Newburyport, Former Planning Director

Nick Cracknell, Newburyport’s former planning director has not been retiring about being upfront and even center about his ideas concerning Newburyport and the upcoming mayoral election 2007.

Back in January of this year, Nick Cracknell and I sat in the Pizza Factory in downtown Newburyport.

What was on Mr. Cracknell’s mind was defeating Mayor John Moak, November 2007. And Mr. Cracknell was neither shy or quiet about expressing his thoughts.

Apparently what was said made it back to Mayor John Moak lickety split, as well it might have. Mr. Moak could have heard what was being said all the way down Pleasant Street to Newburyport City Hall, because Mr. Cracknell was talking that loudly.

The gist of the conversation was that progressives had to come up with a platform and then “we” would wait for our Deval Patrick to show up.

Mr. Cracknell was perfectly forth coming in sharing the fact that recently he had a similar conversation with Newburyport activist and columnist, Jim Roy.

And having listened to various folks since January 2007, it has been obvious to me from bits and pieces of their conversations, that Mr. Cracknell had similar conversations with them as well.

In the one rare Newburyport Planning Board Meeting that I did attend, concerning the plight of the Wheelwright property, our former planning director was in attendance, and chatted with applicable parties afterwards.

This was no secret, this was in Newburyport City Hall.

Was I at all surprised that Nick Cracknell urged Tom Ryan to run for mayor? Not in the least. And it wouldn’t surprise me if Nick Cracknell has encouraged other people to run for mayor as well.

And if I was sitting in the Pizza Factory with Mr. Cracknell today, I would say, “Nick, stop. Working behind the scenes, sort of, has backfired big time, if what you want is John Moak not to be mayor, and maybe get your job back.

For goodness sakes, fill me in on your job now, and what’s happening with your family and life in Amesbury, MA.

It’s probably time to let go and move on. Ok? And I think people would do some pondering now before supporting you as Planning Director for Newburyport, MA, if that possibility ever transpired.”

Mary Eaton