AMESBURY — When Frank Czar followed the Powow River to Amesbury, he knew he was home.
“Amesbury inspires its residents to be passionate,” Czar said, “because we all love where we live and we want the best for it. It’s just half of us think that this is the way it should be done and the other half think the other way.”
A North Shore native, Czar moved to Amesbury in 2007. While he loves his adopted home, he also knows it can be a hotbed of contention, none so more than during last year’s mayoral election that saw Mayor Ken Gray defeat his predecessor Thatcher Kezer by a mere three votes.
“We all had the same concern that, yeah, there was an election going on, but we were dismayed at the tone that the conversation was taking,” Czar said. “Ultimately, Amesbury was getting trashed through the process. Elections come and go, but after the election is over, we all have to live there.”
Three months before the election, Czar banded together with his wife Kim and fellow Kezer supporters Rob Chamberlain, Matt Einson, Michael Hogg, Gretchen Marinopoulos and current District 6 City Councilor Jonathan Sherwood and his wife Amy to create the political action committee I Am Pro Amesbury.
“A lot of us were Thatcher Kezer supporters, but Thatcher didn’t have anything to do with the organization of I Am Pro Amesbury,” Czar said. “It was us who reached out to him and other city councilors who we thought were like-minded with us, who best represented our goals and ideals.”
I Am Pro Amesbury endorsed Kezer and Sherwood, as well as other candidates for City Council, School Committee and library board. It also held a rally just prior to the election.
“Because we had agreed that we wanted to put out an endorsement, there are all these campaign finance laws and stuff like that,” Czar said. “And the only reason for organizing as a PAC was just to be on the right side of the laws which, to be honest, we weren’t sure we needed to do. But if you don’t do it, people will scream you are not in compliance; if you do it, it’s a conspiracy. You are kind of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”