In forum, Manchester's welfare chief knows his election opponent
Commissioner Paul Martineau is being challenged by Diane Guimond in a rematch of a close race won by Martineau two years ago. Guimond is Martineau’s former deputy in the Welfare Department, appointed after he was first elected in 2001. It’s been nearly 10 years since they worked together, and it was clear Monday night in the chapel at Brookside Congregational Church that the two have decidedly different views on how the job of commissioner should be done.
“Needy people in Manchester are being assisted. They are getting help,” Martinaeu said.
Martineau was also asked about the welfare application process, which he acknowledged can be time consuming because it encompasses a long list of qualifications that must be met to receive assistance from the city. Each case is documented and the applicant has the option of challenging if the application is declined.
“We’re not making money,” he said.
Guimond, who was town administrator in Lee from 2008 through 2011, said she hopes to get back to helping people through the welfare department.
Guimond was second to speak in the forum, which gave each candidate 40 minutes for their own remarks and to take questions from the audience. There were about 75 people in attendance and many seemed already in favor of Guimond, who shook hands afterward as she made her way down the aisle.
Guimond said it was a good question and the concept sound, but the answer was complicated.