NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

October 18, 2013

Giunta, Reardon vie for Ward 5 council seat

BY DYKE HENDRICKSON
STAFF WRITER

---- — NEWBURYPORT — As part of its coverage of the Nov. 5 election, The Daily News will provide profiles of residents running for City Council.

Today’s coverage focuses on two candidates for the seat representing Ward 5. This ward runs from High Street to the Turkey Hill Road area and from Hale Street to Storey Avenue. This description is approximate, because the ward map is characterized by irregularities.

LARRY G. GIUNTA JR.

Age: 44

Family: wife Theresa, three children

Occupation: Territory manager within the heating-ventilation-air conditioning wholesale business

Education: graduate of Salem State College and Northeast Institute of Industrial Technology

Reason for running: Giunta said Newburyport has been a wonderful city to bring up a family.

“I hope to help my neighbors by representing them at City Hall,” Giunta said. “I offer the people of Ward 5 someone that is responsive to their needs and concerns, promotes open government and votes in the best interest of Ward 5.

“My experience serving on the school building committee has been a positive one and I would like to become more involved with the city,” he added.

Position on the central waterfront: “I support an open waterfront,” he said. “Our waterfront is the heart of Newburyport. This land belongs to the residents of Newburyport and should not be sold off or leased to developers so they can make a buck.

“It should be preserved as open space,” he added. “I would love to see the size of the park increased as additional parking can be developed within the city. Over time the privately owned land on the waterfront will be developed and when this happens, the open areas will disappear but the citizens of Newburyport would have reserved a place where all can freely enjoy.”

What can be done to improve the schools?: “The opening of the new Bresnahan Elementary School and the newly renovated Nock and Molin schools next fall will be the largest impact on improving our school system,” said Giunta, who enjoys coaching lacrosse. “As a member of the school building committee, I am proud to be a part of the development of these projects. I look forward to sharing the results of our two years of work with the community.

“I believe the new technology available to the city’s children will truly help them prepare for the future and will enable our schools to continue to rank at a high level within the state,” he added.

What will be your special interest if you are a city councilor?: “If elected as Ward 5 city councilor, I would like to focus on street and sidewalk issues within our ward, specifically focusing on developing a traffic plan for the streets affected by the new elementary school, working towards the re-posting of speed limit signs on Low Street with additional crosswalks with pedestrian signs. I would like to start the discussion of installing sidewalks on Hale Street so children of the west end can safely walk or bike to school.

“Also, we should determine a new traffic pattern that reduces truck traffic on Hale Street, and encourages the use of Graf and Scotland road as the truck access to the industrial park,” he added.

SEAN R. REARDON

Age: 38

Family: Wife, Sadie, three children

Occupation: Education sales representative

Education: Ohio State University

Reason for running: Reardon says that his family has resided in the community for many years, and he wants to contribute to the progress of the city.

“I really want to be the voice of Ward 5 on the council and I want to make myself available to go over what happened in our meetings and discuss what might be coming down the road,” he said.

Position on the central waterfront: “Newburyport deserves a beautiful waterfront park and not the current dirt parking lots that sandwich the Market Landing Park. I want an expanded park on the waterfront. To get that expanded park, I am not opposed to limited development on the waterfront. The NRA plan is not etched in stone and I think some common ground can be found. I served on the Parks Commission for two years and I believe limited development is the only way to get a beautiful year-round park space that connects our downtown to the waterfront and maintains it without expense to the taxpayer.”

What can be done to improve the schools?: Reardon says he comes from a family of teachers, and that list includes his father, Neil Reardon, a popular teacher and coach in the city’s school system for more than three decades.

Reardon said, “I attended and worked in the Newburyport public schools and I am a very proud Clipper. Education is my passion. As an educational sales representative, it is my job to work with local school districts to meet their educational goals.”

“We as a community have to invest more of the city budget into our schools,” he said. “I want to see the foreign language curriculum brought back in our middle and elementary schools. I would also like to see more AP offerings at the high school. We have a new superintendent. Let’s give her the resources she needs to meet her academic goals.”

What will be your special interest if you a city councilor?: “I will be a strong advocate for our parks and schools. Ward 5 specifically, I would like to see Hale Street have a sidewalk so it can truly be connected with Low Street. I want to see the complete capping of the Crow Lane landfill. I would also like to see the Newburyport High stadium get restored. Finally, I would hold monthly office hours if elected.”