If you haven't read your Daily News yet, in yesterday's Ward 4 City Council race, I received 514 votes and Councillor Fowler received 438 votes. Daily News article is here with other post election commentary at the blogs of Mary Baker, Tom Salemi, and Bruce Menin.
I want to thank the voters of Ward 4 -- whether they voted for me or not isn't really relevant -- for participating in the process and helping me as a candidate learn about what's important to them. The resounding message for me was that voters are tired of missed opportunities. Those missed opportunities aren't the product of any one elected official, but something we all own. In the next two years, we need progress on municipal finance, on educational quality and value, on the waterfront, and finally we need progress on a Senior Center.
I want to acknowledge Councillor Fowler's service to Newburyport for many years and in many ways. Maybe for the first time in American political history, we have a case of a candidate (me) growing more fond of an 'opponent' (Erford) during a campaign. I especially appreciated meeting many members of his family during the cold, wet signholding on Election Day. And perhaps the highlight (warmlight?) of the day/evening for me was sharing hot apple cider with Erford after 12 hours of mutual wet misery. And thank you Bill Van Etten for running home and bringing warm refreshments to all the signholders!
Now it's time to put out the trash and recycling, clean the car, and rake leaves....and move ahead on the business of the City. I'm looking forward to working with the Mayor, the City Council, and the School Committee on the important issues before us: municipal reform, education, development, and a Senior Center.
Lastly and most importantly, I want to thank my wife Susanne and daughter Anna for their support and encouragement. All the work and effort was really about making Newburyport the best place it can be for them and all the other families and individuals who live here.