamWARD 3 Councillor – Non-Incumbent – AMANDA LINEHAN

My campaign includes myself as the candidate, my treasurer  Nancy McPheeters, a Ward 5 resident and local attorney, and my campaign manager Matt Walsh, a Florence Street resident who works part-time as our only paid staff member. Because I am considered a public employee in my full-time job and have restrictions on both my time and financial involvement in the campaign per OCPF, my spouse, Mark Linehan, is playing a key role in helping to administer our social media accounts, deposit checks, and facilitate donations, and pick up materials and supplies for campaign events during the week when I am on state time. Our door-knocking team is made up of several dozen local volunteers and our fundraising base is also local, with an average individual contribution of $68. I also rely heavily on childcare provided by family, friends, neighbors, and Malden High students!


3b-OrsinoWARD 3 Councillor – Non-Incumbent – JULIANNE ORSINO

My campaign committee is myself and my wife, Emily Rivera. I believe voters want to hear directly from the candidate and not paid staff people. With that said, I am very lucky to have a number of residents, family, and friends who have volunteered their time to help because they believe in the strength of our community and the positive message we are presenting! My campaign is driven by grassroots efforts, community engagement, and by being able to show I have a history of solving issues in Ward 3 and the city of Malden. If anyone would like to join us, please contact me at julianneorsino@gmail.com.

 


4-omalleyWARD 4 Councillor – Incumbent – RYAN O’MALLEY

The committee is supported by many individuals, overwhelmingly Malden residents who donate small amount of money in order to advance our shared vision for a more transparent and respectful Malden. I am proud of the grassroots manner in which my campaigns have been run since I first ran in 2015.

 

 


5a-murphyWARD 5 Councillor – Incumbent – BARBARA MURPHY

My campaign committee consists of myself, my treasurer, Julie Greenbaum, and many family, friends and neighbors who have supported me at every step of the way and without whom I could not do this job.

 

 


5b-najmiWARD 5 Councillor – Challenger – DANYAL NAJMI

Many people have supported my campaign with their time, effort, and dedication. None more so than Blake and James Robert-Crall, whose knowledge and experience has been essential for me to run my first campaign ever.

 


6-camellWARD 6 Councillor – Incumbent – DAVID CAMELL

This time around, the campaign is just my wife and me (and a few good pairs of shoes)!

 

 


7-andersonWARD 7 Councillor – Incumbent – NEAL ANDERSON

Did not respond.

 

 


8a-sicaWARD 8 Councillor – Incumbent – JADEANNE SICA

My committee has consisted of the same close friends and family since I got into politics. I know if I start naming names I’ll forget someone who has helped me along the way. So instead, I’ll describe my campaign as simply a passionate group eager to help me get my message out and get re-elected so we can continue the great progress we have made so far.

 


8b-vanni-no imageWARD 8 Councillor – Challenger – ANDREW VANNI

Did not respond.

 

 

See answers to Question 1 and 2 (transparency) here

See answers to Question 3 and 4 (development) here

See answers to Question 5 and 6 (trees and traffic) here

See answers to Question 7 and 8 ( housing) here. 

 

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