The P. Preservationist has been blogging since 2009. In all that time, the many issues the city faces have been either pushed off to the future or handled courageously. When you have a strong city council that works as a team, avoids in-fighting and personal slighting; then amazing things can be done. I have also seen the council be wimpy, or driven with such animosity to each other; nothing gets done. We as Newburyport citizens can’t just look at individuals for the city council. We need to see which candidates can be a good match and do the effective job of legislating. If the voters get it wrong, we can’t fix it for another two years. That is why every person participating on election day needs to get the full facts about each candidate. The information will come from many sources – I simply request that you humbly consider my contribution of knowledge on each candidate:
She must be loud and aggressive in private when it comes to her political views but it seems she is very introverted in public – she should join Toastmasters or something to learn to speak better so we can hear her detailed thoughts on controversial issues. But, when it comes to her, the P. Preservationist should just shut and stop giving advice. Why should I help someone who was very vocal – when she actually did open up and advocated against the local historic district ordinance? She is one of the top names in my Raggers and Rogues List on http://www.ppreservationist.com. Therefore, she may have many fine qualities but she is definitely not to receive a vote from those who value the main economic engine of the city: historic preservation and its twin sister, heritage tourism.
My statements about Ed Cameron are still about the same as my last expose’. The only difference is that he ‘was’ the head of the local Democratic City Committee. Polar opposite from my views on a national and state level; nevertheless, he has been good for the city when it has come to infrastructure improvements. Local community support can unite strange allies and I consider him a cautious ‘friend’ when dealing with keeping our quality of life high. He was instrumental in actually beginning the process of improving our sidewalks with his rather controversial support of the meals tax which has gone largely for that purpose. I fear that he will have to make a choice between real historic preservation and what the “Bulldozer” wants in the next two years. He has a good track record, but he will be facing a lot of pressure to ‘give in’.
I guess age mellows a person because as he has progressed well in office in keeping under control his ‘liberal arrogance’. He has blatantly and proudly announced that he wants to work closely with the Mayor and be a consensus builder. But he needs to be careful that he is not too close – the citizens need the assurance that the standard ‘line’ is not his priority but rather the best interests of the community. His real strength is on the environmental side being what his profession was for so many years. This is what is needed when the city grapples with tough subjects as erosion on Plum Island, storm surge as we are basically surrounded by water (The river, the ocean, the Great Marsh and the Common Pasture), the landfill and water/sewage. And of course, I was pleasantly shocked when the Neighborhood Services Committee led by him brought out the Sidewalk Ordinance and the city council passed it (so far) on the first vote. I realize he may have done it to remove an issue from this current election season so it will be interesting how it turns out on the second reading. No matter, he understands historic preservation – though not a leader on the subject, he is a strong supporter.
The Mayor has introduced Mr. Devlin as a “dark horse” candidate. This term is said to go back to the Victorian politician Benjamin Disraeli who wrote a novel called “The Young Duke”. In the book there is a description of a horse race in which the two favorites cannot make the running. In the meanwhile “a dark horse…rushed past the grandstand in a sweeping triumph”. And truly, the question is for Mr. Devlin, “Where did he come from?”
I haven’t seem him in city council meetings. When I attend planning board meetings, conservation and historical commission meetings, and even at the ZBA; I have not seen him. When the city hosts public hearings, I did not spot him or even hear him speak.
But if you go down to the local pub, there you can see him!
He avoided participating in the CEB Interviews on hard issues that will be tackled by the councilors and instead has chosen sloganeering – this is very safe for a politician but it doesn’t tell me he has any desire to stand on his own or to have a mind that tackles the more nitty-gritty challenges the council has to grapple.
We don’t need an empty suit who’s priority is to ‘go along’ with the majority or who ever was the last to speak to him. We’re losing a weasel from the council; and if Devlin wiggles his way into the chamber; does the public really need a replacement?
This man needs to be on the city council. He has the institutional knowledge that is needed to wade through some of the complicated challenges that will be faced in the next year: New England Development and more often than not, the schools. Though the city council does not have a direct influence on the school committee, it will take his leadership to see that our education institutions achieve something that we have not had yet in an affluent community like ours; a superb education standard at par with communities like Andover and Wellesley.
But if elected, he won’t be mealy-mouthed any more. He has chosen the independent way and that means what is best for the community; not the corner-office or any special interests. As a former mayoral candidate, he has the gravitas to be influential.
Now I don’t personally believe in reincarnation but it certainly does seem strange that Bossy Gillis with his fascination with gas stations died in 1965 and our present Bossy Gillis also with this same fascination with gas stations was born in 1966. Now, I realize that the old Bossy was elected six times to public office but that was a totally different city. That was a hard-living, factory town and after the prohibition was repealed, a hard-drinking town. Do we really want today a rough and tumble politician on the city council?
Regardless of the fact that he is bursting forth with great ideas for the city, he is firmly anti-historic preservation. Here we are threatened by infill and developer pressures against the Newburyport Historic District – we do not need someone who doesn’t realize that the local historic district ordinance protects EVERYONE’S property rights and secures the cities future. Do not vote for Bossy!
This woman has sold her soul for power. She changed her hair, she changed her look, she even has associated herself with the left; all to gain power. But don’t give it to her! She has chosen to be a fake-Sheila. While Sheila cooks and volunteers for the Custom House, Ms. Lanphear simply joins, eats the food, drinks the wine and listens to the lecturers. Not the same. While Sheila has decades of community-contributions and has a solid track record, and has tirelessly attended boards and commissions, Ms. Lanphear attends now those same boards and commissions for just a few years. In fact, she was amazed they actually existed years ago and thought they were some kind of ‘secret’ conspiracy. Not even realizing these were non-paid citizens who were just doing their civic duty.
She is conservative but not the kind of conservative that Larry Giunta stands behind (or I). In fact, she used to be a member of the Merrimack Valley Tea Party and they have parted ways. They weren’t far enough to the right!
But the worse is her stand against historic preservation. She has a perverted sense of extreme property rights. (her property rights, not yours) Every time we see another house demolished or gutted; you can thank her for aggressively allowing this to happen in our historic district. She has an historic plaque on her house which she has turned away from the street – the whole purpose for those signs is to show the National heritage of our houses and to educate and inspire our visitors from across the country. That is how much she doesn’t understand what our city is all about.
If she manages to get into office, there will be lots of problems – for the Mayor and for the rest of us. Do we really want this kind of politician on the council?
Being her husband, all I can do is post my full disclosure.
But I will add that her strong, ethical character and her years of contributions to the city; has made her truly feared. She can’t be bought and that strikes fear in the hearts of her opponents and truly depresses the Mayor. She’ll stand for the benefit for all taxpayers – that most mistreated populace of our city. She will truly be “every citizen’s councilor”.
Maybe he will mellow but he has pissed off a lot of people with his arrogant attitude. He truly is full of himself! But there is a plus to all that bravado. He aggressively promotes historic preservation and the return of the local historic district ordinance and proudly says so. That pisses off the Daily News. It also worries the Mayor who sees him being way to independent to be part of the “consensus” team. So he is, quite strangely, being targeted. In true fashion, he has fought back with an aggressive campaign, not fully realizing that some of his closest allies are trying to stab him in the back. As for being pro-business; that really pisses off those in town who are on the left. He may think he’s a team player but I see him being forced to be independent when it comes to the hard issues as they are tackled in the next year.
Well, that is my expose on all the candidates. The Daily News is trying to soft-peddle the truth but I won’t. People are starving out there for some news about the candidates and my point of view contributes. (There should be more people providing views in the city). One thing about my blogs, even as you may disagree with me – they stay up – and they will be consulted for months if not years to come as we discover the final choices by the voters.