, Newburyport, MA

November 9, 2012

Newburyport council readies to replace Senate-bound O'Connor Ives

City Council will name successor in January

By Dyke Hendrickson STAFF WRITER
Newburyport Daily News

---- — NEWBURYPORT — The applause of supporters of local City Councilor Kathleen O’Connor Ives had hardly quieted yesterday, but city officials are now looking ahead to the process of naming a new councilor to replace her.

O’Connor Ives won a seat Election Day to represent the First Essex District in the state Senate and is scheduled to assume her position in early January.

Numerous elected officials continue careers and/or local political positions when they begin work on Beacon Hill, but O’Connor Ives has said she will be devoting full-time to her new position.

This means she will be leaving the City Council after almost three terms. Because she is an at-large councilor, the council itself will name the new representative.

“We will have to wait until she resigns,” said City Council President Tom O’Brien, “and give people about two weeks to submit their names for consideration.

“The council will discuss and vote on a new councilor at a regular meeting.”

O’Brien said he did not think the matter would go to committee, but added that he would ask the city clerk for an opinion on the need to send it to a municipal panel.

In Tuesday’s election, O’Connor Ives dominated in Newburyport, garnering (an unofficial) total of 7,257 votes here. Republican opponent Shaun Toohey collected 2,287, independent Paul Magliocchetti garnered 461 and unenrolled James Kelcourse registered 377.

The following (unofficial) numbers were registered in the wards: Ward 1P, 274; Ward 1, 1,024, Ward 2, 1,340; Ward 3, 1,256; Ward 4, 1,303; Ward 5, 974; and Ward 6, 1,086.

Municipal records show that 11,049 voted in the election, out of a city total of 13,852.

O’Connor Ives yesterday said, “I don’t have a date when the inauguration is, but I understand it is early January. I will continue on the council until about that time.

“Since the election, we have been closing our (two) campaign offices, making calls and thanking all those who worked for us. We had hundreds who helped, and they did so in different ways — some with making calls, others holding signs, some who raised money.”

At her victory party, she gave special credit to her husband, Jeff, (“We’re a team”) and state Rep. Mike Costello, D-Newburyport, who was an early supporter.

O’Connor Ives said that her team raised about $33,000 in the final election. For the primary, her supporters generated $17,100.

She said that her victory was a combination of the work of many volunteers and an aggressive online presence.

Though she was known for knocking on doors, the lawyer and small-business owner said that Facebook and Twitter activity helped keep her supporters connected.

Asked about her tenure on the council, she said, “I enjoyed the committee work, and the collaborative nature of our council.” She said much was accomplished by working together.

She received significant support from virtually all fellow Newburyport councilors.

Mayor Donna Holaday, who initially supported Methuen Mayor Jim Manzi, attended the Election Night victory party, and said, “I am thrilled that she won, and have enjoyed working with her. She will do a great job for the Merrimack Valley.”