Don’t forget to VOTE next Tuesday, March 1, 2016 in the presidential primary. This is a great link that tells you where to go and what the ballot will look like, whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, United-Independent or Green-Rainbow party member.
Newburyport City Councilor-at-Large Debate
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
The Nock Middle School Auditorium
(90 minutes long)
It will also be carried on Port Media, the city’s cable TV station.
The sponsors are The Daily News of Newburyport, the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce, WNBP radio, and Port Media. The debate will be moderated by WNBP’s Peter Falconi. Panelists will be Daily News Editor John Macone and Chamber Legislative Affairs Committee Chairwoman Mary Anne Clancy.
The election is Tuesday, Nov 3, 2015
A list of the candidates running for Newburyport City Council and Newburyport School Committee with website and Facebook information.
And here is a link to the Newburyport City Councilor-at-Large debate that was held on October 20, 2015.
Newburyport Local Pulse podcast with all 9 Newburyport City Councilors-at-Large.
There is a local Newburyport election coming up on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 for Newburyport City Councilors at Large, and City Councilors in Ward 1 and Ward 4, as well as Newburyport City School Committee members (for a list of candidates please press here).
There are a number of issues on people’s minds — the Waterfront, Schools, 40R Smart Growth District, Historic Preservation, seem to be the 4 that come to my mind. And each of the two Ward races have their own specific issues.
There are 2 characteristics that I look for in a City Councilor, whether I agree with their stances on certain issues or not.
1) An ability to have a dialogue with their constituents. Not to give the people that they represent their “spiel” on their stance on certain issues, but an ability to truly listen to the people that they speak for. And also an ability to explain how they feel on a particular issue at that moment, which is different than a spiel — it assumes that City Councilors are problem-solvers, not people who proselytize. I think one of the worst things for a person talking to a City Councilor is to feel ignored, to feel invisible and to feel as if their insights are insignificant.
The issues in front of the city are all complex, and often have no easy answers, because life, people and civic issues are complicated. And to come to a conclusion on how to solve problems as a civic leader is not an easy one, and at the end of the day decisions are made. And as a caveat to Newburyport’s electorate, it helps to get involved at the beginning of whatever issue/process is at hand. To show up on the Newburyport City Council floor for the first time, at the second reading (which is the last reading of when something passes) with a short tempered opinion, is not part of a problem solving approach. In civics, it is a two way street. Show up and pay attention early, and then tell what you believe to be the truth about an issue that you believe in, but show up, pay attention and get the facts first.
2) Civility. I think that this is a very important characteristic, and vital in having the ability to have a dialogue, build trust and problem-solve. If someone, in the course of my civic involvement, has called me a “Nazi controlling zealot,” which is their right in a society that values free speech, it is difficult for me to imagine that person being capable of a civil, problem-solving dialogue as a city councilor. It is also hard for me to imagine voting for a city councilor who has been arrested for assault. I believe in second chances, but this would give me pause in voting for someone as an elected official (although it has been pointed out to me that we had a mayor run the city from jail, and that the city named a bridge after him).
And another caveat to the Newburyport electorate. It would be great if civility worked both ways. The abuse that city councilors can get from the people that they try their darndest to represent, is often astounding and just downright mind-boggling.
The Newburyport Blog has all but disappeared from Google’s search engine, and I wanted to figure out why, I always have liked that question, “Why,” and got me to thinking, “What exactly is The Newburyport Blog anyway??”
The Newburyport Blog is not a place to find out where to eat or shop in Newburyport. There are many Newburyport websites now, including Google (which is almost becoming a website itself instead of a Search Engine), which would give answers to that question.
The fascination that I have, is not where to eat or shop in this wonderful historic city, but the fact that over the years the kind of restaurants and shops have radically changed (The General Store, the hardware/lumber store have been replaced by high end restaurants, spas, boutiques and very expensive furniture stores), and “Why” is that? and what does it say about Newburyport and how the culture in Newburyport is changing. What makes Newburyport “tick?” (the definition of “tick,” a verb, is “The motive and explanation of behavior” — that is what engages me.
The question of what makes Newburyport “tick,” was one of the reasons I was so hooked our once local political journal, The Undertoad. Despite Tom Ryan’s very often, in my opinion, offensive, bombastic, childish and sometimes just downright sadistic approach to reporting the “underside of Newburyport,” The Undertoad’s basic premise was “What makes Newburyport tick?”
When Ulrika Gerth was editor of The Newburyport Current, she had an underlining theme, “What makes Newburyport tick??”
And Tom Salemi, the editor of The Newburyport Posts, with his journalist education, and his light, amicable, often deceivably “simple” posts, also had an underlining theme of “What makes Newburyport tick.” (Come back to blogging Tom Salemi!!)
And Jerry Mullins, God bless him, with his long, researched, valuable content (that Google seems to ignore, so much for Google valuing “valuable content”), over at Brick and Tree, has that same theme too, “What makes Newburyport tick??”
And there are also the blogs by many Newburyport Councilors that address that very same question in a variety of ways.
The Newburyport Blog does have stuff on “gluten free,” but have you noticed the changes in restaurants, etc, gluten free has roared into out culture.
Where to park in Newburyport?? earlier post. Well, I never, ever thought we would have paid parking, but we do. It says something about our town (good stuff for a blog post).
And lots of Google search changes:
Ask for “Newburyport restaurants.” Google itself, not the webpages it “represents” in its search engine, will give you an answer.
Ask for 20+10, you will get an answer from Google, no need to go looking for a calculator on a website anymore.
Ask for information on “zucchini” and you will get Google’s answer. No need to look for a webpage anymore.
Ask for “Following Atticus,” Tom Ryan’s (Undertoad Tom Ryan) book. Google will tell you all about it, need to got to a website?? Maybe.
Look for “Newburyport,” Google will give you an answer, maybe not a good answer, but an answer. That answer will get better, more refined, and pretty soon — no longer need to go to a website anymore.
Look for “Why Newburyport is the way it is today, culturally, socio-economically, architecturally, politically?” That is not a simple question. And if that sort of question is important, maybe check out The Newburyport Blog, the Newburyport City Councilors’ websites, or go over to Brick and Tree and get Jerry Mullins take on what makes Newburyport “tick,” and maybe Tom Salemi will come back and blog again one day.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Jared Eigerman, 83 High St, Incumbent, Facebook Page
Robert Cronin, 126 Merrimac St, #46, Incumbent, Website
Thomas O’Brien, 11 Moseley Ave, Incumbent
Newburyport Councilor at Large (5 seats)
Laurel Allgrove, 22 Beacon Ave., #2
Ed Cameron, 17 Oakland St, Incumbent, Website, Facebook Page
Barry Connell, 36 Woodland St, Incumbent
Greg Earls, 25 Milk St, former City Councilor and mayoral candidate, Website
Robert Germinara, 2 Ashland St
Lyndi Lanphear, 347 High St, Website
Sheila Mullins, 7 Parsons St, Website
Bruce Vogel, 90 Bromfield St, Incumbent, Website
Joseph Devlin, 3 Dexter Lane , Facebook page
Here is a link to a list of video interviews of all but 2 of the Newburyport City Councilors that are running, both in Ward races and At-Large races. The videos have been produced by Citizens for Environmental Balance (CEB) and they are very informative.
And here is a link to the Newburyport City Councilor-at-Large debate held on October 20, 2015. The sponsers were The Daily News of Newburyport, the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce, WNBP radio, and Port Media.
Newburyport Local Pulse podcast with all 9 Newburyport City Councilors-at-Large.
Newburyport School Committee (3 seats)
Running unopposed for a two year School Committee seat:
David Hochheiser Blog/Website
There is no election for mayor. This is the first year that Newburyport will be voting for the City Council and the School Committee without voting for a mayor. The mayoral term is now four years. The mayor is Donna Holaday.
Where to Vote!!
And if you do not know where to vote, there is a very cool tool to find out where to vote in Newburyport, Tuesday, November 3, 2015.
You just enter your street number, the street’s name, and your city or town, or your zip code, and it tells you exactly where to go (it even tells you which ward you are in, and how to get in touch with the City Clerk). It can be found here.
Ward 1 — Methodist Church, 64 Purchase Street
Ward 1 Plum Island — Plum Island Boat House, 300 Northern Boulevard, Plum Island
Ward 2 — Brown School, 40 Milk Street
Wards 3 and 4 — Hope Church, 11 Hale Street
Wards 5 and 6 — The new Senior Community Center, 331 High Street (In the past, these wards voted at the Bresnahan Elementary School.)
The Order for the Newburyport City Council-at-Large candidates as they will be on the ballot.
Councillor-at-Large 2 YEAR TERM
(9 CANDIDATES FOR 5 SEATS…IN ORDER ON THE BALLOT)
Lyndi L. Lanphear
Gregory D. Earls
Sheila A. Mullins
Barry N. Connell (Candidate for Re-Election)
Laurel R. Allgrove
Bruce L. Vogel (Candidate for Re-Election)
Robert A. Germinara
Joseph H. Devlin
Edward C. Cameron, Jr. (Candidate for Re-Election)
The Newburyport Absentee Ballot which looks like the November 3, 2015 ballot. This is the Ward 5 ballot, all the ward ballots will look different.
Here is a link to the application that the City of Newburyport made for the proposed 40R Smart Growth District (It has all kinds of links and information on it), it can be found here.
Here is a photo of the proposed Minco building (it is now in the public domain), which is the cornerstone of the proposed 40R District, and that I think is ugly.
Here are two of the new maps of the proposed Smart Growth 40R
And here is a table for the Water and Sewer capacity for the 40R District which also includes the number of bedrooms and the number of apartment units.
It is really hard to find a place to rent in Newburyport these days. If you go to Zillow and look for rentals in Newburyport, it’s very depressing. That is why the city is so hopeful about the proposed 40R, which is a real effort to bring back rental units back to Newburyport.
Here is a document from the city that articulates with data the gentrification that has taken place since Urban Renewal, especially interesting is the “Income Distribution by Household, 1989 to 2010″ on page 20 (an image of the table is in this post), that document can be read here.
In 1989 the largest percentage of income was $10,000-24,999. In 2010 the largest percentage is $150,000+, and that is in 2010, when we were still in the “great recession,” and I would think in 2015 that percentage would be much, much greater now.
And here is Jerry Mullins’, over at Brick and Tree, worst fears about what would happen to the proposed 40R. That post can be read here.
And here is a link to the discussion on The Newburyport Blog’s Facebook page, it can be read here.
Previous post on the proposed 40R District can be found here.
Here are some more table from the City of Newburyport’s report “Income Distribution by Household, 1989 to 2010.”
And here is a map of the proposed 40R Smart Growth District.
I’ve seen the first draft of the new 40R Smart Growth District around the train station.
The proposed 40R District (see previous post) would allow for mixed use buildings near the train station, traffic circle, parts of Rt 1 and the area on lower State Street between Lunt and Kelly and the edge of the cemetery. There is a new updated map (see below), the larger area subdistrict B is zoned for 4 story buildings (45 ft), Subdistricts A and C is zoned for 3 story building (35 ft), and the Minco building would be zoned for 5 stories (55 ft).
And I’ve gone on a hunt for some good looking 4 story buildings. I have found only one photo that is in the public domain, it is in Portland Maine.
I’m a little confused about Google’s copyright laws, and WordPress does not allow me to embed Google’s images, so what I’ve done is put links to 4 story buildings in Portland ME, Providence RI and Haverhill MA. Haverhill has, on Washington Street, what I think is a gorgeous, but rundown historic section of 4 story building. I love them.
And when you press on the links for the different cities, you can go on a “Google drive” through the areas and see what you thinks works and what does not work. Interesting stuff. Also, the buildings take a few seconds to show up after you press the links.
In looking at the initial 40R draft (this is just the beginning of a large process that the city will go through) a couple of things stand out.
1) The design review is outstanding. Yah!! I hope that means that the Minco building will be forced to look awesome.
2) There is extensive input into the affordable housing aspect of the district (I’m sure the affordable housing folks with Phd’s in the subject, will have lots of input). It looked great to me.
3) Parking seems a little “skimpy” to me. A residential unit only gets one parking spot. But there is “shared parking,” with businesses and residents, which use parking at different times during the day and week, the objective being not to have lots of wasted, barren parking lots. There are so many people in this city who have Phd’s in parking, and I am not one of them. I am hoping, and pretty sure that they would figure out the “Goldilocks” version of parking, “not too much, not too little, but just right.”
4) The setbacks of the buildings are puzzling to me. There are “no requirements” on setbacks on front, side and rear yards. The way it was explained to me is that there would be no requirements for setbacks for mid-block buildings, but it might be a good idea to look at the setback requirements for intersections (and there seem to me to be a whole lot of intersections). At this point, we do not have close-up renderings of what buildings would look like in different areas of the proposed 40R District.
This is one of my main questions. I can’t imagine 4 story building around the traffic circle where Dunkin’ Donuts is and where the Bird Watcher is located. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to live on that dangerous and noisy area, and being so close to a busy traffic circle. Renderings are definitely needed.
5) Not in the 1st draft, but backup information that would be arriving in the coming weeks that would include:
(1) estimated maximum dwelling units
(2) expected sewer flows (and how to pay for them)
(3) expected traffic impacts
(4) renderings/photo-simulations of new buildings
(5) expected impacts on schools
(6) expected c. 40R and c. 40S payments from the Commonwealth
(7) expected property tax revenues
Newburyport and Massachusetts Primary Wins:
Ed Cameron wins the Democratic primary for State Rep. for 1st Essex District.
Kathleen O’Connor Ives wins the Democratic primary for State Senator for 1st Essex District.
Seth Moulton wins over John Tierney in the Democratic primary for US House, 6th District.
Maura Healey wins the Democratic primary for Massachusetts Attorney General.
The Newburyport City Council has very important committees where the difficult work of the City Council gets done. The president of the Newburyport City Council appoints the people on the committees. For 2014 the Newburyport City Council committees are as follows:
Budget and Finance:
Chair-Charles Tontar, Ed Cameron, Robert Cronin
Planning and Development:
Chair-Ed Cameron, Barry Connell, Jared Eigerman
Neighborhoods and City Services:
Chair-Barry Connell, Ari Herzog, Meghan Kinsey
License and Permits:
Chair-Allison Heartquist, Bruce Vogel, Meghan Kinsey
Chair-Meghan Kinsey, Allison Heartquist, Larry Giunta
Chair-Ari Herzog, Jared Eigerman, Bruce Vogel.
Chair-Robert Cronin, Larry Giunta, Charles Tontar
Tom O’Brien, Bruce Vogel, Mayor Donna Holaday
Chair-Robert Cronin, Larry Giunta, Tom O’Brien
There is a very cool tool to find out where to vote in Newburyport, this Tuesday, November 5, 2013.
You just enter your street number, the street’s name, and your city or town, or your zip code, and voila, it tells you exactly where to go (it even tells you which ward you are in, and how to get in touch with the City Clerk). It can be found here.
The people of Newburyport will be voting for a Mayor (a 4 year term, not a 2 year term), for 5 Newburyport City Council At-Large candidates, Newburyport City Council candidates in Wards 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5, and 3 Newburyport School Committee members.
Voting hours are 7am to 8pm.
Be sure to vote.
I will most likely go down to City Hall at 8pm, and will post the election results on the Newburyport Blog and the Newburyport Blog’s Facebook page.
Here is a sample ballot for the Newburyport At-Large Candidates.
From today’s Newburyport Daily News
Newburyport Leads Local Schools in MCAS Results
“The state released the results of the Spring 2013 MCAS, and once again local schools outperformed the state average in nearly every category, with Newburyport leading the way.
Overall, Newburyport had the highest scores across all grade levels and subjects in the region…”
Congratulations to all our wonderful teachers. The complete story can be read here.
As I recall, in the 2001 election, people voted for Al Lavender, as a reaction against Mayor Lisa Mead (not a “for” Al Lavender vote). I thought Lisa Mead was an incredibly competent mayor. And I feel that we are still recovering from the consequences of two years of Al Lavender’s tenure in the corner office (we are still cleaning up the landfill, which has caused untold misery–something that came out of Al Lavender’s two year term).
I would like a smart, well educated (more than a high school education), competent person, who can deal with an array of complex issues, in the corner office for the next four years, someone with a lot of executive experience (this is one complicated city to run) (a retired firefighter and a Home Depot greeter does not do it for me).
I think firefighters are incredible people, unbelievably brave, but with a skill set that, in my mind, does not translate into dealing with the incredibly complex issues that the Mayor of Newburyport deals with.
I would surely like to see the electorate vote with their intelligence, instead of reacting emotionally, and to see this not just as a one issue election (i.e. the Waterfront).
And I also think, given his resume, that if Dick Sullivan didn’t have the last name “Sullivan,” no one would take his candidacy seriously for being the CEO of this complicated city.
I never, ever would have considered using other people’s images that are in the public domain in my art work, it would be plagiarism for me. Plagiarism – I would have felt it to be “immoral,” “originality” the only acceptable device. But blogging, doing content for people’s websites, the World Wide Web has radically and slowly changed my whole idea of how to use images. Before starting the Newburyport Blog I never knew about stuff/images that are in the “public domain.” I now bless the public domain, it makes what I do here and what other people do all across the web a whole lot more interesting. So why not use images that are in the public domain in my own art work? These are images I could never take, either because they are in a geographical location that I would never get to, or with equipment I would never buy.
And photoshop (see earlier entry on fine art, painting in particular, going the way of the buggy whip and typewriter), what one can do in photoshop in a few minutes would take me years to do as a painter. It’s irresistible. So I’ve started experimenting. And how fun!! Like being in a candy store for this artist. A photoshop take off, a lovely New Year’s present for moi.
George is grinning, huge wide smile, and those of you who have been readers of the Newburyport Blog for any length of time know that George is usually a glum sort of fellow, even with his passionate romance to Georgiana Tadpole (if you really would like to know about any of this frog stuff please press here).
Instead of telling the readers of the Newburyport Blog what is making George smile so hugely right off the bat (although he’s not smiling in the picture, I couldn’t get one of him smiling), I’m going to start at the beginning.
Way, way back (“in the day,” I’m not sure if it’s that far back) in 1990 I painted a whole bunch of paintings for a major New York show, oil on panel, and the panels warped (I used the wrong kind of panel – never did it again). Panic city, you betcha. I went to what was then Wendover Woodworks on Liberty Street in Newburyport, and one of the owners, Andy Willemsem saved my sorry soul by making some absolutely gorgeous frames that solved the warping problem and saved yours truly. It was then I met Andy’s partner in this wonder furniture creating place, Henry Fox.
About 15 years ago, wandering around my Newburyport neighborhood, I ran into Henry Fox, who told me the harrowing tale of his son, born 3 months early with a host of medical problems who had been saved by the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at MassGeneral in Boston, and had just been moved to one of the more local hospitals. I later shared this story with other families who had critically ill new borns, including my most wonderful neighbors, who found themselves and their newborn son also at MassGeneral. (The young man is now happily running around our neighborhood.)
Andy Willemsen moved on and Henry Fox named his wonderful furniture business after his two sons, “Fox Brothers.” (Still there on Liberty Street in Newburyport, still amazing.)
Fast forward to 2012, yesterday, a “new” or “new” to me, George and I being 5 years late to the story (not quite as bad as my late arrival to the David Sedaris planet, see earlier post, but not so good) local Newburyport blog called “Happy Chickens Lay Healthy Eggs,” by a fifteen year old young man called Orren Fox.
I’m thinking Fox?? Fox?? Henry Fox?? The timing’s right.
And sure enough this blog is written by Henry’s son Orren, the one in intensive care 15 years ago. How cool is that, but it gets so much better.
Scrolling down the blog’s sidebar the young man has been interviewed/written up by the Huffington Post, NPR, Yankee Magazine, the Boston Globe to name a few, and has been to the White House, March 7, 2012, for “Know Your Farmer Event.”
I’m beginning to join George in grinning from ear to ear about this young chicken farmer and organic food activist.
“Margaret Mead would have loved Orren. A soulful and gifted young man who has done more to help make a positive impact by 15 than most folks do in a lifetime.” From Do Lectures.
And Orren has added bees, in “Bee Happy” – check it out here.
AND Orren has serendipitly gone into business with his brother Will (with a little help from Dad) making “FoxBoys” longboards, skateboards in the most glorious shape, a little like a boat, read and see all about them here.
And Orren Fox is so media savvy as to make grown “social media” folks weep – along with the Happy Chickens blog there are the Facebook pages that one actually enjoys looking at and reading, and twitter accounts. But it may be in the blood because his Mom, who gave birth to him all those many 15 years ago, is Libby Delana, the founding partner of Newburyport’s Mechanica, the next generation branding firm.
So if you are discouraged by the news or local or federal politics, life in general, go investigate Orren Fox, a young man who transcends the sustainable movement. It doesn’t matter if you are dark “green,” light “green,” in-between or orange; right wing, left wing, moderate or independent. When you read about this fantastic story, you like George, will be grinning from ear to ear and doing a dance in the end zone of your choice.
Our very own Katy Ives (Newburyport City Councilor) is running for Massachusetts State Senate (the First Essex District, Senator Steve Baddour’s old Senate seat), and she would be terrific!!
Check out Katy’s campaign website!
Check out Katy’s Facebook page!
Check out Katy’s first campaign video on YouTube. You will see lots of Newburyport friends, conservative, progressive and in between, all explaining why she would be such a great State Senator!!
The Newburyport school vote and the Senior Center Passes!!
Good go’n Newburyport!!
Below are the election results thanks to the Port Pride Facebook page!!
Here is a breakdown of the voting totals, thanks to Newburyport City Councilor Ed Cameron.
Question 1, Building a new Bresnahan Model School building (Press to enlarge)
Question 2, Renovating and upgrading the Nock/Molin Upper Elementary school (Press to enlarge)
Question 3, Building a new Senior & Community Center (Press to enlarge)
All three questions together (Press to enlarge)
They did it. Green Theatre Collective (GTC) raised $10,000 in 4 weeks. Oh me of little faith. And that means that this eco-theater company with its roots (pun intended) in Newburyport, can gather the just plain old lovely young men and women who made up the company last year, and go for it again this year, this time with Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, The Tempest.
And GTC had its maiden voyage right here in Newburyport, Massachusetts, sponsored by Theater in the Open, in a gorgeous setting for Shakespeare’s As You Like It at Maudslay State Park last summer. With a big thank you for a plug by Tom Salemi at Newburyport Posts and JC Lockwood at Newbuyrport Arts, along with the Newburyport Daily News and the Newburyport Current.
Ok, its personal. The GTC founder and Executive Producer is my son, Hal Fickett, who got his education right here in Newburyport, Massachusetts (yes, we do have great schools that are most worthy of our support). And the first performance was dedicated to most beloved Newburyport High School theater teacher, Suzanne Bryan and all Newburyport educators (those graduates do appreciate you folks!).
Am I proud and excited for this young eco-theater company. You betcha!
Newburyport City Councilor At-Large
Katy O’Connor Ives
Dick Sullivan Jr.
Katy O’Connor Ives
Dick Sullivan Jr.
The Newburyport Charter:
Charter passes by more than a 2 to 1 margin.
Newburyport School Committee:
Nick de Kanter
Nick de Kanter
Mayor Donna Holaday re-elected (running unopposed)
Congratulations to all who won and all who ran, and everyone who worked so hard.
Breakdown of the Newburyport City Council At-Large election results, thanks to Ed Cameron (press image to enlarge).
I had never really thought that there was any correlation between painting, my painting (see previous post) and my love of local politics. But after this last political race, 2009, I’m beginning to think differently.
When I start a painting there is an idea, the canvas is “blocked in” with shapes, the shapes become more and more detailed until, voila, there is a realistic painting.
And in this mayoral race it took a long time for me to see a picture taking shape, but the last weekend before the Newburyport election 2009 and especially the day of the election 2009, it seemed to me that there was no question that Donna Holaday would win.
About two weeks before the election it became clear, for a variety of reasons, the interviews in The Newburyport Liberator being one of them, that there was a huge difference in the way the two candidates approached the Central Waterfront (see earlier entries). And the there was no question that Donna Holaday had the “Waterfront” vote, a vote in Newburyport, never to be underestimated.
By that weekend, it was obvious to me that Donna Holaday had the “City Hall vote,” and the folks at Newburyport City Hall vote, and their ties in Newburyport’s community go deep.
It was also apparent that candidate Holaday had the “townie” vote (except for those who were a little concerned that she might not be as firm about the “override” issue as James Shanley). James Shanley was perceived as the candidate who was the “new comer,” who could take away their town. (I do not happen to think that this is true, but that appeared to be the perception.)
Donna Holaday had the enthusiastic education vote, a large block of voters. Ms Holaday had the “Back Bay vote,” basically anyone in town that really disliked the wind turbine (see earlier entries), which is a huge portion (politically correct or not) of Newburyport’s population.
The historic preservation vote was split.
And when the list of contributors came out, it was perceived that James Shanley was in the pocket of the developers. I know James Shanely, and I know that this is absolutely not the case, although it was the perception. (Mr. Shanley had worked very closely as a Newburyport City Councilor with the Newburyport Chamber of Commerce, a member of which was a major player on his very organized campaign, and my guess is that a lot of the business community gave donations as a result.)
And then there was the fact that Donna Holaday has a huge name recognition, for a whole variety of reasons. And also, a lot of folks in town know that we have a mayor, but they don’t know that we have a Newburyport City Council, much less that we have a president of the Newburyport City Council. So the fact that James Shanley was the president of the Newburyport City Council meant absolutely nothing to a large majority of folks that don’t pay a whole lot of attention to Newburyport politics.