Newburyport, Practical Mayoral Dilemma

I looked back at the previous post on the absurdity that there are no (at least that I know of) requirements to be mayor of Newburyport, MA other than to be the ripe old age of 18 and to live in the city of Newburyport, MA.

The sad thing is, at least it would be my guess, that if someone were to be actually qualified, with lots of appropriate experience and education, and were to emphasize that point, they would be seen as “arrogant” and might well be seen as “unlikable” and “unelectable.”


How crazy is that?

I know zip about the early history of the mayors of Newburyport, MA, but it would be my guess, that up until Bossy Gillis, it was just assumed that the educated, wealthy folks of Newburyport, MA would run for mayor. And things were a lot simpler then (I think) and they probably were as qualified as anyone might be.

It’s hard to imagine that there were advanced degrees in the intricacies of municipalities (maybe there were, I don’t know).

This is where I’m on the strong learning curve thing. I know zip about what happened government wise early in Newburyport’s history. And I have just as strong a learning curve on what government was like in other small and large cities in the USA.

But this I do know. Things have changed. And Newburyport, MA has not changed its way of governing the city. And good grief we need to.

And on a practical matter, the salary of the mayor is just ridiculously low. It might be appealing to someone who is in transition or who is looking for a job or who is retired. But your average very smart qualified human being with a good salary, are they going to give that all up just to probably be booted out in 2 years? Good grief, I don’t think so.

Or if a person sees the job as an honor, and they have a family and children to support, 50 grand or so before taxes and living in Newburyport, MA these days, is going to be tough, unless there is another source of income.

So, although it would take a great deal to change our city charter to either a 4 year mayoral term, or a city manager form of government, we at least could raise the salary of the mayor of Newburyport, MA.

Yes, I know the budget, the budget, the budget. But good grief, can we hardly afford not to?

Mary Eaton