, Gloucester, MA

October 29, 2013

Letter: Transparency and the resume test

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

This is an open letter to all of our Gloucester candidates.

While many topics near and dear to the hearts of the Gloucester constituents have been covered in the debates, one of the most fundamental has been overlooked, and that is transparency.

I believe our current city elected officials have demonstrated a history for failing to comply with state public records laws. A government that runs on secret deals, behind closed doors, not only, can not effectively represent all constitutes, but violates the laws of Massachusetts.

Recently, I asked Mr. Whitmarsh, who is running for a seat as councilor-at-large, why I should vote for him, and he replied, “because I am different.” I asked him if he were willing to set the stage for a new, and more transparent city government by providing a list of his contributors and an up-to-date résumé; On Sept. 30 he wrote that he would.

I asked for a resume because a campaign is nothing more than a long job interview and the constituents have a right to know the qualifications of the people their votes will be hiring. As for the contributors, campaign laws require that information to be public.

Unfortunately, Mr Whitmarsh has chosen not to provide these documents. Apparently he is not as different as he claimed. Another candidate, currently running for office, lied about the degrees he had received, but I will leave him nameless, since he corrected that false information once confronted with the facts.

How about the rest of you? The roles you are campaigning for are important jobs, and we as constituents have a right to know who we are hiring.

How many of you are willing to provide a full and up-to-date resume to show your qualifications for the job you are seeking? How many of you are willing to be transparent about your contributors so we, as constitutes, can see if those we are hiring to represent us appear to come with strings attached?

Here’s to a stronger more transparent future for Gloucester, without even the appearance of backroom deals. How many of you will accept this challenge prior to Nov. 5.

Joe Palmisano and Mac Bell already have.