Phelan’s in the big leagues

October 21, 2009
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I was watching the city councilor at large candidates do their thing on Lynn cable television recently. They were at the Knights of Columbus discussing the issues and making their comments on them.

I thought to myself, after listening to all of them – doesn’t Council President Tim Phelan present himself well.

He remains exactly who he is on television – that is to say – a friend of the people – unambiguous about where he stands and unafraid of speaking his mind.

He reminds me a bit of the present mayor, to be quite frank.

For example, when Councillor at large Tim Cahill said his bit about how he does not believe in a residency requirement for city employees, Phelan jumped right on that.

“I am for a residency requirement. I believe in it. I believe that when you sign your name to an employment document requiring it that your signature is your word and that your word cannot change.”

Wow!

That’s how it’s done in the big leagues.

But let’s consider Cahill for a moment.

Here’s a very young man, a lawyer, bright, articulate – he does well on television – altogether extremely attractive for a Lynn politician.

He, too, is the real thing – and he has ambition, although he seems to be holding it in check.

He speaks effectively and with intelligence and thoughtfulness. He is very well rounded for such a young man.

Paul Crowley is the salt of the earth, so to speak.

He is where the rubber hits the road – and he’s a local businessman – or at least his family is in business here for so long it is impossible to describe.

He gets around the city. He’s always dressed nicely in a suit. He is an expert at the issues and the demographics – and he loves Cal’s News, which makes him one of us, as we so often like to say.

He still sees the city as a vibrant, alive place filled with characters and the working class.

In fact, Phelan, Cahill and Crowley all referred to Lynn as basically working class.

Who can argue with that?

I have always liked Steve Duffy – and what’s not to like? I know he has a tax problem, but then, no one is perfect and he was an effective councilor before.

And then there is Eugene Schneeberg, a local young man who has apparently been working hard, making the rounds, and in doing so, perhaps making a place for himself on the new council that will convene in January.

George Meimeteas has an edge over Schneeberg – but he’s run for office here before and so his name has a bit more recognition.

In fact, Schneeberg, Duffy, and Meimeteas will be hoping to capture some of the votes that would have gone to Judith Flanagan Kennedy, who has pulled out of the at-large race looking for bigger and better things.

It is hard to say, in fact, impossible to predict who will get the advantage of Flanagan-Kennedy’s vote.

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