, Gloucester, MA

September 23, 2013

Letter: Bell campaign spotlights hope for change

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

I took my daughters Saturday to Mac Bell’s Mac4Mayor campaign kickoff event.

I wanted them to witness how change can happen. I have grown extremely frustrated with the decision-making of our current mayor and her administration.

As some people know, my wife and I got to experience first hand the “My Way or the Highway” reputation of Mayor Kirk and her city chief administrator, Jim Duggan. We volunteered our time and even spent some of our money, in conjunction with the business owners of the hospitality industry, to work with her on a comprehensive plan. Instead of collaborating, she created complete divisiveness to the point she had to terminate the Tourism Commission.

Instead of investing in what the community knew we needed, she gave us her $1.3 million “ParkingLot Walk,” an empty trolley, a launch services boat to an empty moorings field and a downtown parking lot. Those were her ideas, so she now has to live up to them in an election year.

I had no expectation for Saturday’s event and what would come out of a just another political speech. I was encouraged to see that Mac Bell wants to focus on education, a business-friendly working waterfront and that he has a history and a grasp on our communities.

He demonstrated on how he can get us out of the history of bad real estate deals such as the Fuller School, I-4, C-2 and renting space for our own City Hall offices at Pond Road when we have empty buildings.

I was really impressed by the fact that his campaign will only accept $33 donations and that anything above will go to the great nonprofits of the city who deserve it. I am so tired of seeing all the money wasted on political campaigns as opposed to feeding the hungry. I also respect politicians and individuals who make charitable contributions to help the needy; it’s a sign of good DNA.

Mac Bell also believes in term limits. I agree that new politicians come in with the best intentions, but eventually they become focused on keeping their jobs as opposed to creating some for the taxpayers.

The good thing about Mac Bell is that he already has a job and a car, so we know that he is genuine about his motives for creating change.

I have never gotten involved in the political process. I never thought I could impact change, as much as I crave for it. I think Saturday’s Bell campaign event was more of a lesson for me than for the girls.

Just like the sun is starting to break through as I’m writing this, I now believe Gloucester can have a brighter future with new leadership that will work for us.