A Mayor Upset

Posted on September 17, 2009


We live in the best of cities; we live in the worst of cities. There’s the beautiful waterfront on Lynn Shore Drive. Yet driving over the GE Bridge on Routhe 1A, the first thing you see is the undeveloped dumping-ground beneath the power lines crossing Saugus River. On one hand, a diverse and engaged citizenry. On the other, gang violence and shoot-outs.

Yes, Lynn is a good city with the potential to be great. I’ve always thought that what was missing was that final push, that extra effort that transforms it from the Brockton of the North Shore to the Somerville north of Somerville or the city on a par with Salem.

That time may be upon us.

Judy Flanagan Kennedy, a write in candidate, pulled a major upset over Mayor Edward “Chip” Clancy this Tuesday at the polls. Not only was she conducting a sticker campaign, she beat Clancy. About 14% of those registered to vote, voted. This may seem like a small percentage, yet my colleague at work says that one out of every 7 is a return on a random sample any survey-taker would die for.

Neither candidate gets my unqualified endorsement. Clancy has been running on past accomplishments, billboards and pop-up ads. Some accuse him of taking credit for things he did not do, such as building the new police station. So far, he hasn’t made the case to newcomers like me that he is responsible for it; he’s certainly taken credit for it though.  He has helmed the city through difficult economic times, keeping the ship of city afloat. He deserves credit for that.

Kennedy strikes me as somewhat of an airhead. What I mean by this is that while there is no doubt she is an intelligent and well-meaning woman, she makes gaffes I would call absent-minded. In her video that the Lynn Item posted on their website,  while demonstrating how to vote for her write-in candidacy, she prefaces it by saying, “to vote for me as city councilor…” HELLO–YOU’RE RUNNING FOR MAYOR, JUDY! She appears more disorganized than her colleagues on city council. Such lapses have caused me to doubt her managerial abilities.

Yet Flanagan Kennedy represents change. Change is what this city needs. The old way of doing things has resulted in a holding pattern. Lynn needs a push in the right direction to go from good to great. The chief reason I voted for Flanagan Kennedy was because a good dose of competition makes each candidate work harder. I do not know who I will vote for in the November election.

You have your work cut out for you, candidates. Make the case that I should vote for you.

Posted in: local government