By Dyke Hendrickson
---- — NEWBURYPORT - Keith Kennedy, a 55-year-old consultant, has announced he is running for mayor.
The Market Street resident said he has taken out papers at City Hall, and will be campaigning primarily through candidate forums and world of mouth.
Kennedy, who has lived here for eight years, said he has no local political experience but says he is ready to stop talking about better government and “start doing” by running for mayor.
“I think that I can do a better job than what I see being done,” he said. “I’m taking action and will let the chips fall where they may.”
The candidate was born in New York, and grew up in Woburn and Malden. He said he earned an engineering degree from ITT Technical Institute, which was in Boston before moving out of state.
He said he is a global supply chain consultant, working with electronic or medical-device companies to enable them to manufacture overseas “in Asia and Europe.”
Kennedy said that he would work for homeowners, small business and “the people” when they are pitted against bureaucracy.
Though the mayor’s race is not a partisan contest, he said, “I have equal disdain for Democrats and Republicans.”
The candidate said he would involve homeowners in decision-making process, covering issues where historical concerns are involved, specifically home improvement issues.
He said, “The LHD debacle was simply an ambitious power grab by monolithic control freaks in authority, who attempted to wrest control of personal property from homeowners under the guise of history.
“We don’t need elitist bureaucrats deciding what’s best for everyone in Newburyport. Property owners in Newburyport are quite intelligent and can decide what’s best for retaining Newburyport’s historical charm.”
Regarding potential Newburyport Redevelopment Authority’s proposed plan for the waterfront, he said “The underground parking idea must be squashed ASAP, before it ever begins the engineering phase. I will do everything in my power to maintain the existing downtown harbor format. Or at least keep it much the same way now.
“Digging up the waterfront for an underground garage is simply a dumb and costly idea. It doesn’t take a panel of geologists to know when you dig near or under a water table (near shoreline), you are asking for problems.”
Regarding issues on Plum Island, he said, “Plum Island is growing in most places; contrary to the eco-alarmists. There is one strip in Newbury where all the tidal damage is taking place. We need to be proactive when dealing with the environmental alarmists.
“We need to confront state bureaucrats that get in the way of progress. We need to identify the players (authorities) and put pressure on over-exuberant bureaucrats.”
Regarding local commerce, he said, “I will solicit ideas from small business people in the square and elsewhere, to get their ideas for a better downtown.
The candidate said, “Keep taxes at current levels and no more. All departments need to hold spending including education departments.
“Most all Americans have learned to cut back. Government must do the same.”
On spending, he said, “Any large construction plans that cost the taxpayers has a potential to be a black hole of spending. Any large projects will be examined for every brick and pipe.
“Any large construction projects are projects that have a possibility of being a spending sink-hole. I will oppose any major waterfront construction projects that are deemed to be big and involve taxpayer dollars, especially on infrastructures.”