Nuances come to light in Falmouth Town Council candidates forum

June 2nd, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

FALMOUTH — A May 29 forum exposed more similarities than differences between four candidates vying for two seats on the Town Council.

During the one-hour, moderated event at Town Hall, Caleb Hemphill, Erin Mancini, Charlie McBrady and incumbent Counselor Chris Orestis all positioned themselves as business-friendly candidates who will support the schools, continued subsidies for Metro bus service and economic development.

The candidates also said they would follow the path laid out in the 2013 Comprehensive Plan, and work to keep the municipal budget flat.

Small differences emerged, however, on issues of regionalization, acquiring lands for public use, and whether the candidates would consider an ordinance to restrict the medical marijuana businesses.

The event was hosted by the Falmouth/Cumberland Community Chamber of Commerce. Moderator Andy Sparks led the candidates through a fast-paced series of question formats, including a pop quiz where candidates were asked to write single-word responses on handheld dry-erase boards, then show their answers simultaneously.

In one example, the candidates were asked to write the approximate population of Falmouth. Three of the candidates correctly answered 11,000; Mancini underbid with 10,000. In another example, candidates were asked to write the amount of next year’s proposed school budget. Orestis answered correctly with $31.8 million; Mancini and Hemphill wrote $32 million, and McBrady answered $31 million.

The pop-quiz format exposed other differences in candidates.

Three of the candidates said they “support the town’s contribution toward the purchase of Clapboard Island,” including McBrady,

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