Teel: Mutter necessary candidate for Cumberland’s next mayor

Teel: Mutter necessary candidate for Cumberland’s next mayor

While filled with revisionist history and an erroneous attack on Mr. (Jeff) Mutter’s temperament and decision-making abilities, the line in last week’s letter to the editor that was most insulting was the reference to an “unnecessary” candidate. As if the incumbent, Mr. Murray, has an indisputable claim on the mayor’s office.

This paternalistic statement implies that what exists is “good enough” for the citizens of Cumberland. That sense of entitlement and top-down approach provides all the justification needed as to why Cumberland needs another candidate for mayor. One who brings a more collaborate, sensible approach to problem-solving. One who believes that everyone’s voice matters. A candidate who believes in the future of Cumberland, not one longing for a bygone era.

Jeff Mutter is that necessary candidate. He brings a wealth of experience – from business owner to public servant. His leadership on the Town Council brought about the tax cap, preservation of the Monastery, and facility improvements to the high school. His tenure on the School Committee was recognized for his willingness to challenge the status quo. He believes Cumberland can provide better than a “good enough” education. As a result, the school district is once again heralded for the quality of education it offers the community.

Mr. Mutter has served unofficially on many boards and commissions and officially as president, chairperson and finance chairperson while serving on both the town and school councils. He understands that artificially keeping tax rates low by depleting the town’s surplus is unsustainable. He believes in thoughtful financial planning that will enable Cumberland to make changes to benefit the community in a collaborative manner; another reason that makes this candidate necessary. Changes to our senior center, recreation fields and parks, school improvements, and town infrastructure.

Having campaigned with Mr. Mutter, I’ve heard residents remark on his integrity, honesty, and willingness to listen and tackle tough issues. I’ve seen the desire by voters for more than simply “good enough.” There is a desire for a leader who will move beyond “my hands are tied” to one that is willing to find the solutions to long-standing issues faced by all of Cumberland’s residents, not just the well-connected few.

One of Mr. Mutter’s favorite statements is that it is more important to get it right than to be right. This would be a fresh approach to governing Cumberland. A mayor who will actively and respectfully engage with all stakeholders to develop the plans necessary to solve long-standing issues.

Given his accomplishments as a business owner and public servant combined with his belief that everyone matters, Jeff Mutter is not only a necessary candidate for mayor but the right choice for mayor on September 12th.

Linda Teel