NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 16, 2013

Ward 4 candidates sound off on NRA, schools

(Continued)

Jones said that patience, despite the years of debate, could be useful. “This is not a good market in which to launch complicated construction projects,” he said. “Why would a developer want to take a risk of litigation delays and increased carrying (financial) cost if a city couldn’t agree on the direction.”

On schools, Jones said that he has been impressed with the new Bresnahan School and the renovations to the Nock/Molin complex. “But buildings don’t teach kids, a good education system does.” He said he is hopeful that the arrival of a new superintendent of schools can bring an end to the “revolving door” of education administrators here.

Jones said that he supports more teaching of languages here, including Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Special interest: Jones said that he finds satisfaction in working to enable all types of citizens to live here. “There are working-class people in this community and those who have retired. Many are trying to keep up with their tax bills and with their expenses. We’ve got to work to keep costs of fees and services down, so people who live here can afford to stay. My eight-year record shows that I am an advocate for the most vulnerable in the community.”

Charles F. Tontar

Age: 63

Address: 29 Jefferson St.

Family: wife, Candace, son, Darien, and dog, Obi

Occupation: Professor of economics, Merrimack College

Education: Georgetown University, MA, New School for Social Research

Reason for running: Tontar said his background as an economist and administrator will help him in his role as a councilor.

“As an urban and environmental economist,” Tontar said, “I have worked with cities under grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency to improve economic vitality and quality of life in cities.

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