Newburyport, Mayoral Mind Mush

I’m getting mayoral mind mush.

We have so many people running for mayor of Newburyport, MA, that I’m having a hard time keeping everybody straight. I we have until July 27th to see if yet someone else pulls papers for mayor too. With this mayoral election, who knows, who might pull papers at the last minute. Anything is possible.

I talk to people about the mayoral election, and enviably they start listing all the candidates, and they go, “I’m missing some one. There’s someone else, right? Ok, who is it?” And we go through the whole list again, trying to figure out who was left out of the long list.

And Steve Cole, the present Vice-Chair of the Newburyport School Committee, the most recent candidate to pull papers for mayor of Newburyport, MA, is an incredibly nice, kind, decent human being.

But, actions speak louder than words. And as Vice-Chair of the Newburyport School Committee, everyone who has paid a tiny bit of attention to “that” issue has seen Mr. Cole in action.

It was just in December of 2006 that the Newburyport School Committee was seriously contemplating asking the residents of Newburyport, MA to commit to what in my mind was one wild and unbelievably expensive elementary school building project. I believe I kept referring to it as a “diamond necklace” approach or the “Taj Mahal” of elementary schools.

This is around December 2006 and even as late as February 8, 2007 on the Newburyport Blog.

And then the residence of Newburyport, MA are told, ooops, the Newburyport school finances are in such bad shape, that guess what, we’re going to close a school, restructure the entire elementary school system and ask for the tax payers to pony up for a $1.58 Million override, so we don’t have to slash more stuff for the schools.

Hello. Didn’t the Newburyport School Committee just think about asking us for how much for new buildings just a few weeks ago??

And in my mind, true leadership would have been never to have contemplated a wild Taj Mahal elementary building scheme in the first place.

And it would have shown much stronger leadership not to request a special spring election that cost the tax payer $17,000, to ask residents of Newburyport, MA for an override of $1.58 Million — that many felt was an almost guaranteed disaster. But instead to “act” instead of to “react” (in my opinion) and to give a great deal of thought about how to politically navigate school funding waters.

And the leadership of the Newburyport School Committee during all of this was under Vice-Chair Steve Cole (and yes, the Chair, Mayor John Moak).

I guess you can tell I’m still pissed about the whole thing.

Yes, and those are 2 of the folks on that long mayoral candidate list. Oh, good grief.

Mary Eaton