Republicans: What Should the Relationship Between Legislators and Selectmen Look Like?
Candidates examine the relationship between Town Hall and Beacon Hill.
(Editor's Note: Tewksbury Patch asked the Republican candidates for state representative and state senator five questions on issues related directly to Tewksbury. Questions 2-5 will run on consecutive days leading up to the primary on Sept. 14.)
Question 1. Describe what the working relationship between state legislators and the town boards, particularly the board of selectmen, should look like.
State Senator, 2nd Essex/Middlesex District
Patrick Rahilly, Republican, Tewksbury
The current legislators feel that the towns should work for them. I believe the opposite. Citizens use community resources far more than any state resource. Legislators need to ask what the town needs and then the legislators should do everything in their power to obtain the requests.
Jamison Tomasek, Republican, Andover
A legislator should represent the interests of his district and in some areas these are best communicated through the elected officials. This does not diminish the direct relationship with constituents, but officials can represent a different and potentially more knowledgeable viewpoint, giving the legislator insight into complex issues around a town's legal, financial or regulatory matters that perhaps are not seen by the average citizen.
A senator should have one staff member assigned as board of selectman and school committee liaison. This person would be the point of contact and then follow up in conjunction with the senator, making sure the issue is managed.
Other boards in town could also contact this person. The staff member would also be on regular distribution lists so they could review board agendas for topics on which the senator might have insight and potential to assist.
A senator should have regular meetings and/or conference calls with the board of selectman and school committee.
Of course, a senator should be connected to what is going on in town through office hours for constituents and regular access via phone or e-mail. The senator should also be expected to meet periodically with any key groups or organizations.
State Representative 19th Middlesex District
Mario Marchese, Republican, Wilmington
State Legislators and members of the Board of Selectmen should, at all times, have an open two-way line of communication to respond to any issue at anytime. The responsibility of a state legislator is to work for the town and the members of the Board of Selectman and be their representative at State House and report back to the Board of Selectman about any new or pending legislation that will affect the town.
Members of the Board of Selectmen should not be afraid to challenge their state representative on any issue. It is the job and responsibility of a state representative to answer any questions or concerns that any member of the town may have.
A state representative serves at the will and pleasure of his employer, the voters.
State Representative, 17th Essex District
Paul Adams, Republican, Andover
State legislators should be responsive to and work closely with local boards on issues that require state action. I envision the legislator/local official relationship looking similar to what it has been for me when I first began this campaign for state representative.
I was given a laundry list by selectmen and city councilors from Andover, Lawrence and Tewksbury of issues that urgently need action in the legislature. In particular, local officials in the 17th Essex District are nearly unanimous in their appeal for changes to state laws that will give our communities relief from costly, unfunded mandates. I also believe representatives should work in conjunction with town leaders on projects that benefit the community as a whole.
The following candidate did not submit a response to this question: Sal Tabit, Republican, Andover.