The wait is almost over, as Mayor Thatcher Kezer and challenger Ken Gray are set to square off in tomorrow night’s mayoral debate at the Amesbury High School auditorium.
The debate is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., and residents who can’t make it in person will be able to watch it live on Amesbury Community Television channel 12 or online at http://amesburyctv.org/. The Daily News and the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce are jointly sponsoring the debate.
The event will mark the first opportunity for voters to hear directly from each candidate on a range of issues affecting Amesbury residents, and will also offer the candidates a chance to lay out their goals, question their opponent and share their vision for Amesbury’s future.
Questions will also be accepted from members of the audience and live through social media. Check back tomorrow for more information.
Tonight the City Council will convene for its October meeting, and among the highlights on the agenda: a request that the city accept a $100,000 grant from the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, as well as legislation that would include Amesbury within a proposed regional Veterans’ Services district.
The $100,000 MVPC grant was awarded to Amesbury to put toward the Lower Millyard brownfield cleanup, which is a key component of the overall revitalization effort in the area. By accepting the grant, the city will be able to move forward with the cleanup this fall, allowing construction of Heritage Park to proceed this coming spring.
The proposed regional Veterans’ Services district would include Newburyport, Amesbury, Salisbury, Newbury and Merrimac, with Newburyport Veterans’ Services officer Kevin Hunt serving as district director. A separate bill would also allow the mayor to submit a petition to the state requesting that the regional district be created.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the City Hall Auditorium.
Registration for the Amesbury Holiday Program begins this week, and eligible residents who would like to place gift requests can sign up through the rest of the month.
Starting today, signups will be held at Community Action at 44 Friend St. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Fridays from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. through the end of the month.
All participants must meet income guidelines and are required to bring with them the following information when signing up for the program: identification verifying Amesbury residency; verification of income; birth certificates for all children to be registered and assisted; gift requests, clothing and shoe sizes for the children.
The Amesbury Holiday Program provides for Amesbury residents who have children under the age of 18 and who are in need of assistance with Christmas gifts. For more information, contact Raelene Kukene, president of the Amesbury Holiday Program, at 978-388-0626.
The Amesbury Chamber of Commerce is holding a pumpkin-decorating contest over the next month, and residents are encouraged to come up with their most creative designs in preparation for trick or treat night.
Chamber director Melissa Lachance said finished pumpkins should be dropped off at the Chamber office on Friday, Oct. 25, after 10 a.m. Pumpkin judging will be on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 6:45 p.m. in the Al Capp Amphitheater in the Upper Millyard.
The contest is $10 to enter, and the winner will be awarded a $100 prize, with second place receiving $50 and third place $25. For more information, contact Lachance at 978-388-3178.
The following meetings are scheduled this week and are open to the public:
City Council, 7 p.m., City Hall Auditorium.
School Committee Policy Subcommittee, 9 a.m., Amesbury High School Superintendent’s Office.
Mac Cerullo covers Amesbury for The Daily News. He can be reached at 978-462-6666, ext. 3238 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Mac on Twitter at @MacCerullo.