Candidate profile: Jim Munise for Select Board

Apr 19, 2023

Former Select Board member Jim Munise thinks that the Board has “a responsibility to listen” to the public, and is disappointed with the Board’s current lack of opportunities for public comment. 

“Not everyone’s going to like what you’re doing,” Munise said, “so you need to listen and hear [the people].”

Munise is running to retake his Select Board seat in the Town Election on Tuesday, May 2, after losing to Ron Besse and Jared Chadwick last year. 

He said that there are still things he wants to get done in town, since a first-term Select Board member has to “elbow [their] way in.”

One of the projects Munise wants to focus on is deciding the fate of the closed Decas School building. If elected, Munise would weigh the option of turning the building into a community center and a new headquarters for the Council on Aging.

“I don’t think it’s good to just have it there empty,” Munise said. “The current senior center doesn’t lend itself to seniors and [people with] mobility issues.” 

As for the town’s need for a bigger police station, Munise said the current building should receive an addition rather than moving the Police Department elsewhere. 

Munise supports the urban renewal plan proposed by the Redevelopment Authority, but has some concerns about the 65-foot maximum building height and the scarcity of allotted parking spaces.

“If you go up six stories, it blocks views for people up on High Street and [sunlight] access for the buildings surrounding it,” he said. “I just think it would be a looming structure. That’s not my vision for what I think Wareham should look like.”

Munise cited the Affiliated Professional Services building near the police station as an example of how he’d like downtown to look.

He also wants to make the town website easier to navigate. He compared Wareham’s current site that of the similarly-sized town of Walpole, which he said had easily understandable election information on its home page.

After working at Bridgewater State University for 40 years, and serving as the head of three different unions, Munise said that he has substantial experience working within an institution such as town government.

“I’ve lived here 40 years,” he said. “I kind of have an idea of what the general public, I believe, wants to see ... I’m just a working-class guy.”