2023 Gloucester Municipal Election – Clamsplainer

Hey all – it’s the brief return of Your Clam with our latest effort in groupthink – the biennial Clamdorsements for the Gloucester municipal elections. A couple of years ago we wrote these for Salem and Beverly too, but frankly their elections are a lot more boring right now so they’re not worth the effort. Maybe we’ll do a snarky Facebook post about them the week before. But most of us live in Gloucester, and that’s first in our bivalve hearts. Plus it’s batshit crazy here in town.


The Clam’s choice for Mayor: Incumbent Greg Verga. 

The Clam has been hard on Verga in past elections, but we give a tip of the hat to him: he’s been a steady hand during this term. He’s tackling the big issues (secondary sewer treatment plant kicked down the road for 40 years; climate changes; long-range planning with community involvement; allocating ARPA funds to improve infrastructure) and the softer, fuzzier ones (participating as much as possible in Gloucester’s 400+ anniversary events).

He hasn’t shied away from difficult issues. He’s managed to increase the City’s road budget by 500%, no mean feat. He helped get us through a severe drought accompanied by days-long wildfires. He has repeatedly said he wants Gloucester to be a place his grandchildren can enjoy well into adulthood. That also means making it as affordable as possible to live here, and he has been a man of his word as far as working toward more diverse housing stock for all including directing $1.5M of ARPA funding to that end.

And to be clear, we were big Sefatia stans during her time in office. She had a good staff, she was entertaining and generally competent, and she was basically the more fun Id of Gloucester. Despite that, we’re enjoying the lack of drama associated with Mayor Verga a lot more than we ever expected to. He doesn’t make a lot of fuss, he just does the job well.

Challenger: Mary Ellen Rose

Where do we even start? This is MER’s second or third time running for office in Gloucester. She ran for Council in 2011 but did not win. She was our Health Department director for…five months and three weeks. Yes, she has a Ph.D., but what good does that education do when she thinks “Sound of Freedom” is legitimate journalism?

Comments during her public, Zoom-recorded job interview included an anecdote about how she told a room full of Black graduate students they had no idea what it was like to be in her position as a white person with no support at home, basically saying she feels she has been overlooked for opportunities because of the color of her skin. She said that! With a straight face! Tell us you don’t understand white privilege without telling us you don’t understand white privilege, Mary Ellen. And, no, it is not our job to explain it to you. 

Perhaps out of sheer desperation, MER was hired for the Health Department director job but stayed only 5 months. She did say during the Lanesville debate she’d be happy to share her personnel file with whoever is interested. We at The Clam are wondering if she would allow the City to release the record. Sure, she says she has her personnel file on hand. If it is also the same as the one in the City of Gloucester Personnel Department, why not just make that one public? As a former City employee, she could do that. 

What we do know is, thanks to a Public Record request for MER’s City-owned cell phone records, it seems her political stance is in line with the far-right. We’ll put the screen shots on our Facebook page because, honestly, this is long enough already and we don’t want you to leave this blog post yet.

Still not sure? Here’s a fun new game we’re calling “Match the quotes below to the candidate for Mayor who said them!”*

*these things could have been said in past bids for office as well. All public statements are fair game. 

  1. “I don’t want this city to become a bedroom community of Boston or a welfare state”
  2. “You have no idea what’s it like to be a white person from an uneducated background”
  3. “Public participation is a crucial piece around the future of the former East Gloucester School site”
  4. “Beware of those who share information who do not have generational roots in Gloucester”
  5. “I believe housing is a basic human right”
  6. “It was a privilege to share a moment with 97 immigrants”

Vote Verga, yo. Bonus: good alliteration. 

(answer key: 1 – MER, 2 – MER, 3 – Verga, 4 – MER, 5 – Verga, 6 – Verga)




Tony Gross 

Jason Grow 


Jeff Worthley



Val Gilman (Current Ward 4 Councilor and City Council President)

Chris Dimercurio-Sicuranza (but he’s finally going with the shorter name on the ballot)


The Clam endorses the following candidates for Councilor-at-Large: 

Val Gilman 

Tony Gross 

Jason Grow

Chris Sicuranza 

First of all, we’re huge fans of both Jason and Chris. Jason Grow is admittedly a good friend to a lot of the Core Clams. We love his practical approach to government. Chris was the person who did a lot to help keep the Sefatia administration on track, and he’s a government pro. Val and Tony are both longtime Gloucester leaders. Val is stepping out of her Ward 4 role and going for At-Large this term, which would be her 4th on City Council. Gloucester City Council has finally been able to resume hybrid meetings as of September. Val has repeatedly expressed her desire to follow Council rules of procedure and Robert’s Rules of Order. We’ve seen what happens when Council meetings go off the rails. As the Council President, Val is charged with reining in her rowdier colleagues and members of the public, many of whom do not care to learn how Open Meeting Law or City Council agendas actually work. We want representation with experience running meetings, please and thank you. This hearkens back to when Jim Destino was the Council President and streamlined the agendas so not every meeting went past 11pm.

Tony also goes by Robert’s Rules and all that other stuff, and he is intimately familiar with the struggles of everyday Gloucester citizens here. He’s an OG, as the youths sometimes say. 

Jamie O’Hara has admitted to spending the majority of his last term in Florida. Or maybe in West Virginia? This he told a CBS Boston reporter, sounding almost bemused. 

What the hell, dude? Is this a joke to you? You are supposed to be representing Gloucester, not Pensacola. We don’t care how many American flags you use for your Zoom background photo. You are out for yourself and you are making a mockery of our government. 

Hybrid meetings do have their flaws.

For real, tho 


Jeff Worthley: The Clam is once again not endorsing Jeff Worthley. We are too tired to even bother saying why. Like, if Jeff was our boyfriend, we’d be muting his notifications because gurl, he just does not stop with the DM’s. We already told him we have work tomorrow.


Besides that, Jeff is a blatantly opportunistic politician. One of many examples: How much control does he have over Gloucester Public Schools Paraprofessional salaries? None. Zero. That’s up to the School Committee. Yet he has somehow managed to convince swaths of locals that some of his competitors aren’t in favor of a living wage (laughably untrue). What happens if he’s re-elected and the paraprofessionals are still in the midst of mediation with the School Committee? We somehow don’t think they’ll lay the blame at Jeff’s feet despite the ownership he’s taken of the situation. 

Two Alaskan mayors on each end of the standard deviation? Yep. We couldn’t believe it, either.

On a scale of political opportunism from Stubbs, 20-year Mayor of Talkeetna, AK (least) to Sarah Palin, Tina Fey impersonator (most), the Clam finds Councilor Worthley somewhere between Springfield Mayor Joe Quimby and Schitt’s Creek Mayor Roland Schitt.



Incumbent: Scott Memhard. Scott has been a steadfast and calm listener during his time as the Ward 1 Councilor, even as he was undergoing major heart surgery during the COVID pandemic. We haven’t always agreed with his votes, but it is obvious his colleagues respect him, and that instills confidence in us. Scott picks up the Clamdorsement for Ward 1. 


Challenger: Mary-Ann Albert Boucher, known in some circles as Queen MAAB. Vocal NIMBY. Says she educates herself by listening and participating in meetings, yet somehow still believes she understands traffic studies better than people who do them for a living. 


WARD 2 (open seat):

Dylan Benson

Dan Epstein


Both of these men are professional, well-educated, and invested in their neighborhoods. Dylan and Dan have both earned the Clamdorsement, we believe either would serve the Ward well. Lucky you, Ward 2!


Just before publication, we received word that NEITHER of the Ward 2 candidates received an official invitation to participate in the 10/25 Chamber of Commerce debate. They both heard about it that morning, and apparently not through official channels. Rather than scramble to get ready for it at the last minute, both teams talked to each other and issued a joint statement. Good for them. We are even more impressed. 

We wish more campaigns operated this way. Really.



Marjorie Grace: Liberal and can’t stand Trump, which we Clammunists appreciate, but another vocal NIMBY. Also hates tourists, yet relishes being a tourist elsewhere. Yr The Clam is, itself, not too fond of tourism. It’s a reality of our economy, though, and we want our many friends who rely on tourism for income to be able to stay put. 

Joe Orlando (no, not that one, and not that one, either.) This Joe Orlando was on the Council in the ‘80’s. Unlike Marjorie, Joe answered the recent Housing4All municipal candidate survey and seems to have a good grasp of the housing crisis here. That’s good enough for us. Joe gets the Clamdorsement for Ward 3. 




Frank Margiotta (current Ward 3 Councilor): even-handed and well-thought-out responses during meetings. Responsive to constituents. Does his research. Does not play favorites. Frank handily picks up the Clamdorsement.


Mary-Pat Da Rosa: Cape Ann GOP favorite. Don’t do it, Ward 4. 



Unopposed Incumbent: Sean Nolan. Yr The Clam is a big Sean Nolan stan. We’re thrilled he is willing to put up with all this nonsense for another term.

We’ll cover the School Committee race in a couple of days – but that’ll just be a Facebook post.

Everyone Clam Down Just A Minute

[ed: This is a guest posting from a friend of the blog who wanted their voice heard – and we love it!]

Greetings, Clam Nation.

So unless you’ve been busy stockpiling dry goods for the next pandemic spike, you’ve probably seen Gloucester Health Department Director Karin Carroll’s allegations in the Gloucester Times that Mayor Sefatia Romeo-Theken has been interfering with the City’s COVID-19 response. If you haven’t, here’s the link.

We in the Clam Bunker have had some lively discussions about these and other issues brought forth over the past week and prior. Again, unless you’ve been busy counting rolls of toilet paper, you’ll recall Harbormaster TJ Ciaramitaro’s suit against the City. Community Development Director Jill Cahill has now joined the chorus.

Your The Clam prides itself on its scrupulousness. While the Clameditorial Board was raised on memes and GenX snark, our moral compass is much clearer than the muddy flat we call home. We do stan some good grit.

How’s This for Muckraking?


Mayor Sefatia’s language is unapologetically colorful. She has been this way for her entire two terms in office, not to mention beforehand. She is famous for her colloquial and authentic turns of phrase, from Saint Peter’s Club to the State House. Her unflinching takes on all the issues – all of them – are a lot to swallow for some. There is no denying her love for Gloucester, though. Everyone here is family.

Regarding the Ciaramitaro/Cahill complaints, perhaps that’s the mistake she made. This is a tender time. We are, as a people, tired. Words hurt more than usual. It is tough to remember ourselves. Mayor Sefatia is no exception. She aimed for an open door policy, but a boss also has to draw clear lines. A boss has to be at least a little reserved. This is a tough balance to strike even without the looming threat of an untimely viral death.

Which brings us to the Gloucester Health Department.

The allegations Karin Carroll brought forward are very serious. Your The Clam is waiting to see what happens next. In the meantime, we are withholding judgment. There are accusations, yes, but there must be evidence. With evidence – and with proper oversight from the State – comes clarity and the ability to move forward.

Stay healthy. Wear your masks. Be good to one another. Stay tuned.

AOK – Champion of Human Rights?

We’ve been presented with a Clamsplaining conundrum today. And we had to have a full group discussion in order to fully wrap our heads around it. We’re still a bit puzzled, so we’re going to open up the conversation and the problem to you all in Clam Nation.

Do we take the time to explain to the good people of Gloucester, that if you are a fan of Human Rights, you need to send a message today to the City Council, to prevent the appointment of Amanda Orlando Kesterson to the Human Rights Commission? Or, do we explain to that same woman, that this city commission she has applied to join, is in fact, responsible for ensuring the rights of ALL people (gay, straight, trans, cis, undocumented, women and their reproductive rights) are protected, and advanced?

We assume that the good people of Gloucester may need a heads up that the vote is this week, and that we are certain the city can find a person better suited to serving on this commission (or perhaps, couldn’t find a WORSE person). Please, send an email. Make a call.

Upon reflection, we actually don’t think it is possible that AOK understands the function of the Human Rights Commission, nor the responsibility that she would be tasked with. This is not a chance to debate the importance of “men’s rights”, or to affirm the notion of “reverse racism”.


Briefly, the Commission is tasked with ensuring that:

No person in our city shall be unlawfully discriminated against in matters of housing, employment, education, contracts, purchasing or public accommodations, on the basis of: age, ancestry, citizenship, color, disability, economic status, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender, military status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or source of income.

We feel it might be helpful to help Amanda understand that, by being appointed to this commission, she would be expected to be a loud voice in our community advocating for the right, and ABILITY of all people in Gloucester to live a life of freedom and liberty. The Commission does not debate IF people are worthy of basic rights, but rather, to provide support, insight, and advocacy for people when their rights are at risk.

Her letter asking for consideration to the city council suggests that she is unclear on this aspect of the position. She offers that she can’t know in advance what her positions will be on issues coming before the commission… there will not be debates about who deserves to be treated with equity, it should be pretty easy to say “if appointed, I commit wholeheartedly to offering the full spectrum of my gifts to ensure that human rights are protected, full stop”.

 Seeking political support from people who have fought hard AGAINST the ACTUAL RIGHTS OF OTHERS, IS, IN FACT demonstration of an inability to treat “ALL people with respect, kindness and understanding”.

 In nearby communities, Human Rights Commissions have led forums on Immigrant rights, and Sanctuary. Educational opportunities to enter into challenging dialogues around race, and support for those in our state recently targeted with the efforts to roll back civil rights protections for trans people. We hope and expect the same here in Gloucester.



It is fascinating to us, that in the same week that her appointment is to be reviewed, she held a fundraiser with Jim Lyons, arguably the most prominent ANTI-LGBTQ politician in the state, before he lost his seat in that liberal hotbed of Andover, he was particularly known for his championing of GAY CONVERSION THERAPY, and his efforts to prevent the state from providing civil rights protections for trans people in MA.

A Human Rights Commission is a sign of a community that cares about those on the margins, and specifically, members of a Human Rights Commission need to be capable of handling difficult and sometimes sensitive information. Members of a Human Rights Commission need to be people KNOWN for compassion, for commitment to those who don’t share the same privileges, and for being willing to step up and step forward for those whose rights are most at risk.

We have seen time and again, how Amanda has leveraged local politics to gain a voice at the state level, and even nationally. Little about her past performance suggests that she has the ability to

“increase mutual self-respect, harmonious intergroup relations and the peaceful enjoyment of life in our diverse community;”

We applaud her desire to stretch and grow in this new and unforeseen way, but until she has had a chance to demonstrate the ability to offer voice and advocacy for those already oppressed, we think her past actions, statements, and fundraisers (as long ago as 1/09/2020) suggest she is not an appropriate fit for this role in our community. And we’d urge Gloucester’s City Council to reject her appointment.

Your The Clam Voting Guide – 2019 Salem City Elections

Good morning, Clam Nation! As you know, we’ve got connections here in our Top Secret Gloucester Clam Underground Lair to people all over Essex County, including Salem and Beverly! Our reach is just, wow. Since we know a lot of our readers live down the line and the Clam is all about togetherness, we decided to lock our Gloucester Clam Actual Politician™ into the basement (even more underground, we’re not sure he’s getting enough air but we’ll check later), and we want to prove to you that we’ve been paying attention. We let Josh give us some info on people but we then proceeded to at least partly ignore him. So wrapping up the grand Clamback, below are our Clamdorsements in the Salem City Council and School Committee elections, because you guys are no fun and only make your mayor run every four years instead of two.

In the City Council race, they’re super polarized right now. A bunch of the Councilors have gotten the reputation of being total mayor suckups. A bunch more have gotten the reputation of being totally against her. We like Driscoll up here in Gloucester – if Salem gets tired of her feel free to send her our way. We like Sefatia too (hell, we love her), but competition would be nice. Anyhow, in Salem they’ve been fighting over zoning and all kinds of crap all year, and the Councilors from Wards 4 and 6 give each other death stares every meeting. We’ve seen video. It’s bad. And this writer deals with toddlers all day, that’s nothing compared to this crew. We’d like to fix it, so here’s our picks (Clam choices in Bold).

City Council At-Large:

Vote them out. All of them. At least, all three incumbents that are on the ballot (Sargent, Milo, and Dominguez – Tom Furey is stepping down after a long career as an elected official without having used email once). That leaves us five non-incumbents to pick from, and they’re a good lot pretty much. Here’s our four top ones.

Conrad Prosniewski (that’s a frigging mouthful) is a recently retired police captain. Everyone in Salem loves him, he’s gonna win. Vote for him anyway, he’s a good guy. Conrad isn’t on any particular side and that’s healthy, we think. Progressives love him, conservatives love him.

Shark costume


Alice Merkl ran for office a year ago, losing closely a race for Southern Essex Register of Deeds, a job you’ve never heard of. She’s slumming with this race, but we like her a lot. Super progressive, empathic, and for years has been an active volunteer all over the community on top of her work teaching music. It’s also a lot of fun in Salem when we have majorly progressive people on the City Council because it makes Facebook explode with annoyed conservatives.

In that same vein, we like Jeff Cohen. He ran for City Council two years ago, and came in last. This time maybe he’ll do better. He is the kind of progressive who needs you to know how progressive he is, and how the rest of us aren’t doing it right. Jeff, we’ll have you know that we’ve got people here in the Lair who were out manning the barricades when you were in diapers, and make you look like a right-winger. We give Josh shit all the time for not being progressive enough for us. But he’s fun, plus he’ll also make conservative heads explode. They think Jeff’s a left-wing terrorist. We also like his environmental focus. So we like him, despite crapping all over him here.

And our last pick, but nowhere near our fourth one (more like 1A with Conrad) is Ty Hapworth. Ty checks all the freaking boxes there are. He’s a Army vet living in a beautiful downtown home and married to his high school sweetheart, with a fancy executive job at Microsoft doing something Josh tried to explain to us but it made our heads hurt. And the Housewives of Salem thirst for him. Dude probably ought to run for Governor instead but we think he can’t handle the pay cut.

Ty Hapworth


The Clam choices: Hapworth, Prosniewski, Merkl, and Cohen. Some of Team Clam likes George McCabe, too – and if you switched one of your votes to him we won’t hunt you down.

Then there’s the Ward races in Salem. Always interesting, always weird.

Ward 1 features a contest between 6-term Councillor Bob McCarthy and long-time activist James Willis. The Clam endorses McCarthy, though Willis is perfectly fine. The two are almost identical on every issue, our pick is mainly because of experience and entertainment value, Bob turns so red when he’s talking to fools that we worry a bit. You can even see it on the 480p cable access. Even though Willis has been generally a supporter of Mayor Kim, a lot of the people that hate Driscoll are backing Willis because Bob has a long track record of supporting her, too. And with us throwing so many of them out, we need to keep a couple of the better ones around.

Ward 2 has a theoretically unopposed candidate in Christine Madore, who is smart, technocratic, a little too process-driven, and does a good job overall. At the beginning of October the Federal Street crew who religiously oppose Mayor Kim at every turn put forward Federal Street housewife, anti-Driscoll activist, frequently ousted volunteer, and occasional jazz singer Stacia Kraft as a write-in candidate with a massive coordinated effort and a float in the Halloween Parade. It’s ridiculous, but in Salem shit like that happens. Be jealous, North Shore, be jealous. Madore hasn’t given us any particular reason to get rid of her but when the local John Birchers and angry neighborhood activists line up behind Kraft and don tinfoil, that’s a reason to keep Madore as well.

Ward 3


In Ward 3, there’s an open seat. Incumbent Lisa Peterson won her seat in 2017, decided the City Council was a hot mess (she’s not wrong), and quit to run for Congress instead. You’ll see her next year. Meanwhile, her hand-chosen successor Patti Morsillo is running against local Steak & Eggs guy Bob Camire. Bob doesn’t believe in email (they were almost done with candidates like that when Furey retired) and thinks liberals are ruining Salem. Vote Morsillo.


Ward 4 has more weirdness. Firefighter Tim Flynn won an open seat in 2017 and since then has been the guy to throw red meat to Salem’s MAGA crowd (yes, even Salem has them). The dude is a walking Blue Lives Matter meme. We’d link you his hot mess of a Facebook page but you’ll tear your hair out. While he continues his war on liberalism, development, taxes, and the No Place for Hate Committee in Salem he’s also dealing with his challenger Michael Cusick. Michael is a really smart retiree who’s pitch seems to be “if you’re going to put a generic white guy in office, it should be a smart one”. We agree. Vote for Cusick. Even if Flynn loses, you’ll see more of him – the last conservative white guy with a buzzcut and a government day job to lose an election came back to run for mayor next time out. Of course, he lost, it was in 2017.

Hannibal Meme


Ward 5, Oh well. You’re stuck with Josh Turiel again because he’s unopposed for real (in contrast to the fake unopposed in Ward 2). He told us he’s quitting after this term, so at least you’ve got that to look forward to. We’re stuck with him and at some point have to let him start posting here again. We’ll text you your new password the day after this posts, ok Josh?



Ward 6 is another open seat. Three-term Councillor Beth Gerard is quitting to spend more time with her cats and less time looking across the aisle at her mortal enemy Flynn. We don’t blame her, and we’re not sure which is the mongoose and which is the snake. The Mack Park Neighborhood Association has united to put forward two-time retread candidate Jerry Ryan as their choice. Jerry was Ward 4 Councilor for a while at the beginning of the decade before running at-large in 2013 and losing. After a term off, he ran again in 2015 and won a at-large seat, only to lose it again in 2017. Having changed addresses in the meantime, now he just can’t stay away and is running for the open Ward 6 seat. We’ve heard about the Mack Park crew, and their endorsement means a big NOPE for us. Fortunately, his opponent that the Clam endorses is Megan Riccardi, who is a political rookie, tech industry pro, and super smart. A bunch of us Clams have met her and you want her elected. Truth.

Ward 7 is Salem’s buffer with Swampscott. And it’s represented by Steve Dibble, who is (in his telling) the most important man in the universe and planted every tree in Salem. He also (if you ask him) wrote the zoning code, teaches chess, and is a blowhard to end all blowhards. Four years of him has been Dunning-Krueger come to life. Andy Varela is his opponent, the owner of Maitland Mountain Farm (pickle experts, not everything experts) – and Andy is everything that Steve thinks he, himself is. Varela is young, dynamic, runs a growing business, and has a perspective shaped by not being a Salem lifer. We like what he brings to the table, plus he has the advantage of not being Steve Dibble. When we have Clam board meetings and Dibble’s name comes up, our Salem members’ eyes twitch.



Salem School Committee has three seats up for election this year. One of them is open as incumbent Kristine Wilson didn’t run for a second term. Incumbents Jim Fleming and Mary Manning are running for reelection, and Manning is OK, we guess. Fleming, just nope. He’s tied way too much into the whole “neighborhood groups that exist to fight anything Kimmy does” crowd and we’re tired of that crap.

The two we do endorse fully are Beth Anne Cornell and Kristin Pangallo. They’re both college professors (Cornell at Wentworth and Pangallo at Salem State) who have kids in the Salem Schools – and right now there are ZERO parents on the School Committee. Fixing that with college professors WHO ARE ALSO PARENTS seems like a good idea to us.

Also running are Donna Fritz, who is also a Salem parent and a member of the PTO at Witchcraft Heights Elementary, and Jennifer Brown, who attended one debate, confused a rubric with a Rubik’s Cube, and hasn’t appeared at an event, debate, or responded to any media since. So nope. But vote for up to three candidates, and so long as none of them are Fleming or Brown you’re OK with Manning or Fritz. Just pick one of those two.


Your The Clam Voting Guide – 2019 Beverly City Elections

Greetings from the Garden City, once home to the Summer White House, Birthplace of the US NAVY (suck it Headers), site of the first cotton mill in the US, and home to 40,000+ residents.

Entering Beverly

Because Beverly AMIRITE???

The Beverly City Council is comprised of 6 ward councilors, and 3 at-large councilors. Unique in the state, the highest vote getter in the Beverly Councilor At-Large race automatically becomes the City Council President. Of these 9 seats, there are only two competitive races, for Ward 3 City Councilor, and for Ward 5.

Beverly rarely has contested races, and 2019 is no exception. 5 out of 6 school committee seats are uncontested (with 2 new candidates that will be elected in Wards 3 and Wards 5). The mayoral election is uncontested. All 3 At large seats are uncontested (or, there are only 3 candidates for the 3 seats, the City Council presidency IS up for vote). 4 out of 6 Ward races are uncontested.

This makes endorsements in contested races pretty easy.


CONTESTED SCHOOL COMMITTEE (endorsements in Bold):

For Ward 4 School Committee, the incumbent John Mullady (tl/dr ENDORSED) is running against Jeffery Silva. There is so much good to say about John’s tenure so far on the school committee, he researched and presented the Sanctuary declaration. He lobbied at the state level for the recently passed school funding bill. He has been (until now, another teacher is running in Ward 5) the only professional educator on the School committee for some time.

Let’s turn to today’s (10/30/2019) Salem News coverage of the debate last night, to understand the difference between these two candidates, in their own words:

“Mullady said he decided to run for School Committee after seeing the impact of budget decisions made by “people outside of education.”

“I felt I would use my experience in the classroom,” he said. “I know the consequences of cutting a budget for the sake of meeting the bottom line.”

“Education is my passion,” Mullady added. “I made a lot of sacrifices for myself and my family to pursue a career in education. I don’t have a personal agenda that I’m trying to push. I’m trying to work with all the other (School Committee) members and I’d like to keep that going.”

Silva said he is running because he discovered that he enjoyed volunteer working through his experiences as a coach in youth soccer and lacrosse. He also said he has served as a role model working with high school and college interns at his company.”


Contested City Council

Ward 3 City Councilor:

The seat has finally been vacated by long time councilor, generally good guy, and Salem resident, Jim Latter.

Ward 3 is at the heart of the city, and includes the Cummings Center, both the Middle School AND the High School, and Beverly Hospital.

Kris Silverstein, who currently serves as the school committee representative from Ward 3, and as the School Committee Chair, is running for the seat against business owner, and active community member, Stacy Ames (TL/DR ENDORSED). Ames is new to politics, but not new to city engagement, and her primary results speak to how much effort she HAS put into this election, and how hard she is willing to work for the residents of Ward 3. Given that Kris has served as an elected official for this ward for over a decade, her primary results between the 2 precincts say an awful lot about how residents in the entirety of the ward feel about her service. Ames won the primary (with 4 candidates) with 227 of the 598 votes cast. In precinct 1, Ames received 115, to Silverstein’s 31 votes. Silverstein won precinct 2 by 60 votes, but, she LOST precinct 1 by 84 votes to Ames (and, notably, but 10 votes to perennial candidate for everything, Rick Marciano*).

Kris oversaw a controversial and disappointing Superintendent search (NOT because of the eventual hire, but because it was poorly run, and gave only lip service to transparency, which was revealed through a freedom of information act cache of communications sought by a parent who was deeply troubled by the process). That same cache revealed how often she acquiesced to requests from the Mayor (who, HAS a VOTING SEAT on the School Committee). Beverly, in addition to having the lowest spending per pupil in our area for our schools, is also in the very small percentage of communities in the Commonwealth that charges a fee for Full Day Kindergarten. There has been regular, widespread community advocacy to eliminate this fee, and, with annual city budget surpluses in the millions, to increase funding to our schools. Communications show that the Mayor asked Kris NOT to allow a vote on eliminating the Kindergarten fee. Communications show, despite the advocacy efforts of dozens of parents who spoke at a School Committee Meeting, Silverstein honoring the Mayor’s request that she not the city council to consider the need for more funding in the city budget in the schools, going so far as to personally write each with that request.

Silverstein is running as “an independent” voice, but we believe her record has not shown that. The educational outcomes of kids in Ward 3 are different than the educational outcomes of kids in our wealthier wards, and, as School Committee Chair and longest serving member, she has not demonstrated a skill set in advocating well or standing up for her youngest constituents. There is little to suggest she would or could do so for the rest.

Ward 5 City Council:

Ward 5 City Councilor.: Incumbent Don Martin vs Kathleen Feldman (TL/DR ENDORSED). Fun fact. Councilor Martin cannot be reached via email, or phone, per the city website! He is also a conservative who voted to reject protections for trans citizens in Beverly. We feel he pushes traffic-generating retail commercial development harder than housing – and we’re housing fans here. He is also not very energetic about solar power (hee hee).

Kathleen Feldman is a force to be reckoned with, a leader at the North Beverly PTO, she has made a point to knock on more doors this campaign cycle than Martin has in his many years of service.

This is pretty simple, do you vote for the guy who does not affirm equal civil rights for all citizens, and, CAN’T ACTUALLY BE REACHED; or the woman who will meet you for coffee tomorrow if you need her, and, if you need her, you can reach her RIGHT NOW?

Fortune Cookie


City Councilor at Large:

As mentioned earlier, the top vote getter in this race will become the City Council President. 2 out of the 3 candidates HAVE served in this capacity before (Paul Guanci and Tim Flaherty). Flaherty voted against protecting the civil rights of transgender people in Beverly in a city council meeting prior to the state wide vote to rescind those rights (Ballot measure 3 in 2018, which, was soundly defeated). Guanci does not like to be called a Republican in local elections (which are officially non-partisan), but his Twitter feed shows that he isn’t a “Bill Weld” acceptable kind of Republican, he is a “Send the Squad back to their home countries” liking Republican. We can do better.

The Clam will be voting for Julie Flowers, seeking her second term, she has been a progressive voice on the city council and in her short tenure has advanced protections for trans people in Beverly, and, got the “bag ban” ordinance implemented. Given the unique nature of the Beverly City Council President race (and since all three candidates will be seated), we recommend ONLY voting for Julie (this is called “bullet voting”), and leaving the other two spots blank, OR writing in your favorite local volunteer.

Endorsed in uncontested races:

Ward One SC: Rachael Abel

Ward Two City Council: Estelle Rand

Ward Three School Committee: Kimberley J. Coelho

Ward 4 City Council: Scott Houseman

Ward 5 School Committee: Kaarin L. Robinson

Ward 6 School Committee : Lorinda Visnick

Races where we really can’t find anything decent to say about the uncontested incumbent, and recommend a write in, or, mobilizing around an opponent and printings stickers. Or starting to fundraise now for 2021:


Ward 2 School Committee

2 out of 3 At Large Seats