Newburyport, Mayor has Time to Turn it Around

Many of my friends questioned me about…lobbied against…my supporting and voting for John Moak for mayor. I’m a liberal Democrat, after all, and Mr. Moak was perceived to be the more pro-business and conservative candidate for that office. I have known him for a long time and believe him to be honest, intelligent and honorable…to me, there is no inherent conflict between my liberal political philosophy and supporting a person of known capabilities (his job as city clerk) who would employ sound business practices and responsible fiscal policies in office…I welcomed these qualities.

It was obvious from the get-go that John was, in-fact, running for two terms as mayor and he made no secret of the fact that he would bring a disciplined, no-nonsense perspective to that office. I assumed that this approach to running the city would allow enough leeway to incorporate an objective evaluation of issues rather than being locked-in to a rigid plan of action that he may have envisioned before taking office.

Now, after he has been in office for a few months, I find that I do not agree with some of his choices and decisions, but I assume that this would be the case no matter who would be mayor. Also, I respect the fact that he has his own leadership style that may be seen as rather abrupt, or direct, as opposed to that of a typical ‘politician’ who tries to please everyone while refusing to take a clear and principled stand on important and controversial issues.

That said, I am having a hard time understanding just where he wants to take us and the rationale for some of the things I read about in the newspaper. I am not yet willing to line-up with the well-intentioned citizens/voters who seem to be digging-in-their heels in opposition to him until I am satisfied that their criticisms are justified. I would like to know enough about his views on the issues to determine, for myself, where I think he should be open to opposing ideas and where I think he is right to forge ahead without compromise.

I guess that I would not support him again if the reelection campaign were to be held today, but there is plenty of time for him to turn things around…maybe he could start by letting us know what is his vision for the city and what, exactly, was the nature of his disagreements with Nick Cracknell and Mary Lou Supple, both of whom I greatly admire and appreciate.

David Clarridge, Newburyport