Mahan reflects on 2011

— “We have guaranteed annual income for the life of the agreement,” said Mahan, who argued the deal was one example of her “outside of the box” approach to governance.

The agreement set off fierce debate, with some questioning whether it would be that lucrative for the town, but Mahan stands behind the numbers now that the transition is well underway.

Denise Sheehan, who made a run for Mahan’s supervisor seat in a contested and close election race, was vocal in her opinion that the town should have “held out” for a better deal and ended up settling for one that “underestimated” the landfill’s true value, claiming it could be worth as much as $600 million after reviewing a study by Clough Harbor and Associates engineering firm.

“You’re not putting this thing on eBay,” said Sheehan in August. “You have to ask, ‘Are you getting what it’s worth?’”

Sheehan also criticized Mahan and the town for transferring landfill employees to town positions, saying taxpayers would be forced to fund salaries for 21 new employees.

Department of Public Works Commissioner Jack Cunningham maintained the town had gone with the most lucrative bidder for the landfill and that no additional revenue needed to be built into the budget to accommodate the transferred positions.

A hard-fought road to reelection

From Mahan’s point of view there was much to boast about in 2011. But, there was at least one part of the year Mahan didn’t enjoy.

“It’s difficult to go through the process of a campaign and election every two years, so I find that challenging,” said Mahan.

Mahan’s run against Sheehan ended in victory but the road wasn’t always smooth.

“I’m certainly pleased with the results of the election but I was disappointed in some of the campaign tactics that were used throughout the campaign,” said Mahan, who previously called the race one of the dirtiest she’d been involved in. “It differed from other campaigns I’ve seen in the town and gone through.”

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