This edition of your The Clam was ghostwritten by Jim Dowd.
We here at your The Clam have been busy doing things like working, raising children, and day drinking cheap wine. Which is ok, because we save the good stuff for night drinking.
But, we know that probably like, 11 of you (at least 6 of which are just people who hate us and can’t wait to disagree with our opinions) have been waiting with bated breath for us to give you our hotly anticipated Your The Clam Gloucester Election Candidate Rundown Deathrace 2021.
So here it is!
Note: we’re not going to cover the folks who are running unopposed, other than to shout out to Sean Nolan, who is unopposed for Ward 5 . Some of us mollusks were not too sure about Sean when he first ran, but man, did he turn out to be good.
- Tracy O’Neil: Tracy is running because she’s angry about the new elementary school. (you all know what we’re talking about, so don’t ask) She made a dramatic Facebook post saying she’d be forced to sell her house and move when the vote passed, but it seems she didn’t follow through. Way to flip-flop Tracy. Her main platform seems to be opposition to the new school without actually offering any solutions, or even showing much concern about other neighborhood issues. How will she treat ward residents who are in favor of the new school? Is she aware that Ward 2 is more than just Portuguese Hill?
Our pick is Pett, though, because he’s not running to square a personal vendetta. Instead, we believe Pett is more qualified because:
- Barry Pett: His historical knowledge of things like the MA Department of Transportation, local businesses, and even our yearly Concerts on the Boulevard and fireworks displays have been a lifesaver for the City Council during the pandemic. Why? Because it helped with morale and because it just plain helps to have someone who understands how these things work. Barry is a tough person who takes criticism on the chin with a laugh and a dad joke. Not afraid to go toe-to-toe with colleagues on tough issues, but is a true professional in how he conducts himself. Please. Barry Pett.
- Bob Whynott is running a write in campaign. For god’s sake, no.
- Frank Margiotta Frankly (heh) we don’t know much about him. But, he’s not Bob Whynott, so.
TL;DR: Our favorites are Grow, Gross, and Cannavo.
Jason Grow: Absolute yes. Historical knowledge, has kids who recently graduated from the Gloucester School system, understands ward-level issues as a former Ward 1 Councilor. Heavily involved in worthy causes such as The Open Door and Gloucester Education Foundation. Not afraid to call a spade a spade. Understands Robert’s Rules of Order, Council Procedure, and the City Charter which holy crap do we need after these last 2 years have you even seen some of these City Council Zoom meetings someone get out the batter and the frosting. Best hair of all candidates (YES)
Robin Hubbard: May be in possession of time machine technology because she thinks we can reverse the vote to merge the elementary schools and rebuild or something? This stance is so incompatible with reality it doesn’t even deserve more air time.
Not to mention that her response to a small crew of sailors from China getting help in our harbor and being welcomed by the mayor was to post this picture. Not only is it insanely racist, but she apparently doesn’t know the difference between Chinese and Japanese people. Hey, they all look the same, right Robin?
When called out on it, she tried to claim that it was an ‘unrelated tribute to Sefatia’ but being that it was posted just after this in the same group, we’re calling bullshit on that.
Crazy Carl: Jesus Christ. Take a look at any of his posts and ask yourself – is this the musings of a certain former Cheeto in chief or is this a local bartender who has delusions of grandeur? Posting gossip, rumors, slander – oh my! These are a few of our least favorite things (well, for elected officials anyway). We wonder if his FB news feed would dictate his actions as a Councilor but we already know the answer is yes (he had a poll about it after all…)
Tony Gross: Served on the School Committee for years. Understands contract negotiation (not a prerequisite for being on City Council, but it has a hell of a lot to do with budgeting). Has advocated to the state for more money for our special needs programs. Is also an ardent Open Door supporter. Is an articulate writer. Chairman of the Waterways Board so understands that whole world. Is a licensed contractor and a retired lobsterman.
Peter Cannavo: This is Peter’s second At-Large bid. Since his first go, he’s proven his investment in the City by becoming an alternate on the Zoning Board of Appeals and continuing to run his nonprofit Gloucester Boxing club, a charity for at-risk youths. He’s also a construction worker who’s received Union endorsement, which ticks off some important boxes for us. He was kind of cozy with the Cape Ann GOP in his last bid, but he seems to have distanced himself which is wise. We have been impressed with his distancing of fringe groups a la Orlando tribe and also like hearing about his union ties, but its clear he has been trying to offer the 30 something crowd a solid choice for a voice at the table.
Jeff Worthley: Will tell you everything you want to hear and then do what he wants anyway. Any rumors we hear usually start or end with this guy. Another typical politician. Just don’t.
Jamie O’Hara: no
To sum up – Gross, Cannavo, and Grow have our endorsement. Which is worth whatever you want it to be.
Rick Roberts Jr: Literally thinks he’s a future mayor and president as he shared to some volunteers while sign holding. He is anti-vaccine and anti-mask, featuring prominently in the Cape Ann GOP’s anti-mask protest at City Hall a couple of months ago: prominently because he was one of like 5 people there. He is fully in bed with the Cape Ann GOP, which makes us wonder how Gloucester’s growing population of students who come from marginalized communities would be affected by any right wing policies which he may be influenced to enact. Hard pass.
Kathy Clancy the GOAT: Yes. Has been on School Committee forever, works tirelessly and overtime, and is incredibly helpful. She may have been doing this since before some of us were born. Unclear.
Laura Weissen: Strong progressive voice of reason. Not afraid to dive into thousands of pages of information to get answers. Is patient and understanding. Has kids in the school system. Focused on diversity.
Samantha Verga Watson: A medical social worker and therapist attuned to the trauma-informed model of schooling, which frankly all of us need after these past few years can we get an amen? Was a student in Gloucester schools and is also a young mom.
Melissa Texeira: On October 19, Melissa announced she is not seeking re-election. This means even if you vote for her, she will not accept. We are pretty sad about this. Melissa worked hard on the School Committee, serving for 14 years. She was instrumental behind the scenes and in the forefront working to get everyone to row together. We will miss her on SC, no doubt.
Bill Melvin: coached kids’ Little League for a long time, and his kids all graduated from GHS. Yr The Clam are not very traditionally sportsing, but this is something important to Gloucester, and we hear good things about him in general.
Keith Mineo: Keith grew up here, just moved back to Gloucester, is a young dad and has early childhood teaching experience. Keith might become the School Committee’s answer to Jamie O’Hara. Thinks the government is at fault for everything and he’s going to fix it. Probably still a better choice than Richard Roberts.
Tom Stein: Also a young dad, Tom Stein grew up in Ithaca, NY and settled here with his family. He is a professor and a college admissions consultant.
By the City Charter, the seventh member of the School Committee is the Mayor.
If you need more info, here’s a YouTube link to the SC candidates’ statements
Our picks for SC:
Kathy Clancy, Sam Watson, Laura Wiessen
Challengers: Melvin and Stein for sure. Mineo over Roberts.