Seven candidates are vying for three two-year seats at-large posts.
David D'Arcangelo, seeking reelection, stated that public safety is the number one priority.
"...I will make public safety my top priority and it’s on my literature, it’s on my website and I really believe that. I’m on the Public Safety Committee advocating for more officers," D'Arcangelo said. "We’re fortunate to put those in the budget this year, along with the rest of the (City) Council, we were able to increase the size of the force, we were able to get them some new equipment so I’m definitely in favor of that and that has to be job one. It all starts with public safety.
"If you have public
safety then you can have businesses where people want to shop, you can have
residences where people can feel safe in their homes and safe to send their
kids to school. I’m absolutely committed to making sure that our public safety
is funded, not only the police but the Fire (Department) as well and that they
have the equipment they need to be successful."
Craig Spadafora, seeking reelection, said focusing on neighborhoods would be his top priority.
"…At the end of the day it comes down to the quality of life. Making sure the trash is picked up, your neighbors are doing the right thing, the streets are safe, the sidewalks are fixed, the roads repaired," Spadafora said. "...You want to make sure that when you go home you go back to your house and your neighbors are doing the same thing you’re supposed to be doing (by) taking care of the grass, making sure the music is not loud, making sure the trash is (collected). It sounds simple but when a neighborhood starts to go bad it starts out with those small issues.
"Since I have been a (City) Councillor, this has been my focus…to
continue to do that. We not only bring in the public safety...the
policemen, inspectional services we use tremendously in the City of
Malden. The DPW we’ve made sure we’ve become more transparent. (The SeeClickFix) system
in the City of Malden…we use technology to report a lot of these instances.
These are important issues that 4-5 years ago you’d have to call to report that everyday I see potholes,
trash, unkempt grass…I think it makes a difference and it goes a long way."
William Coleman said his focus would be on proper development in downtown Malden.
"...As Ward 4 (City) Councillor, I represented this area for 20 years," Coleman said. "We need to keep development in the downtown area. The ballpark...When we build this ballpark in the future, you’re going to see the developers fly in here. They are going to be wanting to be next to that ballpark, right next to the T…so we need to be careful in the development of downtown."
Debbie DeMaria said that safety would be her top priority.
"Being an employee with Delta Airlines for 34 years, unfortunately I worked the day of 9-11 and as you can imagine that incident changed all our lives but especially myself and how it evolved (from) a very relaxed business community, the airline industry, to a heavily guarded police present community," she said. "Safety is our number one priority not only in the world but most importantly in Malden. Safety for our seniors, safety for our children and that is my number one issue."
While he acknowledged the importance of public safety, neighborhoods and taking care of streets and sidewalks, Jay Lamport discussed the importance of budgeting properly to accommodate those areas.
"...I’m keen on zeroing in on a budget. I have some items that I would introduce to this City Council immediately on freeing up a lot of funds that the city could have moving forward to support these issues," Lamport said. "One item I would present would be solar energy for the city. There is a program out there (that would) save the city 50 percent of the going rate on their energy and their (electricity) per year for 20 years going forward.
"...I looked at the numbers budgeted this year versus that 50 percent savings and it circles the $1 million savings number. That’s a lot. That would do a lot for our neighborhoods and support the firefighters (and) the police force. One of the areas I would work on is freeing up a lot of the money to support the programs that (make sure the city is safe)."
Gladys Rivera Rogers discussed how public safety is important and should be a top priority, but "I also would say that it’s communication."
"...In order to be safe you have to be able to communicate with each other too because some of us do not understand English," she said. "We have over 60 languages that are being spoken in our public school system and I know we do have many programs out of the Mayor’s office that he does translate all the information just like we have this evening.
"...I want to be the voice of all in City Hall, not just one, not just two but all of the languages spoken in the City of Malden."
Robert McCarthy Jr. was not present for the forum