Candidate for three-year term on the Southbridge Town Council
Mike Marketti spends his days with books from the 19th century, and is seeking to fill his evenings with moving Southbridge further into the 21st century.
Marketti, aged 65, a rare book filmer for Newbank, Inc., is running for a three-year term on the Southbridge Town Council. The Democrat ran for Town Council in 2016. He has also held offices with the Southbridge Redevelopment Authority and as a citizen member of the Town Council Planning and Development Subcommittee, feels his experience has made him ready for Town Council.
The main issues in town needing to be addressed, according to Marketti, are infrastructure, schools and economic conditions.
The Citizen Chronicle: What prior experience do you have that makes you qualified to serve?
Mike Marketti: Southbridge Redevelopment Authority, Southbridge Town Council Planning and Development Subcommittee citizen member.
The Citizen Chronicle: What do you think makes a good Town Councilor?
Mike Marketti: I am willing to listen to others, work with councilors and residents, compromise when necessary.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the future of the fire station?
Mike Marketti: I’ve been in the fire station and it clearly needs to be remodeled, repaired or replaced. There is an ongoing study in process concerning the fire station. I’d like to wait and see what their report is before making a decision.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the status of the public school district?
Mike Marketti: Right now we have a school receiver who makes all the decisions regarding the school district. The School Receiver has all of the power on educational issues in our public schools. I’d like the State to provide more funding to help our school district. That’s something our state representatives need to work on. The Council and School Committee have had problems working together in the past, and I’d like to see a good working relationship between the Council, School Committee and School Receiver. The Council should listen to what the school committee have to say and where agreement is reached, it would be better for the Council and the Committee together to go to the School Receiver with their concerns.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the status of the landfill?
Mike Marketti: Last year I worked with a group of citizens who fought Casella’s referendum to expand the landfill. Casella spent over $100,000 on the referendum, we spent a little over $8,000 with donations. Yet we defeated Casella with the help of Southbridge voters who voted 60 percent to 40 percent against Casella’s plans to expand. Now the landfill is closing. I am in favor of its closing and want to make sure it stays closed. My concern now is contamination from the landfill and that Casella honors its contractual obligation to the Town.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the hotly debated riverside park proposal?
Mike Marketti: I favored the Riverside Park project. I thought it was a mistake to turn down a $235,000 grant from the state in exchange for the town spending $100,000. I talked to other representatives from Central Massachusetts who tell me other towns would favor a grant like that.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the reputation of the town and its leadership?
Mike Marketti: If by your question you mean the leadership of the Town Council, Town Councilors are residents, like you and I, who have a special interest in town issues. The current leadership on the Town Council has a set agenda and is not willing to compromise. Although I have my own point of view, I am willing to listen to others and compromise when necessary to move the town forward.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the future of Town Manager Ron San Angelo?
Mike Marketti: I support the town manager. I think he is trying to do a good job. I like that he doesn’t seem to play politics. He doesn’t favor one group over another. He’s concerned with working for Southbridge only.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is Southbridge’s greatest asset?
Mike Marketti: Southbridge is in a good location. We’re a small town not far from major metropolitan areas such as Boston, Worcester, Providence and Hartford. If people like small towns but want to be near large cities, this is the place to live.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is Southbridge’s greatest problem?
Mike Marketti: Southbridge has a problem with drugs. It seems since the Methadone Clinic located in Southbridge, we’ve seen more problems with drugs and a spike in robbery. The last time I looked at crime rates in Southbridge, I found that the property crime rate is 20 percent above the state average. If it has not done so recently, I think the Council should sit down with the Police Chief to review policing methods to determine what has worked and what has not worked.
This week, The Citizen Chronicle will be publishing interviews with the current candidates for a seat on the Southbridge Town Council. This year there will be four seats on the general election ballot on June 12. There will be three three-year seats decided on by the voters, and one one-year seat to fill a vacancy made by the resignation of Wally MacKenzie.
Interviews with the current Town Council candidates will be published in transcript-form. The publication schedule is as follows:
- David Adams, candidate for three-year term — Wednesday, April 25
- Kristen Auclair, candidate for three-year term — Thursday, April 26
- Esteban Carrasco, Jr., candidate for one-year term — Tuesday, April 24
- Joseph Cotrona, candidate for three-year term — Thursday, May 10
- John Daniel, candidate for three-year term — Wednesday, April 25
- Jack Jovan, candidate for one-year term — Friday, April 27
- Scott Lazo, candidate for three-year term — Sunday, April 29
- Mike Marketti, candidate for three-year term — Thursday, April 26
- John Pulawski, candidate for one-year term — Friday, April 27
- David Smick, candidate for three-year term — Sunday, April 29