NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

September 30, 2013

Recount in mayoral race tomorrow

The primary municipal election was almost two weeks ago, but it appears the local campaigns won’t start in earnest until the mayoral candidates are finalized.

The recount of four wards (3 to 6) requested by third-place finisher Greg Earls will take place tomorrow at City Hall.

Few observers there think that the Ward 2 councilor can make up more than 50 votes on second-place finisher Dick Sullivan, but there’s always hope in New England as October arrives.

It was almost a decade ago when the Red Sox were down 3-0 to the Yankees in divisional playoffs, but Boston prevailed. (Perhaps that is the dimension of the odds that Earls faces.)

However, it can’t be said that at least one skirmish of the mayoral competition hasn’t started.

Last week Sullivan sent a shot over the bow of Mayor Donna Holaday by calling for the minutes to be made public of council discussions focusing on purported problems with the water and sewer system serving Plum Island.

There appear to be structural problems in the hardware and/or water system that runs from the mainland to the island. Flow of water to homes has been inexplicably disrupted several times.

The Holaday administration has launched a study. She has kept councilors in the loop with executive sessions, but now Sullivan wants those minutes made public.

Sullivan appears to be saying the people should know the extent of the problem; Holaday opposes making the documents public, saying that disclosure could compromise the city’s legal position should it sue developers and/or engineering teams.

Sullivan’s request for the disclosure of minutes is scheduled to be heard at a meeting of the City Council tonight.

It will be interesting to note how councilors receive his proposal.

Numerous councilors were frustrated at a “gag order” imposed by the mayor last winter.

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