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November 7, 2013

A new-fashioned way of running for office


Mayor Donna Holaday won her third term, and at-large councilors Herzog, Barry Connell and Ed Cameron were re-elected, as were Allison Heartquist (Ward 1), Bob Cronin (Ward 3) and Tom O’Brien (Ward 6).

New councilors elected were Jared Eigerman (Ward 2), Charlie Tontar (Ward 4), Larry Giunta (at-large), Meghan Kinsey (at-large) and Bruce Vogel (at-large).

Inauguration is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 6.

City Hall observers say the vocations of at least two councilors could be of use as the city prepares to undertake a modernization of its zoning ordinance, which could include the central waterfront.

Eigerman is a real estate lawyer and Tontar has experience as a professor of urban studies at Merrimack College.

Vogel owns the Plum Island Coffee Roasters cafe.

Vocationally, Heartquist is an executive assistant to the mayor of Amesbury; Cronin serves as a law-enforcement administrator; Giunta is a manager of heating and air-conditioning hardware company; O’Brien is a retired administrator; Cameron is a housing manager; Connell is a teacher; and Kinsey is a communications representative for the regional YMCA.

In other aspects of the election, City Councilor Greg Earls, who failed in a bid for mayor, was remembered by some voters Tuesday but their ballots had little impact.

Earls drew 18 votes as a write-in candidate for mayor and 40 votes as a write-in candidate for City Council, a position about which he fleetingly expressed interest.

Most City Hall observers saw the major issues of the campaign as the central waterfront and taxes.

Holaday during the campaign said that she looked forward to working with the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority to find a compromise proposal regarding future disposition of the NRA’s 4.2 acres on the river.

Herzog yesterday said he would encourage a meeting of stakeholders including the mayor, the NRA, the City Council, the Waterfront Trust, the Harbor Commission, the harbormaster’s office and municipal zoning leaders so that more voices can be heard.

Meanwhile, new tax bills are scheduled to come out next month — and the political dialogue might be reignited (once again) if property owners get charges that they feel are excessive.

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