To the editor:

Now that Labor Day has come and gone, it’s time to focus on a crucial issue for our city — the upcoming preliminary election on Sept. 21 and the choice of the leadership that will impact our future direction during the next four years.

We all need to turn out to vote for the best candidate for mayor.

If you’ve ever been part of a professional search committee for a key leadership position, whether in business or education, you know how important careful scrutiny is of a candidate’s qualifications for the job.

It is not enough to choose someone on the basis of their likeability, their family connections or their pie-in-the-sky promises. Real experience counts!

The current challenges facing Newburyport are significant, whether in housing, budget, education, waterfront development, climate resiliency, infrastructure — to name but a few.

The incoming mayor will need to be well-versed in these matters and be prepared to represent the city’s best interests in negotiations with developers, businesses, unions and others.

We will be best served by the candidate who has been a member of the City Council for the past eight years and is intimately acquainted with these issues.

We will be best served by Charlie Tontar, and I urge you to join me in supporting him as our next mayor.

Diana Kerry


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