, Newburyport, MA

October 3, 2013

Amesbury deserves to know Gray's plan

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

No matter who wins the election in November, he will be my mayor. I get only one vote, which I will cast for Thatcher Kezer, and then after that the election is out of my hands. I understand that it could go either way, which is why I am and have been so intently curious, and now concerned, about how Ken Gray actually plans to live up to his promise to reduce taxes in Amesbury and still provide even level funding for our schools.

I recently posted my concern on his “Ken Gray for Amesbury Mayor” Facebook page. I asked that if he has a plan, to put it out there. And if he does not have a plan, I pointed out that it was pretty irresponsible to promise tax cuts which will unavoidably impact the dollars available to fund the schools ... leaving the quality of our kids’ education to chance. I further said that I hope this yet to be revealed plan doesn’t fall under the heading of “fingers crossed that a new revenue stream mystically presents itself in time for next year’s budget.” This comment was removed from his page. Apparently Ken Gray is only running to be the mayor for people who are willing to not question him or his campaign promises.

A big part of being a public elected official is being questioned and criticized by your constituents, who clearly have a vested interest in your agenda. If Ken Gray cannot stomach criticism and legitimate questions, and in fact feels the need to censor them, then I am more than just concerned about his ability to lead Amesbury, I’m terrified. And by the way, I still want an explanation about where the money is going to come from to replace what is lost by his tax cuts. Are we losing municipal services like garbage pickup? Is our police force being cut in half? Or is my child going to be in a classroom with 35-plus kids next year? Or perhaps Ken Gray is better than I am giving him credit for … but if that’s the case, why not enlighten me? I shouldn’t have to invite a candidate for mayor to coffee at my home in order to find out his plan for funding the schools that my children attend. All of Amesbury deserves an answer, no matter who they intend to vote for.

Tana Brennan