Mashpee residents will have three opportunities in the next three weeks to hear candidates in the town’s competitive board of selectmen and school committee races make their best pitch for votes.
Next Thursday, May 1, the Mashpee Chamber of Commerce and Mashpee Enterprise will sponsor the traditional candidates forum at Mashpee Town Hall from 7 to 8 PM. The event will feature candidates from both of the town’s contested races. For those who cannot make it to town hall in person, the forum will be broadcast live on Mashpee TV’s local access Channel 22.
In addition, Mashpee TV will host its first-ever election events, with separate forums—one for the selectmen candidates and one for the school committee candidates—being broadcast on local access Channel 99 several times between May 9 and May 17.
This election season marks the first time in recent memory that there has been more than one preelection candidates forum/debate event in Mashpee.
Incumbent selectman John J. Cahalane and challenger Andrew R. Gottlieb welcome the opportunity to participate in multiple events.
“I will attend both. I am very happy to see the traditional type of candidates night happening next week. That event has always been terrifying to me because you don’t know what is going to be asked. You really know what you are talking about to answer all the questions. The Mashpee TV format is new to me; in the past it was individual interviews, not debate-style. The more questions and more knowledge that people have about a candidate, the better off the town is,” Mr. Cahalane said.
Mr. Gottlieb, who had previously served as a Mashpee selectman in the 1980s, echoed Mr. Cahalane’s position.
“Any activity that can put us in front of voters is worthwhile. The campaign season has been very quiet so far and the forums are important for voters to hear us talk individually about the issues. It’s good for the process,” he said.
Another incumbent selectman, Thomas F. O’Hara, thinks otherwise.
“I think it’s unnecessary to have two events. When the Mashpee TV forum was presented, I thought it was just the traditional chamber event being televised, and that townspeople would be allowed in to ask questions. It’s a duplication of effort,” Mr. O’Hara said.
Candidates for the two open Mashpee School Committee seats include incumbents Scott P. McGee and David P. Bloomfield, and challengers Morgan J. Peters and Christopher C. Santos.
Mashpee town election will be held on Saturday, May 17, from 7 AM to 8 PM at the Quashnet School on Old Barnstable Road.