Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What was I thinking?

When I came right out and said vote for Tom Salemi, I wasn't intending to "diss" the other candidates that I know ... I was referring to those 5 people specifically ... (see below for more about that).

So while I'm not that much into endorsements, I'll say that I also am quite familiar with Steve Cole and Bruce Menin from their work on the School Committee.

I think either or both of these guys would also work diligently on this endeavor and probably are not going into this with an "agenda," at least one that I would not like. Nearly everyone has an agenda of some sorts; it's human nature.

That's the criticism I'm hearing, by the way - that a lot of the people are going into this with an agenda. And that's why I think that it probably was not the best idea for those 5 to go to an event that was not inclusive and was hosted by the wife of a candidate for mayor, however prominent she is in her own right.

Other candidates I "know" (aside from Olga MacFarlane, who I really only know a bit; like Steve Cole, she is a native -of sorts, having grown up at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury):

I know Bruce Vogel slightly, I know Sheila Mullins slightly ... I know Jim Stiles maybe a little better ... I met Kathleen Bailey 2 years ago at a Yankee Homecoming planning meeting that I was covering for the Current ... I've interviewed Hugh Kelleher over the phone but I've never met him ... and I met Bruce Brown a few weeks ago when he was campaigning for his son out here on the island (I talked to him for 3 minutes, tops, since he was more asking me for some guidance on finding addresses he was looking for and less trying to engage me in meaningful discourse).

So (wow) there are 9 people who are running for Charter Commission that I have met, if I include Olga, and a 10th one I've only talked to on the phone. I have no complaints to report about any of them.

In this instance, I think that people who have lived here longer than I, have the advantage over me.

I like to observe people, their actions (which I do believe speak louder than words) and form my own opinion. I have just not observed, much less spoken to, most of these 20 people.

It's not that I'm not interested - it's more that I have had a conflict with every "meet and greet" that has been organized to introduce them to the public. I really think it's a disservice to the community that there was not some formal, organized event that was taped for cable access, with them speaking and/or answering questions.

Having said all that - I think the fact that we have 20 people willing to commit to that much time by serving on this commission is extraordinary and wonderful. Even if every one of them has an agenda, it is an act of self-sacrifice on behalf of their community that I think should be rung from every quarter.


Dick Monahan said...

There is a Forum for Charter Commission Candidates tonight at 7pm at the City Hall Auditorium.

Ari Herzog said...

Intriguing I know more of the charter candidates than you, yet I've lived here less time.

Gillian Swart said...

I know, Dick, but tonight is the vote in Newbury about the beach.

Ari, I don't find that particularly intriguing at all. You worked at City Hall and I assume you've been attending the forums. I know most people I know because I've written a story about them, or they are on some board I have covered for the paper.

I regret not knowing all 20 people as well as I know some of them, but doing the CEB interviews, writing for the Current and starting a new venture has taken up a lot of my time the last couple of months. And others have been covering it pretty comprehensively.

On the blog, I like to stick w/what I know ... well, more or less.

Anonymous said...

If I may, our august township has been operated over most of it's history, both politically and otherwise, by a small but efficient cabal of men bent on their own agendas. Indeed, with the mysterious comings and goings at the Masonic Hall, the mumbled rumors by local fisherman of 'sacrifices', and the seemingly unbounded interest in a mysterious tiara kept in a locked room in the Cushing museum it seemed as if the town leaders were obsessed with something hidden.

The continued presence of dirt lots by the waterfront contributed to the shabby appearance and mysterious politics, leading to rumors that perhaps one of the Old Ones hibernated there, for surely there was no other reason for the continued protection of this otherwise nondescript piece of land?

Indeed, it was the long history of events such as these that had convinced most citizens of the town (both those who were born and bred and those who were convinced to purchase homes at extravagant prices) that ANY gathering of politicians was suspect, and that the only truly well-meaning politician was one who did not partake in political activity.

It was both this and the continued close-minded approach to the outside world that lead to rumors in Arkham that the town was under the influence of Ancient presences. When newcomers to the town engaged in the same cabal-like activity it was confirmed, at least in my mind, that the Unspeakable had risen from the Dreamless Realm once again.

And thus the clans continued to meet, the personal friction continued, and something slept beneath the dirt at the waterfront. Is it any wonder that I locked my doors at sunset?

- HP LoveCarrot

Gillian Swart said...

Tiara?? There's a tiara?

Anonymous said...

Gillian, it being the Halloween season you need to brush up on your Lovecraft, especially his story 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth'.

(available for free online at
http://www.dagonbytes.com/thelibrary/lovecraft/theshadowoverinnsmouth.htm )

While reading see if you can figure out which locations in the fictional town of Innsmouth are based on Newburyport, Rockport and Gloucester.

- The Carrot