Electoral Alterations in Newburyport, MA


A tectonic shift.

(The forces and movement often leading to cracks of large geographical masses.)

Something very significant has happened in this Newburyport city election, November, 2007.

I’m still processing this, but I know its huge.

And it has to do with the newly elected Newburyport City Council.

Mayor John Moak may be “conservative,” but this is the most “progressive” Newburyport City Council since I’ve been here. And it indicates that the dynamics and make-up of the city of Newburyport, MA has changed in some major way, big time.

And not to take away from any candidate’s hard earned spot on the Newburyport City Council, but I think Mother Nature did play a part.

It poured, and it was chilly early in the day and it didn’t stop until around 3 PM. It starts to get dark around 5 PM. And then it started to get cold and slippery (our first genuine frost last night).

And from what I can pick up from talking to folks around town, many seniors did not come out and vote. Who wants to get pneumonia?

But I think, for example, in Ward 4, where long time Newburyport City Councilor (14 years), Erford Fowler, lost to a “progressive” candidate, Ed Cameron, my guess would be that, quite rightly, folks knew somewhere, that even if Erford Fowler lost, Ed Cameron is a compassionate man, who worked very hard in this election, and could be trusted. And maybe not coming out in the cold, drenching rain, could be Ok.

And much to Ed Cameron’s and Erford Fowler’s credit, they were both very gracious, one in victory, and one in not winning.

And the fact that this “you pay your dues,” “you gotta be born here,” Yankee town, elected a woman, Kathleen Ives, who has been here 6 months, over a variety of candidates that have served the city in a variety of capacities, is also huge. (Again, I’m still processing this one.)

And why Gary Roberts lost is a complete mystery to me and everyone I’ve talked to. In my book, a real loss for the city of Newburyport, MA. (And I’m still processing this one as well.)

And the fact that for the first time, in a very long time, we have a mayor that is going to have a second term, is huge. And the fact that Jim Stiles, a basically unknown “progressive” at the start of this electoral campaign, did so well, is also huge.

For moi, much more to process. Much more to mull over.

Mary Eaton