, Newburyport, MA

October 26, 2013

Active volunteer hopes to bring experience to Council


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

Today’s coverage focuses on Meghan Kinsey, who is running for an at-large position. Nine candidates are running for five at-large seats in the Nov. 5 election.

Residents will also elect councilors to represent each of the city’s six wards.

Megan Kinsey

Age: 42

Address: One Griffin Court

Spouse: Brent, children, Christian, Gabriel and Asher

Occupation: Community Engagement Director, Greater Newburyport YWCA

Education: Bachelor of arts in communication, College of New Jersey and masters of arts in teaching, College of New Jersey

Reason for running: The candidate said, “I’ve been an active volunteer for a wide range of organizations and causes for as long as I’ve lived in Newburyport and I’ve seen firsthand how much of an impact citizens can have on improving our city by getting involved and sharing their time and talent. Serving as an At-large City Councilor will allow me to help out on a greater scale. After serving as chair for the Port Pride effort, as well as on the boards of the Newburyport Education Foundation, and the Greater Newburyport Mothers and Families Club, and on the recent Superintendent Search Committee, I will bring a breadth of experience and accomplishment to the City Council.

Position on the central waterfront: Kinsey said, “Development of the waterfront is a hot-button topic in Newburyport that has dominated the local political discourse although it is a topic that is not under the jurisdiction of the City Council. This leaves little chance for the kind of compromise that is essential for the city to break the current stalemate and move forward with this complex situation. In order for the city to bring this four-decade-old waterfront discussion to a satisfying end, we need a plan and we need to see that plan through. I am open to supporting a plan that gives us more of what we want, which from my conversations with people in the community is green space. The plan must also be self-funded and place no burden on the existing property owners. The plan must also complete the waterfront and hand it over to the city along with the funds to maintain it.”

What can be done to improve the schools: Kinsey said, “The Port Pride campaign created such energy and optimism in the city. We had a unique opportunity, and we worked tirelessly to be sure everyone knew about it. We couldn’t let it slip by us.

“Now we have a talented new superintendent who we need to empower to steer the schools in the right direction and bring back stability in our school’s leadership. I am proud of the work we did as a Search Committee to find Susan Viccaro.

“Next, we need to continue to actively seek resources to bring our schools’ curriculum up to date. We must prioritize foreign languages and improved technology. And we have to look beyond property taxes to fund these needs.”

What would be a special interest for you if you are a city councilor: “I want to ratchet down the acrimony and discord over key issues like the future of the waterfront and the historical integrity of our city. I view these key questions about the future of our city as opportunities to be researched, considered, and then acted upon in the most beneficial fashion.

“By working together we can keep Newburyport a vibrant, dynamic city. I have a long record of working with varied groups of people and helping them find common ground on issues. I can do the same as a city councilor.