Thursday, July 28, 2011

City Elections: Shame on us

The current slate of candidates for the upcoming city election really makes me sad. Two races have full fields. At-large councilor has ten candidates for 4 seats, and now there are a bevy of school committee candidates for three seats. That said, most ward races are woeful.

These full races assume, of course, that those who pulled nomination papers actually return them. At last report, only one school committee candidate had done so. I thought my ward was going to have a race, but the challenger has dropped out, and councilor "I must not actually check my emails or messages, because I never respond unless you live in the Willows" McCarthy appears to be running unopposed, again, just like 2009. In fact, this will be the second consecutive election where councilors McCarthy, Sosnowski, Ryan, and O'Keefe will be unopposed. Councilor Prevey, who was unopposed last time, faces only "the homeless guy" possibly now of 31 Barr Street, in this election.

Only two wards have anything resembling a real race. First is ward 3, with Justin Mattera and Todd Siegel challenging incumbent Jean Pelletier. Enjoy the free drinks for now, councilor. I guess this means that Mike Blatty is off the hook and doesn't have to run. The second is ward 5, where local business owner Josh Turiel is challenging John Ronan. Josh just announced that former ward councilor Matt Veno has joined his team as campaign co-chair. I believe Veno is still very popular in that neighborhood. If he's smart, Josh will kill Ronan for his hypocrisy regarding budget cut after cut, when he refused to save money on the annex lease.

Councilor at-large has 10 candidates for only 4 seats. All four incumbents are running for re-election. This is bad math for the challengers. The anti-incumbent vote, and there should be plenty, probably gets split way too far to kick out any of the incumbents. If Matthew Fraser was smart, he'd file to run in Ward 2 instead. He'd hammer Sosnowski for complaining about a static metal box on Bridge Street while ignoring the car damaging jumps at Bridge and Winter. He'd also jump on the annex lease. Simply, he's not winning an at-large seat.

I admit that I'm a hypocrite. I'm complaining about nobody running, but I'm not running myself. My wife and employer would both kill me if I did. Here's what I will do. If anyone in Ward 1 will pull papers by tomorrow, I pledge to spend the weekend getting you at least half, if not more, of the required signatures to run. Hit me up if you decide to do this. Matt Richard? I get that your DARQ following is citywide, but why not run for both? Sawicki's doing it ...


  1. what's the ward breakdown anyway?
    I'm Ward 2, I know that...
    also, what do these councilors have to do?
    i'd consider running, but I have no idea what that even entails

  2. Ward 1 is Willows, Derby Street, Point.
    Ward 2 is Bridge Street, Common, Webb, and then Bridge all the way down to Boston Street.
    Ward 3 is the southwest edge of downtown, all the way to the Lynn line, south and east of Highland Ave.
    Ward 4 is north of Highland Ave, up through Witchcraft Heights, to Boston St.
    Ward 5 is south of the point, up to the college.
    Ward 6 is North of the North Street Overpass.
    Ward 7 is South Salem from the college, excuse me, university, to the Swampscott and Marblehead lines.

    Map here, thought it is about to change some because of the last census.

  3. Dear G:
    Thanks for thinking of me.
    It has been clear to me for several years now that my ward is happy with Mr. Pelletier's representation (such as it is) of them, so why run yet again? As they say, voters get the representation they deserve.
    Meanwhile, it is sunny and 75 degrees at Malibu Beach so why get up out of my beach chair now?
    I wish Mr. Mattera and Mr. Siegel the best of luck. They both have my vote.

  4. Both have your vote? Are you voting ACORN style?

  5. Of course, silly person!
    (P.S. If you will take out the papers for me, get me 30 signatures, turn in the signatures and be my unofficial campaign chairperson then I will run for Ward 3 councilor after all.
    What do you say......punk?!

  6. Tempting... tempting...

  7. But complete silence from G....

  8. I'm going to go out on a limb, Mike, and say that since G has been pretty much silent on Twitter and hasn't posted here, nobody took him up on the offer and so he went away for the weekend. And that's well-deserved if it's the case.

  9. I think that's a pretty fair assessment of the situation, jht.
    What a relief!
    Good luck with your own race!


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