Thursday, August 29, 2013

No Hyde Park Home Run

 My fantasy and hope for last evening was that one of the eight candidates would totally outshine the others. There were a few who disqualified themselves to my thinking, but none that won it all.

The event was a forum for the Fairmount Hill Neighborhood Association's monthly meeting. Regular readers here know I disdain these 45-second-answers joke. Yet, I held hope.

I sat next to UniversalHub's Adam Gaffin. While I was out doing necessaries this morning, he managed to push out a recap, which is here. He captured the drift of the drifting responses, without being judgmental. I'll do for him. Check his for key topic comments by the candidates.

Where I could find a website or at least a Facebook page, I linked the first mention of the candidate's name to it. I included some mugs, more as graphic devices than anything of real value. The shot for Callendar, who was absent due to a conflict, is a partial cap from her campaign site.

Arbitrarily, I comment in first-name order.

Andrew Cousino
Sincere, concerned about the poor and homeless, but not ready for prime time. He has slowly, steadily advanced himself, now to an special officer for Longwood Security Services. He didn't offer much and nothing inspiring or new. Off my list.
Granddaughter of former State Rep. Willie Mae Allen, the 25-year-old law student was raised as an activist. She's chipper, eager and says she can relate to the youth voters. Maybe, but I didn't hear any substance when the moderator read the answers she prepared. She too needs seasoning.
Ava Callendar

Jean-Claude Sanon
He radiated quiet competence and confidence. He was first to mention and stress constituent service, odd as typical voters see that as key for the office. He certainly wouldn't be in line with existing Councilor Rob Consalvo's innovation-of-the-week legislation, something D5 folk have come to accept and expect. He was OK but not a powerhouse. 
A realtor with the requisite bubbly personality, she has the view of the three D5 neighborhoods tied to the likes of housing stock, jobs, and shopping area vitality. She'd aim to bolster the shortcomings per neighborhood. She supports more voc-ed HS, and called linking Madison Park and Roxbury Community College a union of two underperforming institutions. Where she did have positions, they were fair to good. 
Margherita Ciampa-Coyne

Michael Wells.
A peculiar guy, he lost me by demanding (twice) a revisit of the Casey overpass replacement. That's been settled at all levels after much discussion, it's in JP as well, and would be a total waste for all. He also didn't know anything about Mattapan,which seemed OK to him. No thanks.
A real disappointment last evening, because we'd met most recently at the ribbon cutting for the Fairmount Grill. She told me with a smile she considers herself an activist and troublemaker. Her website is also coy and does not provide those progressive planks she claims to have. She's one of several running on résumé. She presented very well but suffered largely from my expectations unmet.
Mimi Turchinetz
Patrice Gatozzi
We all know her from running HP Main Streets very well for years. Am amusing note from last night is that her son was the official timekeeper and he was fair enough to cut her off several times. She's very nice and enthusiastic. I don't see her as having Consalvo's organizational skills, passion and anal-retentive detail mind. He can be demanding enough to make things happen, as he did for me as my Councilor. I have no sense she can.
He surely will be in the run-off. He's been a career Boston operative, what the Herald snarky types would be quick to call a hack, but his credentials put him in the macher class of folk who make things happen. He waffled on charter school cap (more study he said), he wants the whole city to vote on an East Boston casino, he'd talk to big-box stores, he would pour money into the HP community center and to revitalize Cleary Square along the lines of Roslindale's center. He sounds too much like Scott Brown, trying to please all and be the fulcrum. A+ for confidence.
Tim McCarthy

Friends and neighbors who know of my political interest as well as blogging and podcasts ask the hard and obvious questions about whom to vote for. I'd like to give definitive answers — not yet. Granted this is a complex municipal election, for mayor, for at-large City Council and for a few of the open district seats, including this one.

Last night settled little for me. I'll have to keep reading, attending speeches and fora, and for the November final, the debates leading to it.

For D5, I think I'd like to see Mimi and Tim in a final, replete with meaningful debates. Rob has spoiled us for simultaneous top-gear services and zap-pow ideas/implementation plans spurting like soft-serve ice cream. This is no election for so-so candidates.

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