Two candidates are vying for the mayor's office in the Waltham city election Nov. 8. Meet one candidate, Jeannette McCarthy:
Q: What is the biggest challenge facing the city?
A: The biggest challenge facing the city is its aging and over-capacity infrastructure, which includes our water, sewer and drain systems. Millions of dollars have been spent already and millions more will continue to have to be spent on public health upgrades.
Q: Do you have any political/civil experience?
A: Yes. I have been involved in numerous civic, non-profit and political endeavors in the city since 1986. Prior to becoming mayor, I had served on the school committee for 6 years and the city council for 2 years. I also worked in the city’s law department from 1992-2000 in the capacity as staff attorney, assistant city solicitor and city solicitor.
Q: What do you think qualifies you for the office you are seeking?
A: I have the background, training and experience in handling not only the day to day issues of a large municipal corporation, but also the experience in handling several complex issues while trying to minimize any negative impact on the taxpayers.
Q: If elected, how do you plan to unite the city’s many diverse neighborhoods and groups?
A: We will continue to maintain an open door policy which provides access to the mayor for all Waltham residents. The City’s community policing department and my office currently work with the diverse neighborhood groups and organizations. We have been encouraging and welcome more civic involvement which makes Waltham a stronger community.
Q: Cuts are being made across the board. What programs would you cut and which ones would you save?
A: For a number of years, we already have eliminated positions through attrition. We also implemented a modified early retirement program to attain the required budget savings and reductions. If more cuts have to be made, I would request consolidation of city departments and implement a hiring freeze. Public safety, teachers and water and sewer personnel would need to be maintained.
Q. Foreclosures are rampant in the city. How would you help people avoid losing their homes? And if they do lose their home, how would you as a public officer help them get back on their feet?
A: Foreclosures are always a tragedy. Since local governments do not regulate banks, we would connect the constituents with the appropriate state and federal personnel who have oversight in this matter.
With regard to substitute housing needs, we can assist people with Waltham Housing Authority and other suitable contact information.
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