Newburyport, Election Time Agendas and Platforms

I’ve known and been very fond of Jim Roy for many, many years. It’s been so long, I don’t even know how we got to know each other. (And I am also very fond of his wife Jan, who is a wonderful painter.)

A feisty Irishman, with a big heart and a love for local politics and a passion for an open waterfront.

Mr. Roy’s latest venture is his deep hope that the citizens of Newburyport, MA would actually pay attention to the issues that effect their lives.

For me, Don Quixote poking at those pesky windmills. Just one blogger’s opinion. But an enlightened electorate is a worthy objective.

The platform of the “Committee Towards a Better Newburyport” initiated by Mr. Roy, is signed by many a far-thinking progressive. (I’ve seen various “tweaked” drafts along the way.)

The schools are in trouble, the Central Waterfront, Mr. Karp, historic preservation, a 4 term mayor or city manager, and yes, Mr. Moak’s refusal to cooperate into taking a gander, for the moment, at the possibility of a parking garage for downtown.

The tone has been toned way down from “John Moak one of the most inept mayors”… “Moak is a dangerous person”… “Moak must go,” to a more gentle and friendly, “A mayor with initiative and verve is required.”

A planned photo-op and the hope for the ever hopeful candidate.

And this is what this blogger thinks. Having a platform without an endorsed candidate has the possibility of opening one heck of a can of worms.

A little like saying, “Here are my chattels, anyone who wants to get hitched, step up to the plate.” Instead of maybe asking the person in your English class for a date and seeing how it goes from there. (I’ve been trying to think of an analogy, and that’s what I’ve come up with so far.)

What if after all of this input, there would be no candidate that this group would find credible?

Mr. Roy says he would take out papers. That would be mighty interesting.

Or what if there is major disagreement among the signeees if there are several candidates that members of this committee are partial to, who embrace this platform?

Or what happens if any or all of the candidates that embrace this platform are not likable or electable? Well, Ouch.

It is possible that this could end up being way weirder than fiction.

Ah, but will it help the progressive cause? My guess, is that even with all the good intentions and bright minds, instead of putting the spotlight on Mayor John Moak’s shortcomings, it could make the electorate actually feel sorry for the gentleman in question. It’s possible that the endeavor could backfire big time.

This local campaign has the possibility of many a twist and turn. If the whole thing became about personalities instead of principals, well that might well spark the electorate’s fancy, and small political attention span. We will all listen, learn and we all will see.

Mary Eaton