Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Charter commission candidates: meet & greet

I got this email from Ed Cameron. It was sent out to people running for Charter Commission:

As you know, City Hall Auditorium has been booked for Tuesday, 10/20 from 7-8:30 for a meet & greet for ALL of the Charter Commission Candidates.

The Newburyport Democratic City Committee will be sponsoring another opportunity for ALL Charter Commission Candidates on Tuesday, 10/27 at 7PM also at City Hall Auditorium. The format of the forum is as yetto be determined. It will be nonpartisan much like the event for Mayoral and Council candidates sponsored by the Newburyport Republicans earlier this fall.

Candidates who would like to participate on the 27th should RSVP to me at edcameronNBPT@gmail.com.

Well ... I wasn't going to bring it up, but since Ed stresses that these 2 events are for ALL the candidates, I have to say it did raise my eyebrows a bit when I saw that there is an event at the home of a candidate for mayor (Shanley) for just 5 of the people running for Charter Commission.

I tried to tell from the flier if it was just one in a series of 4 events that eventually would encompass everyone who is running, but I could not.

Does anyone know?

I would ask Mr. Shanley at the City Council meeting tonight, but I'm still feeling poorly and will watch the meeting on TV rather than pass around my germs - or pass out, as the case may be.

Sometimes it feels like I might pass out. Horrid virus, or whatever.


Tom Salemi said...

I do.

Karen Battles was nice enough to invite five us of us over for a meet-and-greet.

What exactly raised your eyebrows?

Tom Salemi said...

BTW, hope you feel better.

Gillian Swart said...

Thanks, Tom.

I don't know, my eyebrows just went up a bit. Now you 5 are kind of even more indelibly linked to Shanley than just endorsing him or having a sign in your yard, you know? (And don't think people aren't noticing this stuff, because they are.)

And Shanley has kind of inserted himself into the charter review process - whether it was him or his wife who invited you.

Just my humble opinion, of course.

Tom Salemi said...

I'm fine with people noticing who I support. I'm no reporter when it comes to Port. I'm not an objective observer. I'm just a citizen with a Internet-enabled megaphone. And if anyone else would like me to come by her house for wine and cheese, I am there!

I'd really like to get the word out about the Charter Review process. So if anyone knows a candidate, have them over for some coffee and invite some friends.

Karen said...


I am James Shanley's wife, Karen Battles.

I did indeed invite 5 of the 20 candidates to our house for a neighborhood meet and greet. I made it clear in my invitation that this was an event that I would be hosting and that James was not going to be in attendance.

True, the initial invitation did not have my name on the attachment. That was an oversight I have corrected.

And true, some of the candidates I invited are supporting my husband's campaign, but some are not and some haven't shared. There was no quid pro quo involved. This event is about the Charter Review Commission, not the Mayoral election.

While out and about this election season I have come to realize how few voters understand the importance of the Charter Review Commission and how while having 20 people running for 9 seats is good for democracy, it has overwhelmed some.

I thought a private, casual event for friends and neighbors that helped to explain the Charter Review process and introduce a few of the candidates might be helpful. The five candidates I invited are people that I have come to respect through watching their work on City boards, commissions and through their community service.

In my opinion there has not been enough public information about the the ballot question regarding the Charter Commission, or enough opportunities for voters to meet the candidates.

I am aware of a number of private meet and greet events like mine, where the host has invited several candidates for a number of different seats. The important thing is that the voters get the information they need to make a choice.

Thanks for the opportunity to explain that this event is my idea and that the people invited where my choices for guests.

Anonymous said...

Gillian, you're right. It's disingenuous to say Mr. Shanley wife simply invited the candidates over. It seems like there is a bloc that has already made up its mind to make changes to the charter and is aligned with Shanley.

Gillian Swart said...

Thanks everyone.

Karen said...

Hey Tom,
I didn't say anything about wine and cheese!

Anonymous said...

Excuse, I have removed this phrase