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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mackin is leaving...who's up next?

So, the Item is reporting that Mackin will be leaving her post as Ward 5 councilor. Who is stepping up to the plate? Looks like there's 15K-16K in salary. Not bad. I wonder what the life of a councilor is like outside of city council meetings.

Ok, so who's up next? Let's start talking about this. I really think this is an opportunity to put our voice (the new downtown) into the council. I'm prodding someone in my building to run already ;-)

-Corey

7 comments:

  1. Hello Corey and everyone,

    I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the Downtown Lynn Blog. My name is Brendan Crighton and I am running for Ward 5 Councilor. Though I do not live downtown, I have spent much time there throughout my life. I recognize many of the challenges, but also the great potential of this dynamic area. I hope to begin a dialogue with all of the downtown residents and stakeholders in order to better understand the issues that you are concerned with. Please feel free to give me a call at 781-593-2490, email me at CrightonForWard5@gmail.com, or respond to my post on the Downtown Lynn Blog. I look forward to an ongoing discussion regarding your thoughts about the Downtown, Ward 5 and all of Lynn. I appreciate this opportunity and thank you for your time.

    Sincerely,

    Brendan Crighton

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  2. Hi Brendan. Good to meet you. So what's the number one thing wrong with how downtown is operating today? What are you going to work on first?

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  3. Great questions Corey.  There are several issues facing the Downtown today.  Obviously public safety and public health are two areas that will always be a top priority. In terms of economic development, I think we need to continue take a responsible approach to encourage businesses and developers to utilize the many vacant storefronts and buildings.  Though there have been some hurdles, I still have an optimistic outlook on the future of the Downtown.  There have been  businesses that continue to do well such as Tatiana's, Tacos Lupita, and of course the world famous Capitol Diner. Additionally, community events hosted by Lynn Arts, Raw Arts, Downtown Lynn Neighborhood Association, Lynn Museum, GAR Museum, Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce, and City Hall seem to have attracted many who may not visit the Downtown on a regular basis.  I think to move forward we will need to continue partnerships with active residents of the Downtown, local officials, businesses and all other stakeholders.  I look forward to meeting Downtown residents, such as yourself, in person and learning more about issues that are important to them.

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  4. Brendan, I am really concerned that you don't live downtown and would rather support a downtown candidate, with maybe a few more years under their belt. I know that 25 isn't that young, but it still concerns me when there are such high stakes riding on the DTL area. I say this as a property owner in Central Square. It is nice that you have taken the time to post here, as well as offer a statement, albeit very general. is anyone living in the DTL vicinity planning on running for this position?

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  5. Ok - I just posted, but I was thinking further about this, and what Corey said about prodding someone in his building to run. It would be nice to come together and support one candidate that lives in the downtown Lynn area. I pulled my papers to run - haven't completed them yet (you have until the end of June). I am still pondering, it's not for the money, it is because I am passionate about where I live, my experience here as well as my neighbor's experiences, and what happens in my surrounding community. Is there definitely someone else running in DTL Corey? Guess I could write to Seth. I just think that this is a REALLY important matter because Paula was nearly non-existent here and I really believe that the election of the Ward 5 councilor is REALLY important...

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  6. I can't comment as to who I am referring to but it's not Seth. Seth would be an excellent candidate however.

    I would encourage you to fill out those forms and get rolling. How would you answer my question to Brendan more specifically?

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  7. For one, the city needs to support (and be directly involved in) a neighborhood plan for revitalization in downtown Lynn. That is the idea behind the waterfront plan, but that plan will take nearly 20 years to come to total fruition, just as the same type of plan which has slowly revitalized the South Boston waterfront. It is a great and exciting opportunity, but an endeavor that will take many years. Certainly there is no instant gratification in urban development and revitalization, but I don’t believe putting all your eggs in one basket (i.e. waterfront plan) is good idea, and I am not exactly sure how the development of the waterfront area will directly, and positively, impact the Central Square area of Lynn. The heart of the waterfront plan will still be a decent distance away from Central Square, though they will “somewhat” be connected by greenery and a paved path for running and biking.

    Many feel that the current economy puts a damper on bringing small businesses and retail centers into the downtown area. But, I think that over the next few years, retail sales will head back into the hands of what was once known as your “mom & pop” type of stores. Big retail expanded too quickly, as you can see by mega-giant stores such as Circuit City closing its doors. Small business will be back, and those businesses will be owned and run by a younger generation of business people, and will offer some of uniqueness and originality (and customer service) that the big box stores just couldn’t capture. The economy is going to change over the next few years in ways that we have yet to see or understand. Assuming Lynn is positioned and ready to embrace these economic changes by utilizing some forward thinking initiatives (versus being reactive), the inevitable and eventual upturn of the economy could ultimately be one of the major keys to revitalization in this city.

    Well, what does forward thinking mean? What does this neighborhood plan entail? What are these initiatives? That all sounds so vague. I have many ideas on that, and I’m not sure there’s enough space here to capture it. It takes many, many, many little steps and I am the first to admit that I don’t have ALL of the answers.

    I am completely willing to support another candidate, if they are passionate, smart, and dedicated to Lynn’s future. I want to vote for a councilor that is visible in my community, available to listen to my concerns and needs, someone that is committed to change and knows that this sometimes means your opinion, the one you believe so strongly in, might be the hardest one to get people to listen to. The candidate needs to be an assertive one, and someone that our community can trust will be assertive.

    Politics in Lynn are convoluted with drama, upon drama, upon drama. My vote would go to the candidate that wants to get their hands dirty, and go to bat for their community – not one that just shows face at a meeting, sits around on their hands, pockets their $15k a year (and their silly car allowance), and repeatedly says “yes sir” to the big guy we all end up calling the mayor when all is said and done.

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