It may take Gloucester voters a few extra minutes in the voting booth Tuesday when they choose their councilors-at-large — and that's not just because they can cast four votes in what has become a six-candidate race.
While Planning Board Chairman Rick Noonan — whose name remains on the ballot — bowed out of the race last month, remaining challengers Mary Ellen Rose and Larry Ingersoll bring a lot to the table. That's especially true of Ingersoll, a retired Gloucester patrolman who certainly knows the city's public safety needs and has carved out other positions, like moving City Hall's operations to Fuller School.
Yet, neither Ingersoll nor Rose have made a clear case for displacing one of those already in the at-large seats. Former Mayor and ex-council president Bruce Tobey not only brings vast experience but continues to seek creative solutions — like removing downtown parking meters to help local businesses. Businessman Joe Ciolino has his hands on the pulse of Gloucester's economic needs, Sefatia Romeo Theken remains as strong a constituent servant and watchdog as any ward councilor, and Bob Whynott's experience on the council and as longtime city clerk brings the kind of nuts-and-bolts knowledge any council needs.
Despite formidable challengers, Tobey, Romeo Theken, Ciolino and Whynott are all worthy of re-election — not to continue the status quo, but to continue meeting the council's evolving challenges over the next two years. They deserve your votes.