Candidate Q & A: Rossana Ferrante, Recreation and Parks Commission

The following represents the candidate’s responses to the Current’s Park and Rec-specific questions. Jump back to Election Guide

Years in Marblehead: 28 years in Massachusetts, 12 years in Marblehead

Education/occupation: Bachelor of arts from University of Nevada Las Vegas; juris doctor from Suffolk Law School. Also completed various Babson School of Business courses. New England representative and board member with National Women’s Wireless Leadership Forum.

Family: Daughter started in kindergarten at Bell School and currently attends Marblehead High School

Background: Licensed attorney; government relations experience (various Massachusetts cities/towns)
Currently lead and manage an engineering office focused on telecommunications, fiber and electric vehicle infrastructure development for the New England Market (regional engineering firm with market offices)

Appointed positions and/or elected offices: 

  • Planning Board (seventh year) 
  • Rec & Parks first year
  • Marblehead Softball Little League fifth year

What should be the Rec and Parks Commission’s top five goals in the years ahead?

Budget: Regularly review budget numbers and try to identify opportunities to decrease costs or increase revenue. For example, we may want to consider an increase in certain fees such as the Devereux Beach parking fee for non-residents. I also support finding alternative funding opportunities through grants or fundraising initiatives.  

Larz J. Anderson Trust: Propose the highest and best use of trust funds, consistent with the intent of the fund and available town property, for the maximum benefit to the overall community.

Reynolds Playground updates: Create and implement a three-to-five-year plan for improvements.

Passive Parks: Initiate and implement a fundraising partnership with the community to help maintain passive parks such as Castle Rock Park, Crocker Park, etc.

Reasonable dog park accessibility: Create and implement a plan that enables the community to access the dog park safely and easily throughout the year. 

The commission has been accused of not being responsive enough recently, particularly to the hundreds of pickle ballers in town. What’s your reaction to that? What would you do to increase the commission’s responsiveness? I empathize with both pickleball participants and residents who live next to the courts. The Commission is responsive. When seeking to understand all perspectives and finding the best solution, it takes time and a high level of collaboration. Due diligence is important — we are stewards of the entire community and must balance all interests, financial implications, and maximize overall community benefit and enjoyment. 

Now that Town Meeting passed an article urging town boards and commissions to be more accessible and transparent, do you support holding hybrid meetings?

Yes, I support hybrid meetings to increase accessibility — it reduces logistical challenges associated with participation. Whether in person or hybrid, transparency is important. 

Depending on the agenda topic, I have seen many people attend, reach out with emails, send letters, etc. to express concerns, ask for clarification or obtain more information. Also, I have seen people ask to be placed on agendas to discuss a specific matter. In my experience serving two governing bodies, board members listen and respond with transparency.

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