Only two races, for the library’s Board of Trustees and the Board of Assessors, in Milton’s April 26 election had every contender present at the Milton Speaks candidates’ forum Tuesday night.
In the other contested races, for the Board of Selectmen and in the special election for Trustee of the Cemetery, only one of two candidates were present. Barbara C. Martin, running for Trustee of the Cemetery, had a work commitment and was unable to attend. Board of Selectmen candidate Richard Livingston didn’t respond to the invitation, said moderator Bernie Lynch.
The race for library trustee is the most-contested race, with five candidates vying for three open seats.
The candidates agreed that the library would be facing challenges in the future to maintain the vast array of programming at the library and grappling with new technologies.
Candidate Paul Yovino said he would be interested in working with Milton Cable TV to bring library programming to viewers at home. He also suggested establishing a board of library trustees within the Old Colony Network.
Candidate Mary Riffe Hiss said she would like the board to work on fund-raising to generate more revenue.
Candidate Kristine Hodlin disagreed. “I don’t look at trustees and the director as the folks to be raising money,” she said. She said that the Friends of the Library, the Milton Library Foundation, and the citizens should be responsible for raising funds.
As far as maintaining the progress the library has made, candidate Frank Schroth said he would defer to the current trustees on the board.
“We need to listen to them to understand what has worked so well,” said Schroth.
Candidate Raymond Czwakiel said he would like to share his love for the library with others and find out what residents want from the library.
In the Board of Assessors race, candidate James Henderson said that if elected he would want to make the board more transparent and its processes easier for residents.
He said he had two elderly clients in his work as an accountant who hadn’t filed for property tax exemption because they didn’t know about it or the state form was too difficult to understand. He said he wanted to offer classes to take residents through the process or establish evening hours for the department.
Incumbent M. Joseph Manning, a more than 50-year veteran on the board, said evening hours were offered a few years ago, but not enough residents came.
“I don’t know of a case where a taxpayer has been denied anything they were rightly due,” said Manning. He said he wouldn’t change the way the department is run.
Sarah Favot can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.