The response to the story and editorial (the editorial is in a previous post) about the departure of Julie LaBranche, Newburyport’s City Planner in the Newburyport Current, Friday, August 11, 2006, has been a fascinating one, although, not terribly pleasant.
Yes, phone calls and emails for this local political blogger, the subject of which is City Hall. This morning I even debated, fleetingly, of starting a blog called “Inside City Hall.” It was a passing fancy that passed very quickly.
Politics within politics…yes it is ever thus.
My recollection is that when Lisa Mead was first mayor (1992?? I haven’t looked up the date) Ms Mead wanted people at City Hall to be “professional.” It’s been a long time, but as I recall the response was that the employees at City Hall unionized, in part, as I understand it, to protect the jobs of people who had been there a long, long time. (I haven’t verified these facts by going back and reading everything at that time, frankly, it’s just not worth it.)
And my observation is that through various and sundry administrations City Hall politics have always been sticky, sometimes downright gooey, but it appears (being that we are all human) that there has always been a certain degree of stickiness.
And the year 2006 appears to be no exception. Things appear to be fairly high on the gooey chart. What I keep hearing over and over again is that there is a “vocal minority” (yes, I’ve heard that phrase a whole, whole, lot) that has a political agenda which is to ruin Mayor John Moak. I suppose I would be considered part of the “vocal minority,” oh well.
I think there are plenty of folks who have “philosophical differences” with the Mayor (including me) and the obvious human meshing of styles and communication. But “ruin” (yes, and I’ve heard that word a whole, whole lot), no I really and truly do not think that is the case. I think that’s way too dramatic and doesn’t do justice to the whole wonderfully messy democratic process that makes the USA such great place in which to live and work.