Town Supervisor Reflects On First Seven Months
By Fred Mayo
From Issue 31: Summer 2016
Marybeth Majestic, who describes herself as “a common person with common goals,” has been the Town Supervisor for seven months, during which time she has learned a lot about the job. She is concerned with the repair and appearance of the Town Hall, the sidewalks in the Hamlet and the lighting. And there is an unfinished pole barn in Majestic Park. In addition, she intends to remedy the fact that “there is a lack of a long term maintenance plan.”
Marybeth wants to improve the way records are maintained with regard to boards and committees to insure that they reflect each member’s term of office. As part of her plans for the future, she will work with each committee or department, and the board, to develop specific goals so that people are clear about what they are supposed to do, and will also get more people involved. That challenge includes increasing attendance at town board meetings, inviting more people to communicate with her, and meeting more town residents.
Coming from a family that has been involved here for many generations, she admires the Town of Gardiner and its history: the railroad; the aqueduct; the local school houses; and the old hotel; not a surprising priority for a person who is a member of the Gardiner Historical Society. In fact, her dream is to “improve the Town of Gardiner and make it more affordable so that my boys can stay here as long as they want.”
Marybeth is surprised that more people are not calling, writing or emailing her; she welcomes more communication from Gardiner residents on any issue. She plans to visit and introduce herself to all the small business owners in Gardiner but has not had a chance to do so yet. She has not even visited all the town facilities yet, since she has been busy juggling daily activities, monthly priorities, and ensuring that the business of the town is being taken care of in a timely manner.
Her overall goal is to find out whom in the town needs her help and find out how she can help them. This fits well with her personal motto, which is “I know what I know, and if I keep my mouth closed and my ears open, I might learn what you know.”
As part of her strategy to make the Town Board more effective, Marybeth separates the two meetings a month into a workshop and a regular meeting so that ideas and new topics can come up at the workshop meeting for discussion but no vote. Then the regular meeting is for voting; it helps Town Board members have more time to consider issues and provides more time for public comment at workshop meetings. She has found that “most board members need to take some time to process; there’s a lot to comprehend in the issues that the board addresses.” In addition, she would like more Gardiner residents to attend Town Board meetings and get involved in local government.
Her goals include revising the entertainment law, which deals with large events being held in town; making the cell tower functional; assuring broad band/internet access for everyone; reconsidering the proposed field of solar panels; finding new leadership for the Parks and Recreation Commission now that Mike Gagliardi will be resigning this fall, after 13 years as the Chair of that group; and making Town Hall shine again. This will involve pressure washing the walls to remove mildew, fixing up areas that show a lot of wear and painting. Marybeth has personally already washed windows, planted flowers, and weeded, while also arranging for the repair of the rot in the front entry area. Some of her other challenges include developing a new lean budget when the current one is already “as lean as lean can be,” and the lack of maintenance on town property. Clearly, Marybeth is concerned about the limited tax base in Gardiner and the need to improve the infrastructure of bridges and roads.
Although she finds the work of government inherently slow, she proudly says, “I am figuring it out, cleaning out and fixing up.” Luckily her sons are mostly grown, which provides more free time, and she makes time since she is very proud of the town. She is also appreciative of the wonderful people who volunteer for the Fire department and the Rescue Squad, the dedicated people in the town office, the great individuals on various committees and the Gardiner Library staff for their programming. “I give them a lot of credit for what they do.”