League of Women Voters helps Mattapoisett get ready for Town Meeting, election

May 5, 2014

The League of Women Voters is trying new strategies to get residents informed about the upcoming Town Meeting and election.

"We're trying something new to get into the technology age," said facilitator Kris Eastman.

This year the tri-town group has worked with the town to get more information into the public's hands. In addition to the yearly financial review on the town's website, conducted by Selectman Paul Silva and Town Administrator Mike Gagne, the LWV taped interviews with the two Town Clerk candidates.

The position, being left vacant by retiring clerk Barbara Sullivan, is the only contested race in this year's election.

The LWV's candidates meet and greet and warrant review on Sunday afternoon was also recorded for the town's website.

The event had a strong turnout, filling the Mattapoisett Library's meeting room as residents got a rundown of the 37 articles to be voted on at Town Meeting on May 12.

"Our hope is that you will be more informed at Town Meeting," said Eastman.

Selectmen Chair Tyler Macallister, Town Moderator Jack Eklund and Gagne went through each of the articles, followed by video interviews with Town Clerk candidates Catherine Heuberger and Erika Suzan Osetkowski.

If elected, Heuberger, who works in the treasurer/tax collector's office at Town Hall, said she would keep the town clerk's office as a welcoming place.

"The town clerk's office is the first point of reference for people coming into Town Hall," she said.

Heuberger also said she would promote resident involvement in town politics.

Osetkowski, a teller manager at Eastern Bank, said she has experience working with people and has five employees under her.

Her approach to the town clerk's office would be the same as in her current position, she said.

"I've always had a good relationship with my coworkers. I've always had an open door policy," said Osetkowski.

She also said she would encourage better voter turnout by working with organizations in the community.

After the video interviews, several other candidates for town offices spoke to the crowd.

Macallister, who is running unopposed for his second term as Selectman, said "The first term was a blur." He said he is looking forward to another three years and has enjoyed working with the people of the town.

"I want to thank everybody for participating," said Macallister.

Eastman closed out the meeting, holding up a bumper sticker of the LWV's motto: "Democracy is not a spectator's sport."

Residents are encouraged to attend Town Meeting, May 12 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Old Rochester Regional High School Auditorium. The election is May 20 and will be held at Center School. For more information, to watch a video of the event and to review the Town Meeting Warrant, visit www.mattapoisett.net.