NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

April 25, 2013

Bear faces challenge from Doyle for selectman's seat

BY JENNIFER SOLIS
CORRESPONDENT

---- — NEWBURY — Incumbent Chuck Bear is being challenged by former selectman Michael Doyle in his bid to retain a seat on the Board of Selectmen at Tuesday’s town election. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Precinct 1 votes at the Newbury Fire Station, 3 Morgan Ave; Precinct 2 at the Town Library, O Lunt St.

Other contested races on the ballot are between David Balkus and Charles Alan Colby Jr., constable, 1-year unexpired term; David A. Elwell, H. Russell Iwanowicz and Jeffrey “Clamma” Janvrin, fish commissioner, 1-year unexpired term; and David J. Powell and Mary E. Chick, Planning Board, 5-year term. There is no candidate on the ballot for a 2-year unexpired term for Trustee First Settlers Burial Ground.

Both selectmen’s candidates provided their answers to the following questions pertaining to recent issues in town:

Charles ‘Chuck’ Bear

Address: 95 Main St.

Age: 60

Occupation: self-employed welder

Education: Triton Regional High School

Residency: 58 years

Public service: Selectman, 2004-2006 and 2010-2013; Fire Department, 33 years; EMT, 20 years; constable, 14 years; chairman of the Land Use Committee; chair of the Triad Council on Aging, 7 years; Trustee of the South Byfield Cemetery Commission, 7 years; Recreation Committee

How would you address the tensions in town between the need for development and the desire for agricultural/historical preservation?

Paying for town services without changing the essence of the town is a delicate balancing act. Maintaining the special permitting process allows for public hearings to garner input from residents on proposed development projects. These opinions help selectmen shape projects to better reflect these views. Regarding a proposed solar panel farm on Scotland Road, “I have no choice but to vote yes, though I would like to vote no.”

What should the town’s role be in dealing with the beach erosion on Plum Island and other issues with the Great Marsh?

“I am 100 percent for helping the homeowners protect their properties and for protecting the ecosystem.” The Great Marsh is the largest marsh system on the eastern seaboard. Newbury’s portion is just 2.2 miles, but it is “light years ahead of other towns” on this issue. As selectman he supported the creation of the Storm Water Control Committee and the Boat Pump-Out Program and the efforts of private groups like the Mass Bay to address problem of invasive species.

What solutions can you offer for additional revenue streams or other ways to resolve budget problems without tax overrides?

“I’ve been working on this since 2004.” As chairman of the Land Sale Committee he worked to broaden the tax base through the sale of municipal properties, such as the Woodbridge and Yellow Schools and a 5.4-acre parcel on Plum Island, that will generate over $1 million targeted for capital improvements. He pushed for zoning changes for a section of Route 1 to create a Business Light Industry District and supports other proposed zoning adjustments to aid local businesses.

Michael Doyle

Address: 6 Morgan Ave.

Age: 60

Occupation: Retired pharmacist

Education: Bachelor’s degree

Residency: 60 years

Public service: Selectman, 2001-2004; Health Board, 2001-2002; Finance Committee, 1986-2000; Friends of Newbury; Media Committee, Friends of the Newbury Library, Democratic Town Committee, Council on Aging volunteer

How would you address the tensions in town between the need for development and the desire for agricultural/historical preservation?

With just 3 percent of revenue coming from commercial sources, selectmen must figure out ways for the town to expand development while still maintaining Newbury’s character. He favors a project to temporarily install solar panel on farmland on Scotland Road as one way to bring in new money without impacting the “hidden jewels” in town, noting that the proposed plan for the Pikul Farm “is not changing the Common Pasture forever.”

What should the town’s role be in dealing with the beach erosion on Plum Island and other issues with the Great Marsh?

Once the Department of Environmental Protection allowed water and sewer onto Plum Island, “all bets were off in how you maintain a barrier beach.” He favors tax abatements to help homeowners severely impacted by the beach erosion “get over the hump.” He believes the town must protect water and sewer infrastructure and that sand mining once every five years is a good idea. As a founding member of the Friends of Newbury, he has worked to educate the public on why what happens on Plum Island matters to people living in Olde Towne and Byfield. “Things are changing. There’s a whole new feeling of community and that’s a win/win for the town.”

What solutions can you offer for additional revenue streams or other ways to resolve budget problems without tax overrides.

He supported all the recently proposed tax hikes, but in the wake of their failure at the polls, the town needs to find more ways to become business-friendly. The creation of the new Business Light Industrial District along Route 1 was a good start and he called Planning Board Chairman Kathleen Pearson’s proposal to bring water to that area from the Byfield Water District and wells off Parker Street “a gold mine for Newbury.”