Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Election Day Thoughts about Schools and the Charter

Today is Election Day. Although this has been a quiet election in more ways than one, I encourage you to fulfill the obligations of living in a democracy, and vote. I believe that you have had to work a little harder this year to learn about your candidates, to make an informed choice.

For School Committee, there are four of us running for three seats. Mr. deKanter and I are running for re-election, something that rarely happens on the SC these days. You also have a choice of voting for former City Councilor Audrey McCarthy, and Peter McClure, who is running for the first time. Outside of whatever presence in the blogosphere any of us may have had, the general media have pretty much ignored this race; if the Current published anything about who we are or what we stand for, I never saw it. The Daily News ran one piece on each of us. There was no coverage from Port Media, no coverage by WNBP, and the only Candidates Night that allowed the community to see the four of us in one place, and ask any questions was sponsored by me- also unusual. I thank the Kelleher Park Tenants group for inviting us to be part of their Meet the Candidates night.

If it sounds like I am suggesting that the media has not met their threshold obligation in a democracy to inform the community, I am. It is disappointing. Nonetheless, we have an obligation to vote, and I encourage you to do so. I ask for your vote today.

I also wanted to briefly clarify another issue on the ballot, the Charter. I dissented from the document, for what I feel was an inappropriate and uncalled for change in current practices, the decision to prevent elected municipal employees from serving in an office they have been elected to. I won't go into it any further. The more important point I would like to make is this:

There is so much in the proposed Charter that will enhance the ability of Newburyport to do it's business efficiently and transparently, I intend to vote for the Charter today.

There is so much in it that will enable us to better educate our children- from a more rigorous approach to financial planning to the creating of an over-arching human resources function in city government, that I am voting for the Charter, and urge you to do so as well.

Politics is the art of the possible, said Tip O'Neil. I believe that Despite the shortsightedness of the Commission on an issue I felt strongly about, I believe there is much good that will be accomplished under the new Charter. To that end, despite my misgivings on this single issue, I urge you to vote to support this Charter. In the long run, it can be amended to accommodate my concern, or the concerns of others. But the right step is to put it into place, now.

See you all on the other side of the election. Win or lose, it has been a privilege to serve.


ECC said...

Bruce, you put the Charter over the top!

Congrats to you.

Ed Cameron

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Not surprisingly, you have an ambitious set of worthy goals to accomplish.

BTW, the anonymous person who nominated you for the Community Hero Award may be misguided about many things, and you may disagree with this person about certain conclusions, but in this case the facts are indisputable and speak for themselves. After all, your own bio lists your myriad accomplishments--certainly sufficient evidence that the Red Cross was not conned into giving an award to anyone but a well deserving recipient.

Again, congratulations!

Yes, I'm talking to you kid.

Roaming Citizen