NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

October 23, 2013

Kelcourse strives to be 'independent voice'

By Mac Cerullo
Staff Writer

---- — As part of The Daily News’ coverage of the upcoming election in Amesbury, we asked the candidates for City Council to fill out questionnaires and provide a synopsis of their platform and reason for running.

Today, we share the responses of incumbent James Kelcourse who is seeking re-election to his at-large seat.

Candidate’s statement

As a resident of Amesbury since childhood, I understand the unique promise our community offers to everyone who works, lives or visits here. As a small business owner, husband and father of two young children, I also understand the challenges that we face in continuing to realize that promise for ourselves and the generation to come.

As your councilor at-large, I will continue to be an independent voice for our community who will make the right choices rather than the partisan or politically expedient ones. That means I will keep working tirelessly to foster a business climate that provides people with both the confidence and tools to start and grow businesses right here in Amesbury. By encouraging development of our commercial and industrial base, we will create more jobs, reduce residential property taxes and deliver to our kids the quality education they deserve.

Amesbury needs someone who will roll up his sleeves and solve problems for the people. As a two-term councilor at-large, I have a proven track-record of finding practical and cost-effective solutions to difficult issues. My relationships with those in business and government will prove helpful to us moving forward as we tackle matters such as funding the gap in education and infrastructure costs in Amesbury. Please put my experience, education and hard-work ethic to work for you by re-electing me councilor at-large for Amesbury. Thank you.

Age: 39

Years in Amesbury: Since childhood

Family: Married to Amanda with two children: Michael, 4, and Thomas, 2

Education: Amesbury High School; Villanova University, bachelor’s degree in business administration; Villanova University, master’s degree in business administration; Massachusetts School of Law, Juris Doctor

Employment: self-employed attorney, 6 Harris St., Newburyport

Public service: city councilor at-large, Amesbury, 2010 to current; Planning Board, Amesbury, 2008 to 2009

Top priorities:

Meet the demands of our growing community while keeping the cost of living in Amesbury reasonable by: 1, expanding our commercial and industrial base; 2, reducing the amount we spend by carefully examining all costs; and 3, by selling and returning to the tax roll property that we no longer use or need.

It will also be a top priority of mine to continue to invest both savings and new growth in our schools and infrastructure so that Amesbury remains one of the best places to live, work and raise a family.