Get spooky with CCYP's Virtual After Hours: Halloween Trivia 10/29 | Learn More and Sign Up!

Blog

September 25, 2020 in Local Government and Civic Engagement

CCYP 2020 VOTER GUIDE: ASSEMBLY OF DELEGATES

Know Your Candidates!

As a service to our members and the Cape Cod community at large, CCYP has compiled a series of non-partisan VOTER GUIDES for select local races in the 2020 General Election.

With this guide, we invited candidates running for the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates to answer a short questionnaire. The candidates' unedited responses are presented below, along with their campaign website and social media handles. All candidates are listed in the guide, even if they are running unopposed.

Some candidates did not respond to our questionnaire; their names, information, and campaign websites are provided for reference.

Note: as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, CCYP is nonpartisan and does not endorse any candidate or political party. We are providing this information solely for the purposes of voter engagement and education.

Need information on where to vote or other election details? Not sure what the Assembly of Delegates even does? See our Voter Resources section below for more.

Ready to dive in? Scroll down for candidate responses.

Voter Resources

MA Voter Information Search. What's my district? Where do I go to vote? What will my ballot look like? Use this easy search engine and arrive at the polls prepared.

Find Your Early Voting Location! In-person early Voting is available Oct. 17 to 30.

Early Voting by Mail. Oct. 28 is the last day to apply to vote by mail in the General Election. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this option is available for ALL voters and you do not need an excuse to vote by mail this year! Visit the State Secretary's website to learn more or contact your Town Clerk to apply.

State Ballot Questions. A series of Ballot Questions will appear on all ballots statewide. Read a summary on the State's website.

League of Women Voters Personalized Voter Guide. Enter your address into the Vote411 search to see candidates and preview your ballot.

Learn More about Policy and Civic Engagement Opportunities with CCYP. Join the CCYP Public Policy Committee, learn about Town Board/Committee/Commission vacancies, and more.

Who are the Assembly of Delegates?

The Assembly of Delegates is the Barnstable County government's legislative branch and consists of 15 elected delegates, one for each town on Cape Cod. The weight of each delegate's votes is proportionate to the population of the town he or she represents. Members of the Assembly of Delegates are paid an annual salary of $1,000 and have the option of receiving health and dental insurance coverage, 75% of which is paid by the county.

QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE ASSEMBLY:

  • 12 of 15 candidates are running unopposed in this election
  • 1 Town drew no candidates (Truro)
  • The Assembly is responsible for adopting new legislation (ordinances) and maintaining checks and balances over the executive branch (i.e., the Barnstable County Commissioners)
  • The Assembly takes nearly all action via ordinances, with the exception of occasional resolutions they may adopt on issues of importance to Cape Cod
  • From the Barnstable County website: "In 1989, by an Act of the Massachusetts General Court and confirmed by a majority of Barnstable County voters, the Barnstable County Home Rule Charter went into effect and the first session of the Assembly of Delegates convened. All legislative powers of the County are vested in the Assembly of Delegates and, except as provided in the Barnstable County Home Rule Charter, the acts of the Assembly of Delegates are required to be by Ordinance. Periodically the Assembly of Delegates adopts Resolutions regarding issues of regional importance to Barnstable County."

Learn more on the Barnstable County website at: https://www.barnstablecounty.o...

BARNSTABLE
Patrick Princi

Website: http://www.electprinci.com/
Email: p.princi@comcast.net

This candidate did not respond to the CCYP Candidate Questionnaire.

BOURNE
George Slade

Email: geoslade@msn.com

This candidate did not respond to the CCYP Candidate Questionnaire.

BREWSTER
Mary Chaffee

Website: https://www.facebook.com/Mary-...

Email: mary.chaffee@barnstablecounty.org

This candidate did not respond to the CCYP Candidate Questionnaire.

CHATHAM
Randi Potash

Email: randi.potash@barnstablecounty.org

This candidate did not respond to the CCYP Candidate Questionnaire.

DENNIS
John Ohman

Email: johman@barnstablecounty.org

This candidate did not respond to the CCYP Candidate Questionnaire.

EASTHAM
John 'Terry' Gallagher

Email: terence.gallagher@barnstablecounty.org

This candidate did not respond to the CCYP Candidate Questionnaire.

FALMOUTH
Douglas Brown Assembly Of Delegates
Douglas Brown

Email: douglas.brown@barnstablecounty.org

1. CAPE COD’S FUTURE. What are the three (3) most pressing issues facing Cape Cod today, and how would you address them if elected?

The number one problem on Cape Cod is the lack of affordable housing. I suggest the Cape Cod Commission lead the way by helping communities identify potential areas to be re zoned for multi family housing. Building large apartment buildings is an economical way to create affordable rentals. I suggest the county fund an incentive program to work with developers through the Local Initiative Program. This LIP Program allows greater density as a reward for tailoring their project to address the specific needs of the local community. This could be funded by increased real estate transaction fees at the Registry of Deeds. That’s what funds your county government. The short term rental tax is a source of revenue that should also be target for affordable housing development. Now that we have a new revenue stream, everyone wants to share in it. I don’t agree with using this money for other than affordable housing. The second part of the affordable housing problem is lack of good paying jobs such as skilled manufacturing jobs. This one is difficult because of the overall cost of manufacturing here on Cape Cod. It’s a challenge to compete with manufacturers who are set up in metropolitan areas with infrastructure such as railways and major highways. We need to expand our Blue Economy Brand to maximize our potential in this area. Whether it’s in underwater robotics or renewable energy development. Perhaps there should be someone working to convert the Sandwich electric power plant to produce electricity from harnessing the hydro electric energy of the tidal current in the canal. Another possibility would be to organize a central recycling plant then to manufacture a product using the recycling materials. We need to target previously cleared land such as old gravel pits and abandoned industrial sites for targeted redevelopment for manufacturing. Offering tax incentives for development in these locations can help. We have a serious shortage of young people who are interested in skilled trades. Our trade schools are producing a large percentage of college students rather than trades people. This draws people away as most graduates who don’t study biology end up having to find work elsewhere. Our trade schools need to refocus on their original core mission.

The 2nd most pressing issue is Coastal Resiliency and associated planning initiatives. We need to adapt to projected sea level rise. We need to engage coastal geologists and perform in depth Vulnerability Assessments for all areas of Cape Cod prioritizing our built infrastructure and commercial ports. Currently each town is on their own to conduct these assessments and as a result some towns will be more prepared than others. The Cape Cod Commission has a great website for educational purposes, that is a good start, but we need to be conducting the in depth Vulnerability Assessments to be informed fully. With a possible 3’ change in Sea Level in our lifetime facing our younger residents, planning now is essential.

The 3rd biggest problem is water quality We need a comprehensive wastewater plan for Cape Cod. Currently each town must come up with their own plan. This leads to a wide range of results. Some towns are more able to develop these plans. Some come up with plans their voters reject at the ballot as too expensive. As we continue the ineffective planning initiatives our embayments continue to suffer. The Cape Cod Commission should declare all new construction and major renovation above 50% value of structure should be required to install denitrifying septic systems within 200 ft of an embayment. With regard to fresh water ponds and lakes. We are seeing a proliferation of super vegetated water bodies here on Cape Cod. As Nitrogen overloading is the big problem in our estuaries, Phosphorus is the big problem for fresh water ponds. We need county government to seek out all environmental activists and organizations that are working independently to address water quality issues. There needs to be a coordinated effort to monitor our ponds and target remedial action in the most affected water bodies. We need to incorporate Cyanobacteria testing for public safety. Cyanobacteria is a neurotoxin and can be deadly to pets and extremely harmful to humans. It is becoming ever more common with rising average water and air temperatures.

2. ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. What is the single biggest opportunity for economic and workforce development on Cape Cod, and how would you leverage it if elected?

The single biggest opportunity for workforce development is the Blue Economy. Development of ocean related technology and redevelopment of waterfront industry. We need to reinvigorate our dredging initiative to enhance our local fishermen’s ability to be able to work. We should continue to expand oyster farming and consider offshore fisheries for Cod and other fish that demand outweighs supply.
As mentioned before, we need to redevelop previously cleared land for manufacturing with incentives for business who locate to these previously cleared lands.

3. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT. If elected, what specific actions would you take to bring our community’s youth, working age young adults, and young families to the table in regional decision- and policy-making processes? How would you encourage and engage the young people of our community to take on leadership roles with local issues, like economic and workforce development?

I suggest we encourage schools to offer credits for watching local Select Board Meetings, County Commissioner Meetings and Assembly of Delegates Meetings. Students should write an overview of the meeting and report on their observations. These should be general credits to be applied to improve grades in areas of challenge for the student. Local and County government needs to return to meetings in person or modify the zoom platform by adding a phone in option for the general public to accommodate people with limited internet capacity. Anyone still using dial up or basic cable internet is often unable to participate in the meeting.

4. CHALLENGES FOR YOUNG RESIDENTS. CCYP has consistently found through our independent research that young workers on Cape Cod face a number of significant barriers to successfully live and work in the region. The top three challenges that have been identified are: unaffordable and insufficient housing options;a lack of jobs that pay a living wage for our region (i.e., median income for Cape Cod is lower than the state overall, while cost of living is higher);and a lack of investment in infrastructure and services that support year-round quality of life for young people and families (i.e., child care, reliable internet as a public utility, investment in schools/public spaces). What resources or solutions would you propose and/or advocate for to help support young working age adults in these key areas of need?

Affordable housing addressed in section 1.
Job opportunities also addressed above. I agree that the higher priced housing combined with lower average wage compounds the challenge. Strategic planning initiatives creating walkable downtown areas with mixed use designs will provide opportunity for employment without the need for transportation. Increased investment In Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority is essential for our youngest workers as they begin to make their way around the Cape. The RTA is always expanding their routes and we need to continue to build on that.

Affordable child care has never been more of a challenge. With Covid 19 mandated reductions in capacity many parents are left without options. Those without family to help with child care are at risk of losing employment. We should partner with YMCA and church groups to facilitate more opportunities for affordable child care.

Expanding the Open Cape fiber optic network is key to keeping internet access affordable and functional. Without competition options are limited and prices will continue to increase as service deteriorates as system overload causes network instability. This is a problem that will only get worse without leadership to expand the Open Cape network to residents as well as municipalities and large businesses. As the work from home movement has arrived we now have a spotlight on the need for this new infrastructure.

5. AGE-DIVERSE COMMUNITIES. Massachusetts has one of the highest median ages in the country, with Cape Cod/Barnstable County one of the fastest aging regions in the State. The media narrative both locally and nationally is that “young people are fleeing Cape Cod.” However, the demographic changes we are seeing regionally - and their root causes - are much more complex than this. Describe your role as a potential elected official in helping to reshape the Cape’s narrative and cast a vision for our region that attracts and keeps young people on the Cape? If elected, would you advocate for a comprehensive, regional marketing strategy to attract and keep young people on the Cape as other New England states (VT, NH, Maine) have done? What else would you do to ensure that our region prioritizes age-diverse communities?

I am not opposed to a regional marketing strategy to attract young people to come to Cape Cod. The problem with this approach is the long list of facts we addressed during the entire questionnaire. We may entice some to come, but can we make it practical to stay? We need to fix the structural problem of unaffordable cost of living on Cape Cod. It is becoming a place where only successful retirees can afford to live. These people who can afford to purchase their retirement homes here are going to need to be asked to pay a little more at the Registry when they purchase their homes. Those who come to the Cape to buy a small cottage on the bay and tear it down to build their dream home will need to plan to pay a bit more for their septic system and I propose an additional 1% - 2% fee on their building permit fee to be allocated to the affordable housing development fund. If we create enough housing and continue to tax the short term rentals we may be able to effectively change the market rate for housing. We need to ask those who contribute to the problem to share the cost of creating solutions for the problem of affordable housing. That’s the key to attracting and retaining young people in our communities here on Cape Cod. It’s not affordable to live here.

Dan Assembly
Daniel Gessen

Website: http://dangessen.com/

Facebook: @VoteDanGessen

Email: daniel.gessen@gmail.com

1. CAPE COD’S FUTURE. What are the three (3) most pressing issues facing Cape Cod today, and how would you address them if elected?

There are many pressing regional issues that affect Cape Cod, to which one of the most effective solutions would be regional cooperation provided by our Barnstable County Government. It is also important, when breaking any such discussion into individual “issues”, to not forget the extent to which they interact and share common roots with each other, in order to approach solving them at their core causes instead of only at the most visible surface level.

Climate change is the issue of our generation. Our region is uniquely susceptible to rising ocean levels, increased intensity of storms, amongst other repercussions. Because of this, we must invest added resources and plan for the inevitable change of our region. Many areas may become uninhabitable or too dangerous to live in in just over a decade at the most. It is crucial that current regional zoning takes this into consideration. Additionally, we must create a comprehensive plan, in coordination with state and federal resources, as to where our region and residents will be able to turn for support when faced with the impacts of climate change.

Secondly, if we don’t do our part to combat it, then how can we expect others to? Plastic bottle bans, climate resolutions, and other actions taken on the local level are inspiring, and Barnstable County Government should take action to regionalize such programs. Additionally, Barnstable County must take the initiative to apply for and foster green energy projects, such as off-shore wind, hydropower, and solar power, for which the federal government is more than excited to provide resources.

These projects will be able to employ hundreds of young professionals and STEM workers on a non-seasonal basis. This speaks to another vital issue on the Cape, employing our youth. Cape Cod is on a trajectory that will soon turn it away from being a functioning community, to solely a retirement destination within the next decade. We cannot succeed as solely a seasonal economy. Instead, our region has to work to build our year-round economy, through budding industries such as green energy. One successful green energy project can create hundreds of well-paying jobs, which with them create an added need for additional teachers, first-responders, nurses, and retail workers, all of which will be filled by young people earning a legitimate wage on which they can start a family. Fighting to invite industries and projects to our shores is very much in the purview of the Barnstable Assembly of Delegates.

Lastly is an issue that no one can avoid, this is the Opioid Epidemic. Our region has undoubtedly faced the brunt of this national problem. Surface solutions, such as needle exchanges and rehabilitation centers are, of course, vital, but also bring with them their share of prejudices and conflict. Instead, we must take a comprehensive look and understand why it is that our region is so hard-hit. That way we can invest our resources in solution which mitigate the core roots of addiction before it needs to be treated. This means having difficult conversations about our region’s lack of care for its young adults, the lack of employment opportunities, and the stagnation of social mobility that the Cape creates, which many studies have attributed to being the mixture of factors that lead to substance abuse. Confronting these core issue wouldn’t be a silver bullet, but would reap benefits exponential to that of late-stage solutions.

2. ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. What is the single biggest opportunity for economic and workforce development on Cape Cod, and how would you leverage it if elected?

I grew up just a couple of minutes away from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. WHOI is a gem of our region, not only because of the world-renowned research it creates, but because it demonstrates how a single industry can change the playing field of our local economy. WHOI is the single largest employer in the town of Falmouth. Most importantly, it provides many well-paying year-round jobs, which can not only provide for a full household income, but can sustain economic growth for the entire town. This one independent institution creates the need for many teachers, Falmouth hospital employees, amongst many others that can then in turn also raise their families in Falmouth.

Taking after this example, we must, as a region, make it our first and foremost priority to attract other self-sufficient industries to our shores. Our federal and state governments are currently seeking to prop up the growing green-energy industry in our region. The Cape provides unique opportunities for these industries, and there is absolutely no reason why we should not be on their shortest of short-lists for prospective locations. The Barnstable Assembly of Delegates must coordinate efforts across our region to attract these industries, because even one or two such successful projects can shift the tide of our economic slide.

Secondly, if there is one thing the current pandemic has shown, is that many many jobs can be done remotely. This means that many established young professionals could live on Cape Cod while progressing their careers from the comfort of their homes. The fact that Cape Cod does not have high-speed internet capabilities to make this a legitimate possibility is a regional tragedy.

3. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT. If elected, what specific actions would you take to bring our community’s youth, working age young adults, and young families to the table in regional decision- and policy-making processes? How would you encourage and engage the young people of our community to take on leadership roles with local issues, like economic and workforce development?

Being twenty-years-old and running for a seat on the Barnstable Assembly of Delegates, I know how important it is for young people to get involved in government. I myself first started working in Cape Politics when I was 14-years old, and can attest to the fact that when it comes to local government active participation has astounding effects. Additionally, having more young people engaged would shift the discourse our region has on many issues. Our region often fails to provide for our youth, not because of malicious intentions, but because those making decisions cannot see things from our perspective.

Town and regional have an outstanding influence on local policy decisions, however, they usually filled by default, if not left empty. It is incumbent upon our local leaders to make these boards accessible to working people, and to advertise and educate the public on their roles and availability. I believe there are few things that would benefit our local community more than launching a campaign to get young people involved and appointed to our local planning, energy, health, and other regulatory boards. Youth would bring a renewed energy and perspective to our town governments, as well as foster and hone the civic engagement of these young people to possibly have even more vocal and influential positions going forward in our towns.

4. CHALLENGES FOR YOUNG RESIDENTS. CCYP has consistently found through our independent research that young workers on Cape Cod face a number of significant barriers to successfully live and work in the region. The top three challenges that have been identified are: unaffordable and insufficient housing options;a lack of jobs that pay a living wage for our region (i.e., median income for Cape Cod is lower than the state overall, while cost of living is higher);and a lack of investment in infrastructure and services that support year-round quality of life for young people and families (i.e., child care, reliable internet as a public utility, investment in schools/public spaces). What resources or solutions would you propose and/or advocate for to help support young working age adults in these key areas of need?

Unaffordable and insufficient housing options-

When it comes to affordable housing, the conversation is often centered in an extremely prejudicial way and conveys an idea of these programs being a charity. We must shift this discourse towards the reality that we must create housing opportunities for our young adults and rising professionals in order for them to stay in our region. We must see providing affordable housing as an investment in our future, which will bring with it returns many times outweighing any cost. Other regions have had significant success with creative options for affordable housing, such as split zoning commercial and residential space and taking advantage of unused resources, especially in the off-season. Regardless of the solution, however, we must first approach the issue from the perspective of paying it forward for our future generation.

Lack of jobs that pay a living wage-

As I mentioned before, the best thing our regional government can do for the economic well-being of Cape Cod is to become the primary advocate for welcoming non-seasonal industries to our area. These industries are looking for prospective locations, and if we win them over we can provide hundreds of well-paying jobs and hundreds and hundreds more jobs in supporting industries.

Lack of functioning infrastructure-

Our infrastructure, in many facets, is targeted towards a seasonal and tourist economy. Not only do we need to push for high-speed internet, which can bring with it many jobs that are newly available as fully or partially remote, but we must also look at our physical infrastructure as well. It is crazy that our roads and lack of public transportation make it impossible to not only live and work on the Cape, but to commute to Cape Cod when living in more affordable areas. Having a reliable transportation system would allow for an increase in workers in many supporting and vital fields, such as child-care. With each investment we make it our regional infrastructure, we not only improve the prospects of those working here, but we also create and bring additional jobs to our communities.

5. AGE-DIVERSE COMMUNITIES. Massachusetts has one of the highest median ages in the country, with Cape Cod/Barnstable County one of the fastest aging regions in the State. The media narrative both locally and nationally is that “young people are fleeing Cape Cod.” However, the demographic changes we are seeing regionally - and their root causes - are much more complex than this. Describe your role as a potential elected official in helping to reshape the Cape’s narrative and cast a vision for our region that attracts and keeps young people on the Cape? If elected, would you advocate for a comprehensive, regional marketing strategy to attract and keep young people on the Cape as other New England states (VT, NH, Maine) have done? What else would you do to ensure that our region prioritizes age-diverse communities?

Over the last two decades, the proportion of individuals over-55 as a part of our Barnstable County population has risen by 42%. No matter how much everyone accepts that our region is aging, this statistic is shocking. The only way to remedy this problem is to combine many of the above-mentioned solutions into a comprehensive campaign. This is not something that happens on its own, instead, it must be actively pushed for and championed by those in our government. I firmly believe that I can be that champion for the revitalization of our region.

This will take us working on expanding our job market, through additional and new industries. Creating a level economic playing field by investing in our youth, and seeing their plight as that of our region. We must see us making progress on the issue of affordable housing and public transportation as vital to the sustainment of the Cape Cod we know and love.

And lastly, is a topic that is often overlooked. Young people need to be around other people their age, when it comes to high-school and college we accept this as a guarantee. However, when it comes to our workforce, this is too often forgotten, and it may be the silent killer when it comes to our economy. Acting as a feedback loop, the more and more younger people that leave our region, the less hospitable the area becomes to those that stay behind. This is an issue that is probably the most difficult to solve directly, and instead must be resolved organically once other solutions are put in place to revitalize our young population. However, we can definitely make a strong effort to not exacerbate the issue. This can be seen in a variety of social norms that are placed upon the community by force, such as earlier closing times for restaurants and other social gatherings (when it comes to non-COVID times), zoning biases, and misguided financial priorities.

A community that values its youth in more than just words, is a community that will have a thriving young population. A community with a thriving young population is a community with a future.

Heylinheadshot
Michael Heylin

Website: www.michaelheylin.com

Email: michaelheylin@yahoo.com

1. CAPE COD’S FUTURE. What are the three (3) most pressing issues facing Cape Cod today, and how would you address them if elected?

Affordable Housing, year round good paying jobs, high speed internet and getting young working families more involved. The Cape needs to bring more good paying year round jobs so our bright young professionals can have work here and stay here. By bringing professional industries here, it will allow workers to earn a good year round salary which will help with housing costs, as they will be able to afford a mortgage and not simply renting. High speed internet across the Cape is very important, especially now that more people are working and learning remotely. There is a large digital divide, and we need to close that gap. Everyone on Cape Cod needs to have access to affordable high speed internet and I would make that a priority. Also, I have noticed younger working people and families are not as involved in local and regional politics as other demographics. The last few months we have seen government meetings being done remotely, and over this time there has been more inclusion and conversations, and I would like to expand that so everyone, regardless of working situation and availability to attend meetings in person, will be able to get involved and have their voice heard.

2. ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. What is the single biggest opportunity for economic and workforce development on Cape Cod, and how would you leverage it if elected?

Bringing business to the Cape is the biggest opportunity to provide year round good paying jobs. The Cape already has some of the best Scientific Entities in the World, and I would like to work with the Assembly to try to expand that by bringing Financial and Tech industries here.

3. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT. If elected, what specific actions would you take to bring our community’s youth, working age young adults, and young families to the table in regional decision- and policy-making processes? How would you encourage and engage the young people of our community to take on leadership roles with local issues, like economic and workforce development?

For years I have been enlisting young families to be more involved, whether it be to run for Town Meeting or join an appointed committee. I think one main issue for young families is balancing all of our responsibilities, and this year with remote learning, it will be much more challenging. As the only candidate who is working full time and has school aged children, I understand the juggling act, and I would ask that we change how government is run to help accommodate these working families. Town Meetings and other government meetings need to address childcare, so young working families are able to have their voices heard and not suppressed.

4. CHALLENGES FOR YOUNG RESIDENTS. CCYP has consistently found through our independent research that young workers on Cape Cod face a number of significant barriers to successfully live and work in the region. The top three challenges that have been identified are: unaffordable and insufficient housing options;a lack of jobs that pay a living wage for our region (i.e., median income for Cape Cod is lower than the state overall, while cost of living is higher);and a lack of investment in infrastructure and services that support year-round quality of life for young people and families (i.e., child care, reliable internet as a public utility, investment in schools/public spaces). What resources or solutions would you propose and/or advocate for to help support young working age adults in these key areas of need?

By bringing in good paying year round jobs in Finance, Tech, and other industries it will solve many of these issues. The Cape has space which could be utilized for intellectual businesses to operate here. Intellectual businesses over the last few months have been working remotely in some fashion. In order to make this happen we would require high speed internet, so these businesses could operate remotely. The cost of commercial business in Boston is so high that large companies are moving out to the suburbs, and if elected, I would work to have those same companies look at the Cape for satellite offices, or flagship locations. The other challenges I see are childcare, especially when it comes to government meetings. Falmouth Town Meeting could go 4 hours a night, for 3 nights straight, or more. Young working professionals and families have a difficult time working this into their schedule considering childcare. I have friends who were both town meeting members. But because of lack of childcare, only one could attend town meeting at any time, and it is surprising the voice of us young working families. If elected I will work to ensure remote participation will extend, and hopefully expand.

5. AGE-DIVERSE COMMUNITIES. Massachusetts has one of the highest median ages in the country, with Cape Cod/Barnstable County one of the fastest aging regions in the State. The media narrative both locally and nationally is that “young people are fleeing Cape Cod.” However, the demographic changes we are seeing regionally - and their root causes - are much more complex than this. Describe your role as a potential elected official in helping to reshape the Cape’s narrative and cast a vision for our region that attracts and keeps young people on the Cape?If elected, would you advocate for a comprehensive, regional marketing strategy to attract and keep young people on the Cape as other New England states (VT, NH, Maine) have done?What else would you do to ensure that our region prioritizes age-diverse communities?

I would advocate for a comprehensive and regional marketing strategy for the Cape. As the only candidate who is working and has a family with school aged children, I understand the needs of our demographics. I believe that the Cape could thrive with Intellectual business here, with high speed internet, and we have seen the last few months business can be done remotely. The other focus would be to get more young working families involved with town/regional politics.

HARWICH
Elizabeth Harder

Email: elizabeth.harder@barnstablecounty.org

1. CAPE COD’S FUTURE. What are the three (3) most pressing issues facing Cape Cod today, and how would you address them if elected?

Climate Change, Affordable Housing, Rebounding from COVID. Planning on creating sub-committees to work with CC Commission and towns.

2. ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. What is the single biggest opportunity for economic and workforce development on Cape Cod, and how would you leverage it if elected?

We need to save the Cape’s water and land, so “Green Jobs” and tech jobs will be crucial.

3. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT. If elected, what specific actions would you take to bring our community’s youth, working age young adults, and young families to the table in regional decision- and policy-making processes? How would you encourage and engage the young people of our community to take on leadership roles with local issues, like economic and workforce development?

I’ll use social media and attend events where young people can be educated about and enticed to join in civic engagement. I’m also on the Board of the Cape Woman’s Coalition.

4. CHALLENGES FOR YOUNG RESIDENTS. CCYP has consistently found through our independent research that young workers on Cape Cod face a number of significant barriers to successfully live and work in the region. The top three challenges that have been identified are:unaffordable and insufficient housing options;a lack of jobs that pay a living wage for our region (i.e., median income for Cape Cod is lower than the state overall, while cost of living is higher);anda lack of investment in infrastructure and services that support year-round quality of life for young people and families (i.e., child care, reliable internet as a public utility, investment in schools/public spaces).What resources or solutions would you propose and/or advocate for to help support young working age adults in these key areas of need?

Affordable housing and rent support are key. I’m also on the Harwich Housing Authority.

5. AGE-DIVERSE COMMUNITIES. Massachusetts has one of the highest median ages in the country, with Cape Cod/Barnstable County one of the fastest aging regions in the State. The media narrative both locally and nationally is that “young people are fleeing Cape Cod.” However, the demographic changes we are seeing regionally - and their root causes - are much more complex than this. Describe your role as a potential elected official in helping to reshape the Cape’s narrative and cast a vision for our region that attracts and keeps young people on the Cape? If elected, would you advocate for a comprehensive, regional marketing strategy to attract and keep young people on the Cape as other New England states (VT, NH, Maine) have done? What else would you do to ensure that our region prioritizes age-diverse communities?

By creating affordable housing and green/tech jobs, we will be able to entice young people to stay. We also need to make local government more accessible, so that it will no longer be only retired/self-employed people who are able to serve.

MASHPEE
Thomas O'Hara

Email: thomas.ohara@barnstablecounty.org

This candidate did not respond to the CCYP Candidate Questionnaire.

ORLEANS
David Dunford
David Dunford

Email: d.dunford@att.net

1. CAPE COD’S FUTURE. What are the three (3) most pressing issues facing Cape Cod today, and how would you address them if elected?

  • Housing affordability/availability

I support the development of affordable housing by working with individual Cape towns and the County to encourage the establishment of Affordable Housing Trusts (as already done in Orleans) and to rethink zoning regulations.

  • Wastewater management

Proper treatment of wastewater is important for maintaining the beauty of Cape Cod and making possible a fresh review of Cape towns’ zoning regulations. Wastewater management is very costly. The County needs to explore ways to assist the towns in funding key projects.

  • Small business assistance and development

The actions around the Covid-19 pandemic have devastated small businesses and contributed to a sharp increase in unemployment. The County needs to work with the State to develop programs to offset the financial burden faced by small businesses.

2. ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. What is the single biggest opportunity for economic and workforce development on Cape Cod, and how would you leverage it if elected?

The biggest opportunity for economic and workforce development arises from our young people here on Cape Cod. The strengths of our young people can be leveraged by structuring more options for job training and educational achievement. These programs, which I strongly support, are critical for the county.

3. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT. If elected, what specific actions would you take to bring our community’s youth, working age young adults, and young families to the table in regional decision- and policy-making processes? How would you encourage and engage the young people of our community to take on leadership roles with local issues, like economic and workforce development?

The Cape’s youth can offer significant meaningful dialogue concerning the key Cape issues. The youth can best be brought into the active civic discussions by proactively identifying and seeking out those young individuals with the energy and desire to positively contribute to the discussions. This outreach should occur on a town-by-town basis.

4. CHALLENGES FOR YOUNG RESIDENTS. CCYP has consistently found through our independent research that young workers on Cape Cod face a number of significant barriers to successfully live and work in the region. The top three challenges that have been identified are: unaffordable and insufficient housing options;a lack of jobs that pay a living wage for our region (i.e., median income for Cape Cod is lower than the state overall, while cost of living is higher);and a lack of investment in infrastructure and services that support year-round quality of life for young people and families (i.e., child care, reliable internet as a public utility, investment in schools/public spaces). What resources or solutions would you propose and/or advocate for to help support young working age adults in these key areas of need?

In addition to efforts stated in Question 1 above, I would support County efforts to work with the State through the Cape’s legislators to prioritize state (and perhaps Federal) funding to supplement key Cape programs. These programs include increasing the stock of affordable housing, subsidizing small businesses in this destructive pandemic environment, and assuring internet is available to as many as possible.

5. AGE-DIVERSE COMMUNITIES. Massachusetts has one of the highest median ages in the country, with Cape Cod/Barnstable County one of the fastest aging regions in the State. The media narrative both locally and nationally is that “young people are fleeing Cape Cod.” However, the demographic changes we are seeing regionally - and their root causes - are much more complex than this. Describe your role as a potential elected official in helping to reshape the Cape’s narrative and cast a vision for our region that attracts and keeps young people on the Cape? If elected, would you advocate for a comprehensive, regional marketing strategy to attract and keep young people on the Cape as other New England states (VT, NH, Maine) have done? What else would you do to ensure that our region prioritizes age-diverse communities?

I would strongly support a comprehensive, regional marketing strategy to keep young people on the Cape. An important feature of such a program should be efforts to attract businesses that offer quality jobs while minimizing any negative environmental effects. Maintaining the beauty and character of Cape Cod is a top priority

PROVINCETOWN
Brian O'Malley

Email: brian.omalley@barnstablecounty.org

1. CAPE COD’S FUTURE. What are the three (3) most pressing issues facing Cape Cod today, and how would you address them if elected?

1-Water quality and supply. Must limit development in sensitive areas, improve septic treatment systems 2- Housing affordability. Living wages must be indexed to cost of living on the Cape 3- Climate change. Support Cape Cod Commission work to prepare and mitigate

2. ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. What is the single biggest opportunity for economic and workforce development on Cape Cod, and how would you leverage it if elected?

We live in a spectacularly beautiful place. Working remotely has become normal for many people. Improving the IT infrastructure of the Cape would bring work without added transportation demand.

3. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT. If elected, what specific actions would you take to bring our community’s youth, working age young adults, and young families to the table in regional decision- and policy-making processes? How would you encourage and engage the young people of our community to take on leadership roles with local issues, like economic and workforce development?

It has been my record as a Delegate to encourage discussion of a wide range of issues at the Assembly, which often bring community members to engage. It is my goal to encourage this involvement in the decisions that affect our greater community. And with that engagement, I urge young people to run for office, to bring a much needed, future-oriented perspective.

4. CHALLENGES FOR YOUNG RESIDENTS. CCYP has consistently found through our independent research that young workers on Cape Cod face a number of significant barriers to successfully live and work in the region. The top three challenges that have been identified are: unaffordable and insufficient housing options;a lack of jobs that pay a living wage for our region (i.e., median income for Cape Cod is lower than the state overall, while cost of living is higher);and a lack of investment in infrastructure and services that support year-round quality of life for young people and families (i.e., child care, reliable internet as a public utility, investment in schools/public spaces). What resources or solutions would you propose and/or advocate for to help support young working age adults in these key areas of need?

I have supported efforts to improve IT infrastructure, in particular, the Open Cape network. The Blue Economy can be a significant source of well-paid work. This addresses not only work, but wages. Housing affordability is not just about cost- which we have no control over- but also about adequate income for the costs here.

5. AGE-DIVERSE COMMUNITIES. Massachusetts has one of the highest median ages in the country, with Cape Cod/Barnstable County one of the fastest aging regions in the State. The media narrative both locally and nationally is that “young people are fleeing Cape Cod.” However, the demographic changes we are seeing regionally - and their root causes - are much more complex than this. Describe your role as a potential elected official in helping to reshape the Cape’s narrative and cast a vision for our region that attracts and keeps young people on the Cape?If elected, would you advocate for a comprehensive, regional marketing strategy to attract and keep young people on the Cape as other New England states (VT, NH, Maine) have done? What else would you do to ensure that our region prioritizes age-diverse communities?

As noted, making the conditions where more than service work is available is key. Young people who could find stimulating and well-paying jobs, will be able to live here. I will support initiatives that bring skilled work to the Cape, especially in the Blue Economy which is so centered on our regional way of life. And younger people need to be encouraged to become involved politically, to see to it that the needs of their peers are being addressed. I am not a supporter of marketing as the tool. I prefer real solutions to "spin."

SANDWICH
James Killion

Email: jkillion@barnstablecounty.org

This candidate did not respond to the CCYP Candidate Questionnaire.

WELLFLEET
Lilli-Ann Green

Email: lilli-ann.green@barnstablecounty.org

This candidate did not respond to CCYP's Candidate Questionnaire.

YARMOUTH
Spyro Image
Spyro Mitrokostas

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/spyro-mitrokostas-07a18212

Email: spyro@meganet.net

1. CAPE COD’S FUTURE. What are the three (3) most pressing issues facing Cape Cod today, and how would you address them if elected?

The most important issues facing Cape Cod all emanate from the same challenge, balancing the needs of the economy and the environment. Creating the right balance allows both to thrive. Allowing the pendulum to swing too far in either direction, threatens both. Every level of government should be focused on getting it right and adjusting course as things change. Today, local, county and state governments are all engaged in solving the challenge of the wastewater pollution of our natural resources. Together with our environmental and economic advocacy organizations, and the citizens of Cape Cod, we are trying to find the right balance between growing the economy and safeguarding the environment. The cost of fixing the problem may be expensive, but the cost of not fixing the problem will eventually be greater. Sitting on the Town of Yarmouth Water Resources Advisory Board, gives me ground level view of the challenges ahead.

2. ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. What is the single biggest opportunity for economic and workforce development on Cape Cod, and how would you leverage it if elected?

We already have a highly educated workforce on Cape Cod. The challenge is to put is to work on creating sustainable economic products and services for the greater regional economy of Massachusetts and New England. What will we make here, that we can sell to other regions that will create wealth for us? And do so in a way that does not harm the environment? Our hospitality industry not only creates the lowest paying jobs in the economy but also impacts the environment the greatest. Leveraging the highly educated workforce to create and transfer work product over high speed networks all over the world, generates greater income with less impact on the environment. That was always the mission of the Cape Cod Technology Council, when I was its Executive Director. That opportunity still exists today.

3. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT. If elected, what specific actions would you take to bring our community’s youth, working age young adults, and young families to the table in regional decision- and policy-making processes? How would you encourage and engage the young people of our community to take on leadership roles with local issues, like economic and workforce development?

Families are already a vital part of our community, educating our children makes up over half of all our municipal expenditures. Getting parents and young adults into decision and policy making roles is not that hard. Leadership opportunities abound. Rather than run for office, get appointed to a Board or Commission, the place where you can get experience, and learn about the issues, but also where the real work is often done. That will prepare you for opportunity to run for office. I have served on more than two dozen boards or commissions on Cape Cod over the years, and I can attest to fact that there is always room at the table. All you have to do is volunteer.

4. CHALLENGES FOR YOUNG RESIDENTS. CCYP has consistently found through our independent research that young workers on Cape Cod face a number of significant barriers to successfully live and work in the region. The top three challenges that have been identified are:unaffordable and insufficient housing options;a lack of jobs that pay a living wage for our region (i.e., median income for Cape Cod is lower than the state overall, while cost of living is higher);anda lack of investment in infrastructure and services that support year-round quality of life for young people and families (i.e., child care, reliable internet as a public utility, investment in schools/public spaces).What resources or solutions would you propose and/or advocate for to help support young working age adults in these key areas of need?

The cost of housing, whether renting or owning, is always a function of income. Anyone who has every tried to rent an apartment or buy a house will tell you that the landlord or bank looks at income first. Build an economy with higher wages and salaries, and we will be better able to compete for housing in Cape Cod. Half of all the housing on Cape Cod is not utilized by residents, owned by the second home buyer who can afford it with higher income and greater wealth. This contributes to the higher cost for those who live here year round. Residential Tax Exemptions help level the playing field.

5. AGE-DIVERSE COMMUNITIES. Massachusetts has one of the highest median ages in the country, with Cape Cod/Barnstable County one of the fastest aging regions in the State. The media narrative both locally and nationally is that “young people are fleeing Cape Cod.” However, the demographic changes we are seeing regionally - and their root causes - are much more complex than this. Describe your role as a potential elected official in helping to reshape the Cape’s narrative and cast a vision for our region that attracts and keeps young people on the Cape?If elected, would you advocate for a comprehensive, regional marketing strategy to attract and keep young people on the Cape as other New England states (VT, NH, Maine) have done? What else would you do to ensure that our region prioritizes age-diverse communities?

Taken together, Cape Cod offers a better K-12 public school education than most of the rest of the state and the country. We have been missing a huge opportunity to market the value of the education that our real estate taxes buy here. Our tax bills are lower, partly because of the aforementioned second homeowners, but our expenditure per students are comparable to the suburbs of Boston, as are the test scores. Getting families to move here to take advantage of a better education for their kids, warrants the financial sacrifice that the parents may make in lower incomes in the short term. This reverse migration will eventually allow us to grow and transform the economy in the longer run as well as diversify and re-balance demographically.

Susan Warner

Email: slw2cape@gmail.com

Phone: 508.367.8310

1. CAPE COD’S FUTURE. What are the three (3) most pressing issues facing Cape Cod today, and how would you address them if elected?

The pandemic has eclipsed the opioid crises as the most pressing health issue today but certainly not replaced it. Making sure that manpower, resources and other areas of support are funded during this time is critical to the region’s continued success in holding the numbers down. Leaders must be willing to review and make the hard choices that are needed now. This also applies to the ongoing opioid crises that has affected us all. Continued investment in prevention, intervention and treatment is tantamount. The waste water infastructure is critical and key to many of The Cape’s pressing issues including housing, economic development and the environment. For Yarmouth, Dennis and Harwich, the tri-town solution is promising, though not without some needed compromise and collaboration. Too often potential solutions can get caught up in minutia or elaborate rhetoric about what has been tried already and past initiatives that have proven unsuccessful. Today, we need leaders who will step beyond the fray and guide us to workable solutions that more than not will involve consensus. Economic development is a critical component to the continued growth and success of The Cape. To achieve this we must deal with some hard issues that continue to hold The Cape back including solutions to job creation and affordable housing.

2. ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. What is the single biggest opportunity for economic and workforce development on Cape Cod, and how would you leverage it if elected?

Investing more in a Blue Economy, which encompasses hard looks at climate change, and its impact to the region as well as preserving the natural beauty that is The Cape. Certainly much better internet is critical to this development. The growing needs created by the pandemic also are a factor as more people work remotely and more in-person meetings move online.

3. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT. If elected, what specific actions would you take to bring our community’s youth, working age young adults, and young families to the table in regional decision- and policy-making processes? How would you encourage and engage the young people of our community to take on leadership roles with local issues, like economic and workforce development?

The young people today are our future. All over the country in the past few years they have stepped up and put their ideas, beliefs, and humanity on the table for everyone to see. They are brave, courageous and smart. Today, we need better bridges to connect generations together, to engage in active dialogue about those issues which matter regionally and locally. These efforts need not be monumental, as we all have come to see many smaller efforts combine to make huge results. More interaction needs to take place between today’s and tomorrow’s leaders.There needs to be more time devoted to listening to the younger points of view. Internships, even at a local level, could be developed more. Classroom discussions could be done on topics that students wish to explore. The Dennis/Yarmouth Civic Scholarship of those towns’ respective Democratic Town Committees are good examples. There needs to be more engagement overall.

4. CHALLENGES FOR YOUNG RESIDENTS. CCYP has consistently found through our independent research that young workers on Cape Cod face a number of significant barriers to successfully live and work in the region. The top three challenges that have been identified are:unaffordable and insufficient housing options;a lack of jobs that pay a living wage for our region (i.e., median income for Cape Cod is lower than the state overall, while cost of living is higher);anda lack of investment in infrastructure and services that support year-round quality of life for young people and families (i.e., child care, reliable internet as a public utility, investment in schools/public spaces).What resources or solutions would you propose and/or advocate for to help support young working age adults in these key areas of need?

Housing is a critical need that requires local, regional and state solutions. Our current state leaders have done and/or proposed some interesting solutions, such as a proposal by Dylan Fernandez for a transfer fee of up to 2 percent on homes sold for over $1million. These fees would be used to create an affordable housing bank. State zoning reforms for housing are also necessary. My early background in investigative journalism has honed my research and analytic skills to serve me well to do the homework necessary to make the right decisions for the region and for Yarmouth. Besides the beauty of the landscape, and the magic that is The Cape, we need to identify and develop unique niches that set us apart from other areas and give us an edge for better jobs, better salaries, and attract young people here or engage those who already are here. A recent study showed Cape Cod as one of a handful of desirable national geographic locations that are enjoying a surge in remote home working concepts. We should be looking to immediately find solutions to develop a reliable internet parallel to none, keeping us in this unique, destination space. The Blue Economy also gives us unique privilege to expand jobs and economies that set us part from others. Lastly, there has been great movement in waste water initiatives, education such as the new Dennis Yarmouth school, and a push for Universal Pre-K that are moving forward. More solutions are required, and I will look to help find them, and to work with those who have already set the tone forward.

5. AGE-DIVERSE COMMUNITIES. Massachusetts has one of the highest median ages in the country, with Cape Cod/Barnstable County one of the fastest aging regions in the State. The media narrative both locally and nationally is that “young people are fleeing Cape Cod.” However, the demographic changes we are seeing regionally - and their root causes - are much more complex than this. Describe your role as a potential elected official in helping to reshape the Cape’s narrative and cast a vision for our region that attracts and keeps young people on the Cape?If elected, would you advocate for a comprehensive, regional marketing strategy to attract and keep young people on the Cape as other New England states (VT, NH, Maine) have done? What else would you do to ensure that our region prioritizes age-diverse communities?

Clearly, we need to address and offer solutions that will solve the issues that are driving young people away. We have a good start in some areas, which I have outlined above. Problem: There does not seem to be a consistent or clear way that concise information is provided to the constituents who would most benefit. A lot of great information is not distilled in a way that people can easily access, and so many forms of social media have cluttered what people really look at and/or believe. We need to find ways to condense regional and local data so that everyone understands what is being done for them on a regional and level. I would advocate for the areas that make us stand out and push to create jobs and infrastructure that support it, I would certainly consider a marketing plan, but before I committed to ones that other New England states have initiated, I would like to study their results. Such programs are expensive and require very targeted approaches to gain success in the short term, never mind over time. So I would be open to exploring it. I would serve to the best of my ability, using all my expertise, honesty and integrity to enhance Yarmouth and The Cape.