How does one get things accomplished on the municipal level?
For me, this very difficult “skill” is as important in a candidate as the opinions that they may have on issues pertaining to Newburyport, MA.
It also requires an astute “political ear.” Another very difficult “skill” indeed.
To my utter discouragement, I do not see any of the candidates running for mayor, including our present mayor, having either of these 2 vital political abilities.
People have asked me what I think of various candidates. I may agree with much of what a candidate for mayor is expounding, however, if I feel the individual could not “govern” or make those political issues “happen,” I feel very discouraged about voting for them.
And making things happen on a political, citywide level, appears to require that very rare gift of “listening” and then balancing what one would like to happen with what one hears the electorate feels they would either like to happen or be willing to tolerate.
I think that this is why it is so important that mayoral candidates take the late Ed Molin’s very wise advice (see earlier entry) and have at least 2 terms or 4 years as a Newburyport City Councilor.
One Newburyport City Councilor validated this bit of Mr. Molin’s wisdom in a recent conversation that we had. Their comment was that as a first term Newburyport city councilor that they had all kinds of ideas on how things “should” happen, only to come up with the hard realization that things on a municipal level transpire in a very different way.
It appears to be difficult to actually make things work without experience “in the ring,” so to speak.
So I hope that this is the last mayoral election that we see candidates with no prior and reasonably extensive experience on the Newburyport city council floor.
(Editor’s Note: The Primary to vote for Mayor of Newburyport, MA is this Tuesday, September 18, 2007.)