Candidate Q&A: Douglas Marmon for Board of Selectmen

Doug Marmon is running for election to the Board of Selectmen in the March 29 town election.

In advance of the annual town election on March 29, Winchester Patch is posting Q&As with the Board of Selectmen candidates who are running for election or re-election to the board. 

The following Q&A is with Douglas Marmon, who is seeking election to the Board of Selectmen. Brian O’Connor and Douglas Wilkinson are also candidates.

Please give a brief history of any town experience you have, including serving on a committee or being involved in the community.

I was on the Finance Committee for nine years and the chair for one. And that was a real good learning experience for me. Everyone needs money, and I was able to talk to a lot of people and see how different areas of the town work.

I’m co-chair of the Capital Planning Committee. And the trick there is to figure how much money to spend.

So, why are you running?

I’m involved with a lot of organizations in town – the and the – I’m committed to the town and I enjoy public service. I know the issues affecting the town and I can bring new ideas to the selectmen table.

What will be one of these ideas that you’ll bring to the table?

Well, we need a new Town Manager. It’s been a while. Eleven months ago we told . It’s not an easy transition, but we have got to do it, and the sooner the better. This is something that some time ago.

What are your thoughts of the $1.44 million override residents will have to vote on?

The . I think the Board of Selectmen believes that they can pass an override every three years. I think we need to plan better. We can’t just go to the taxpayer whenever we run out of money. We went too long when we didn’t have a fiscal plan. It’s hard to come up with a solution right now, but we can’t just go to the taxpayers every third year; it’s just not going to work.

With and the there’s a limit to how many overrides we can pass. And I don’t just want to cut, but we can’t continue to grow the budget. We have to work on doing more wage agreements and health insurance, which costs more each year. We need to share some of those costs more. Everyone needs to sacrifice something, not just the taxpayer.

The schools can’t get everything they want. And that doesn’t mean I want to hack and slash everything. But if the override doesn’t pass that’s what we’re going to have to do. I’m pretty sure I’m going to vote for [the override]. But that’s because we’re boxed in. If we don’t get it this year then we’re going to need it next year. I’m voting for it because we need it, but I don’t like it. I’m going to be reluctantly voting for it.

What are some of your thoughts regarding the schools and specifically, the school buildings?

I was in favor of the The school was old, there was trouble with access and energy and the state helped us out. It’s not surprising that every 50 years we need a new school.

But the high school isn’t in that bad of shape; it’s just not big enough. The science labs look old. It’s more programmatic. It’s not deteriorating; I believe there’s a way where we can rearrange the rooms. And we’ve already put money into it. There are new doors, lockers, bathrooms. When the is done, it’s not going to be cheap. That’s a real knot to be untied.

We do need to keep the schools up, and we’ve done a good job. Most of the schools are in pretty good shape. The schools are fairing pretty well, the DPW and Transfer Station I think are the areas that need to be improved.

What are your feelings about paid parking in the Town Center?

The Town Center is a tough place for the police to monitor; would be easier. But the chamber’s not in favor of it. I’m sure we’ll have some parts metered, but I don’t think we’ll end up with meters all over town. There’s not a lot of public support for it.

To read the Q&A with Doug Wilkinson

To read the Q&A with Brian O'Connor

Peggy Schleicher March 16, 2011 at 10:38 PM
Thank you, Mr. Marmon, for being a candidate who is telling us the truth about Winchester overrides. You are absolutely correct when you state that we can't continue to grow the budget every year and expect taxpayers to pick up the tab with overrides every time. The Selectmen fail to mention that the March 29th override vote is just the first of a series of overrides to come. Until Winchester is willing to change the way it does business and give more than lip service to achieving the efficiencies in town government that can be achieved, we will continue to nibble around the edges of the budget and never really make a difference. Leadership is what is needed at the Selectmen's table these days. We need to live within our means and our budget. In the private sector, you learn quickly that the budget is a real number that determines how you operate and the choices you make. There are always hard choices to be made, but to succeed you make those choices. Why does the same not hold true for government? The answer is simple. When government needs more revenue to support its programs, it defers to the override option time and time again with the promise of reforming the system before they ask for another override. When does it stop and real change begin? I wish I had an override button to balance my budget! Peggy Schleicher
Pats March 17, 2011 at 06:58 AM
Ugh. Mr. Marmon can't even say for certain if he is or is not voting for the override. Worse, he was on Finance Committee for all those years and Chair as well...aren't they the watchdog group for the taxpayers? He says 'we need to plan better' and 'we didn't have a fiscal plan'...umm, YOU WERE CHAIR of the Finance Committee...Where is YOUR plan? Oh my gosh.
TMMember March 17, 2011 at 10:46 PM
I'm amazed that you don't know how you are voting. You just changed my vote. The spending has to stop. Get some backbone and say no. Sure, it will hurt for a while. But better now than later.
Kathryn March 21, 2011 at 12:50 PM
FYI, Doug *does* in fact state clearly in the above article that he IS voting for the override. The "Issues" section of his website (http://www.marmonforselectman.com/new/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49&Itemid=27) clearly states this as well. It is a position that I wholeheartedly agree with: at this time the override is a necessity, although I wish it didn't have to be. If there are ways to avoid overrides in the future, minimize expenditures and take every dollar seriously, Doug will find them.


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