GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

November 2, 2013

Letters: Kirk deserves chance to stay in game:

To the editor:

Mac Bell presents himself as a guy who says what he means and means what he says. But with the election just days away, I’m not convinced he’s said anything meaningful.

The mayoral hopeful launched his campaign in August with a slogan of “shake it up, baby,” which raises the question: Why mess with a good thing? Ending Carolyn Kirk’s tenure as mayor after three terms is akin to pulling a pitcher who’s throwing a two-hitter in the sixth inning.

During Mayor Kirk’s six years in office, Gloucester residents have benefitted from broad and deep capital improvements, a resuscitation of the city’s fiscal standing amidst unprecedentedly difficult economic times and the hiring of multiple, highly competent professionals to head city departments.

The Combined Sewer Overflow project ain’t sexy. It doesn’t allow Mayor Kirk to use politically charged words like “neglect” and “mismanagement” that are so familiar to Mr. Bell. But how a given property gets used won’t mean much if our kids’ drinking water isn’t clean.

Since Mayor Kirk’s election, I find city departments to be more responsive and effectual, not “bloated” or “self-serving” as Mr. Bell suggests. Plus, we’ve all been incentivized to recycle in the Kirk era.

I have no doubt that Mac Bell is true to his word when he says he’s in the race because of his “love for the city.” That’s a sentiment we share. I applaud his service to Gloucester as a city councilor in the 1970s.

Be that as it may, when it comes to what’s best for the city moving forward, it’s abundantly clear we shouldn’t yank Mayor Kirk for a hurler who just joined the bullpen.

CHAD KONECKY

Pew Avenue, Gloucester

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