By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—Brockton residents have until 8 p.m. tonight to vote in this election season’s primary to pare candidates will be on the ballot for the general election Nov. 8 in the mayor and Ward 3 school committee race.
Mayor Linda Balzotti has competition from political newcomers Ron Matta and Gwendolyn Garvin and longtime school committee woman Janice Beyer faces challenges from lawyer Anthony Donegan and Dr. Joao Rosa.
The primary will cut the number of candidates in each contest to two.
The general election will take place Nov. 8.
Matta, 68, said he believes the city is broken and needs much more oversight from elected officials, most especially when it comes to the budget and its many nuances.
He said while he doesn’t have political experience he has been a small businessman for most of his life and feels confident he can cut through the city’s budget.
“We need to run the city like a business,” Matta said.
In 2009, Matta ran for school committee in Ward 3 against Janice Beyer. Matta lost the school committee primary to Beyer and Donegan.
Matta said if he is elected he would give back 20 percent of the mayor’s salary, or about $26,500, or Balzotti’s $137,000 yearly wage, and put it towards paying for a police officer.
Balzotti said hiring police officers is not as easy as it may seem. She said Matta’s gesture is noble, but wonders where the money will come from to pay for the new officer’s health insurance and other benefits.
Matta said it would be a step in the right direction, much like the city’s recent $63,000 move to put beat cops back on the streets of downtown.
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