FOR SELECT BOARD: Jim Nye

Years in Marblehead: 60

Occupation/education: President/CEO National Grand Bank of Marblehead

Bentley College 1985

Appointed positions and/or elected offices: Selectman 2005-present

What are three reasons/issues as to why you’re running for election? 

I love Marblehead and am thankful for the many opportunities that the town has provided me and my family. Over the past 17 years, we have managed the town budget efficiently and economically within the scope of Proposition 2 ½ with no general overrides required. This success has been due to the great teamwork between the boards, town administrator, finance director, and department heads. I would be honored to continue this work on behalf of the taxpayers of Marblehead.

What areas of municipal government do you think the town could give more attention to? 

Our town’s infrastructure needs constant maintenance and upgrading, far more attention than we have been able to provide within the scope of our revenues. If acceptable to the town’s residents, this year’s debt exclusion override will address this issue.

What do you feel will be the biggest issues facing the town in the coronavirus pandemic’s wake? 

Delivering the high level of service that the residents of Marblehead expect and deserve, while providing for increases in pay for our town’s employees within the town’s budget and avoiding general overrides.

Do you think the infrastructure override will pass? What are you doing to convince the town to support it? If it doesn’t pass, what will you do?  

The past resident surveys have been clear that roads, sidewalks and infrastructure repairs and maintenance are priorities. This debt exclusion override will address these issues in a fiscally responsible way by borrowing at a fixed cost and a finite term. A compelling case was made at town meeting which was supported by the majority, hopefully voters will agree on June 21st. If the override is not passed, we will work within the budget to make the repairs, though at a much slower and more expensive pace. 

Two-plus years into COVID-19, what do you hope the town has learned about the delivery of services during an emergency like a pandemic? How can you as a selectperson ensure that the value of these lessons is not lost over time?

Our town employees, elected, and appointed officials were thrust into the pandemic, and as we have in the past, rose to the occasion. The town adapted to rapidly changing conditions to continue to provide outstanding service and support to the residents of Marblehead. Because of our decentralized government, these lessons were learned by, and decisions made by the many dedicated volunteers that form our municipal governing body. 

The pandemic has also made this a challenging time for local businesses. How would you rate the town’s performance in supporting the local business community? What more could be done to ensure that the town remains home to a vibrant collection of local shops, restaurants and other businesses? 

By having the same tax rate for residential and commercial properties in Marblehead, this allows commercial property owners to pass along that saving onto their business owner tenants. The town has allowed and encouraged many celebrations including the Christmas Walk and Festival of Arts that draw many visitors and potential customers. We have always supported the Chamber of Commerce with their requests for using the sidewalks and streets safely. 

As real estate prices continue to soar, Marblehead homes seem to be getting even further out of reach for many of our police officers, teachers and other public servants, to say nothing of those who were raised in town but cannot afford to move back “home.” To what degree is this a problem, and what can be done about it?”  

 Home affordability is certainly a problem in not only Marblehead, but in many areas around the world. The planning board has begun discussions regarding allowing accessory dwelling units, commonly called in law apartments. We have had discussions with MassHousing concerning the development of the Coffin School site into affordable housing. These initiatives, and others that may present themselves, will receive much public consideration and review. 

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