Newburyport, A Challenge for a Candidate

I need George.

George Cushing, of Frog Pond at the Bartlett Mall is the political consultant for the Newburyport Blog.

And I need George to do some consulting.

I woke up this morning more excited by the Newburyport political scene than I have in a long, long time.

However, I also woke up confused.

George Cushing trying to help me out

I expected chatter, a lot of chatter about the fact that Tom Ryan is running for mayor of Newburyport, MA, but so far the silence has been deafening.

Victor Tine did write a good piece on the announcement of Mr. Ryan’s candidacy in the Newburyport Daily News, June 12, 2007. And Ulrika Gerth is doing a lengthy interview with Mr. Ryan for Friday’s Newburyport Current.

Mr. Ryan the candidate sounds a whole lot different than Mr. Ryan the editor of the Undertoad.

Example: As editor of the Undertoad, Mr. Ryan trashed the “Yes for Newburyport” committee.

As a candidate, Mr. Ryan tells me that people have got to understand that the schools are in trouble. Superintendent Kevin Lyons has got to be the “face” of the Newburyport city school crisis, and as mayor he would walk door to door with Mr. Lyons explaining to people the plight that the schools are in.

Example: As editor of the Undertoad, Mr. Ryan has trashed Newburyport Building Inspector Gary Calderwood.

When asked by moi, if as mayor Mr. Ryan would fire Mr. Calderwood. The answer was “no.” Of course I’m thinking here former Newburyport Planning Director, Nick Cracknell and Mr. Calderwood did not exactly make a harmonious team (vast understatement). Mr. Ryan’s response, “I would be running the city, Nick Cracknell would not be running me.”

Example: As editor of the Undertoad, Mr. Ryan has trashed any number of Newburyport City Councilors.

Mr. Ryan says that he would meet individually with the Newburyport City Councilors throughout his term as mayor. And that as mayor he would discuss anything controversial and try to problem solve any issue with the Newburyport City Council before that issue would be made public.

Ok, can you see why I was excited when I woke up this morning.

This is the agenda and voice of someone who could actually lead the city.

George agrees that what we are hearing is real different than the often cruel, smart assed editor of the Undertoad, who often appears to have a very large chip on his shoulder.

And George and I agree that Mr. Ryan’s biggest challenge is to convince people of Newburport, MA that the persona we that we have seen as the editor of the Undertoad, is not the same person who could lead the city of Newburyport if elected mayor. George and I agree that is going to be one heck of a challenge for Tom Ryan.

Mary Eaton