Newburyport Election 2011 Aftermath Enigma

To say that there is some head scratching about yesterday’s Newburyport City Councilor At-Large vote would be an understatement.

Everyone I talked to thought that Barry Connell would come in 1st and Katy Ives would come in second, and they did. After that there were all kinds of scenarios, but not any of them resembled the finally tally.

Most everyone I talked to thought Larry Giunta was a shoo-in, at least in one of the last three spots. And the fact that he isn’t going to be on the Newburyport Council next year, a head scratcher.

So, today I walked and talked. Some folks thought that it might have been a last minute Letter to the Editor thing that pointed out Mr. Giunta’s affiliation with the Bill Hudak campaign for Congress. (Not a crime to work for a candidate.) Some thought it was the endorsement and involvement by the Newburyport Republican Committee (also not a crime, but something, i.e. party affiliation, that has never been done before in a Newburyport election, really). But as I walked and talked, when I asked people, the response was, “Never heard of him.” And I’m guessing that’s probably the most likely on the money.

Ari Herzog in a strong 3rd place. A surprise, and I’m sure a pleasant surprise to Mr. Herzog. Ari gets back to folks usually within 15 minutes, or pretty close. And when folks sometimes hear back from Newburyport City Councilors, some more quickly than others, and sometimes never hear back from Newburyport City Councilors at all, this could be refreshing, especially when Mr. Herzog responds whether the constituent votes on a regular basis, or irregular basis or not at all. (I am told, that there have been occasions over the years that an odd Newburyport City Councilor, here or there, might only get back to those who show up to the polls – this, of course, is unconfirmed by moi.)

Ed Cameron coming in 4th. It appears to me to be another “Never heard of him” thing.

And Dick Sullivan, a lot to be said for name recognition, and being involved in various ways in the local Newburyport political process.

And what I heard over and over again, was that the majority of people in Newburyport, including those who vote, don’t even know that we have Newburyport City Councilors At-Large, what they do, who they are or what they stand for. And unless there was some sort of personal connection on some sort of level, it was just throwing a dart in the dark, something the people I talked to just didn’t want to do.