, Gloucester, MA


May 13, 2013

Editorial: Essex voters have their say today

Essex residents last week had their chance to turn out and make direct decisions over a wide variety of issues at their Annual Town Meeting, which addressed a total of 41 warrant articles over two days – 11 of them dealing with the land use and potential sales of properties at Conomo Point.

Today, however, they face at least an equally important decision when they go to the polls in the annal town elections. For while there is not a single contested race actually listed on the ballot, the write-in challenge by Karin Gertsch to incumbent Lisa O’Donnell for the Board of Selectmen indeed drives home the need for residents to get out and vote.

O’Donnell has played key roles on a number of town issues, including with the Town Building Committee, where she’s helped lead the drive toward a desperately needed new public safety building and other facilities.

Yet she and Gertsch clearly differ over the future of Conomo Point. O’Donnell has supported the plans carried on to date by the board, which includes selling most of the properties while also adding some public water access, while Gertsch wants the northern portion of the Point cleared to become a large-scale town park. And their clash in today’s election again gives voters a clear choice.

If you live in Essex, don’t leave that decision up to all of your neighbors.

The polls at the fire station are open until 8 p.m. — take the time to get out and vote. It’s important.

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