, Newburyport, MA

October 8, 2013

Who can we trust in this election?

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

The fate of Newburyport’s waterfront is a key election issue, and it is one that points to a matter of trust. Voters are now faced with a choice between a candidate who, when running for City Council, stated he was open to private development on the waterfront, but now states that he is opposed, and a candidate who, when running for mayor, stated that she was opposed to private development, but now states that she is open to it. Which statements are to be believed? Who can we trust?

As important as the waterfront is to this election is the issue of how the campaigns are conducted. On the eve of the preliminary election, I, like many others in town, received a mailing and a robocall urging me to “take a holiday from Holaday.” City Councilors Sullivan and Earls denied responsibility. Likewise, the mayor denied knowledge of the responsible party or parties and vowed to find out their identity. Both COW and Newburyport Forward denied responsibility. Questions remain unanswered. Was it an opponent of waterfront development, an opponent of Mayor Holaday or, perhaps, a supporter intent on discrediting her opponents? Who can we trust?

I believe The Daily News plays a significant role in the voters’ decision-making processes. Who, what, when, where and why are the fundamentals of reporting. The Daily News gave us the what, when and where — fliers and robocalls sent to Newburyport voters on the eve of the primary. Inexplicably, The Daily News then dropped the ball. Who and why remain unanswered. Voters/readers want The Daily News to fulfill its responsibility as investigative reporters. We need to trust that the local newspaper will fulfill its role in a democratic society to inform and educate.

Mary Anne Macaulay