For Marblehead resident Tom McMahon, honesty and transparency matter.
When it comes to the current state of the Transfer Station, McMahon understands that it is not what the town wanted.
“We need to revisit the board’s approved completion design to make sure we don’t lose any critical revenue generation we currently get to offset our trash pickup and disposal costs,” McMahon said in a statement. “The current design is not what the town was sold on and agreed to twice and there are likely financial consequences resulting in a potential general override because of this.”
For McMahon, the residents of Marblehead need full transparency on the state of the Transfer Station, in a way that makes the layout, cost, financial consequences, and benefits clear.
He believes it is crucial to have input from committee members who have worked at the Transfer Station, contractors, and any member that lives in the neighborhood.
“You are just missing these critical pieces to having a strong committee and ultimately you are going to have failure if you don’t get the right people on the committee,” McMahon said.
He also discussed the Marblehead Counseling Center being awarded $120,000 through the Cummings Foundation’s annual Grant Program to go towards hiring and training councilors.
“That’s tough because we don’t have any money, we are operating at a deficit,” McMahon said. “There is no substitute for the Counseling Center, you need to try to provide them with as much funding and especially with the effects that COVID had on mental health and then just their numbers exploding to the Counseling Center waitlist. Last time they mentioned they were 70 percent adolescents, which is terrifying.”
According to McMahon, being careful about how the money is spent in other areas is key in pushing more money toward the Counseling Center, as is providing proper advertisements for funding events for the center.
A significant challenge McMahon feels the town is facing today is substance abuse. He believes that the current approach to education on this subject is failing students.
“We had a very lazy approach of hiring traveling speakers and I grew up in Marblehead, I went through the public school system and I see where the problems are,” McMahon said.
McMahon aims to create a more local program where members of the community afflicted by tragedy can speak and share their experiences with students.
“Show it happens here and the youth will listen,” he said.