Second Barnstable State Rep. Democrats Debate Ahead of Primary

CCB MEDIA PHOTO: Democrats Aaron Kanzer (l) and Margeaux Weber (r) debate Monday night in Hyannis

CCB MEDIA PHOTO: Democrats Aaron Kanzer (l) and Margeaux Weber (r) debate Monday night in Hyannis

HYANNIS – The two Democrats running for the Second Barnstable State Representative seat debated issues ranging from the homeless in Hyannis to charter schools Monday night.

The forum was sponsored by the Barnstable Democratic Town Committee and featured Margeaux Weber of Centerville and Aaron Kanzer of Cotuit.

Weber, chairwoman of the Barnstable School Committee, said she has experience working collaboratively and as a consensus builder.

“In the last 9 years as a member and chair of the Barnstable School Committee. Before that, as a parent, as a community volunteer and as a school volunteer,” she said.

Kanzer, a graduate of Barnstable High School and member of the Barnstable Housing Committee, said it’s time for a solution-based agenda on Beacon Hill.

“We’re ripping the politics out and replacing it with public policy, economic efficiency, empirical data, change and innovate solutions,” said Kanzer.

On the issue of the Hyannis homeless crisis, both were cautious about a plan recently floated by Barnstable Town Councilor Will Crocker and retired Brigadier General Anthony Schiavi.

That proposal would investigate using former military personnel housing at Joint Base Cape Cod for homeless people.

Both Weber and Kanzer said there was not enough transparency and inclusion in the formulation of the plan.

Kanzer said those who would be impacted by the proposal should have been included, while Weber noted the media was not allowed at a meeting where Crocker and Schiavi discussed the plan with business and municipal leaders.

“The issue that we have at hand here, and I hope that this happens in the future, is that homeless individuals and households are in the conversation. I’m consistently worried that we only work with senior officials…I want to make sure they’re (the discussions) inclusive,” said Kanzer.

Weber agreed that more people need to be part of the conversation.

“We do need to include members of the homeless population. We need to include our county agencies, our local agencies, people who have been working on this process for years,” said Wber.

Crocker is running for the Second Barnstable seat as a Republican and will face either Kanzer or Weber in the November general election. Schiavi is running for Cape and Islands State Senate. Both are Republicans.

On a question about charter schools, both Weber and Kanzer were opposed to expanding their numbers at this time, with both saying charter schools were not accountable to the communities they serve.

Kazner and Weber were also both opposed to Ballot Question 4 in Massachusetts, which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

The two also fielded questions on wastewater, environmental regulations, gun control, job growth and the contamination impacting the Hyannis Water District.

The primary is September 8.

By MATT PITTA, News Director

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