Newburyport, Candidate for Mayor

I like Dan McCarthy. I like Dan McCarthy a lot. And his wife, City Councilor Audrey McCarthy, is a “peach.”

I have two concerns about Mr. McCarthy as a possible mayor for Newburyport, MA.

One of the things I think I’ve learned from watching Mayor John Moak is that observing how city government is run from the side lines is a whole lot different than actually doing it.

It would be like any job. Let’s say you were training as a nurse. Practicing putting a needle in an orange, would be a whole lot different than the first time you actually tried it on a human being.

I would imagine that answering the phone for a City Councilor spouse and the municipal knowledge gained from having a spouse on the City Council for lo so many years, would be very different than actually being on the floor of the City Council, going to all the different meetings that City Councilors do go to, and making, what I think must be almost sleep depriving decisions because they effect people’s lives, where the buck stops with you.

Just one woman’s opinion.

The other, is the elephant in the room. The fact that Mr. McCarthy lost the civil rights lawsuit against the city of Newburyport, MA, and the state’s Civil Service Commission rejected Mr. McCarthy’s appeal of a 22-day suspension. (Newburyport Daily News, March 15, 2007)

It’s my observation that the McCarthy family has been through hell. I remember running into Audrey McCarthy at the bank (this is what I love about our small New England city), and it was obvious that the pressure she was under was enormous. I ached for her.

I also remember running into Dan at the supermarket when it looked like the lawsuit was resolved during the Clancy administration. Dan did not have to say a word (and he did not say a word). It looked like that giant weight had been lifted off his shoulders, and it was obvious what that weight would be. And if it was that obvious to me, then it had to be very obvious to people who know the McCarthy family a whole lot better than I do.

I remember when the Newburyport Daily News (March 15, 2007) reported on Mr. McCarthy’s “legal blow.” I usually try and keep a record of any major stuff so I can go back and take a look at it if I need to. But, I remember the article being so painful, I couldn’t bring myself to keep a copy.

But if Dan McCarthy is running for mayor, that means that this blogger went and found the articles that were written, as well as reading the 26 page document written by the Civil Service Board commissioner, John Guerin.

And it is an elephant. I wish so much that it would not be so. But it is an elephant that would cast a shadow over any platform candidate McCarthy has. And it is an elephant that would cast a shadow if he were to become mayor of Newburyport, MA.

Mary Eaton