Where is the Leadership?

February 22, 2011
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You really have to wonder what’s going through the head of the mayor.

By all accounts, she doesn’t seem to be into the job.

Some of us who love our jobs spend enormous amounts of time at them.

Not the mayor.

For the most part, she is somewhere else even when she’s at city hall.

I’m a Johnny come lately to Lynn. I moved here 8 years ago.

I’ve known the city all my life because I grew up in Marblehead and we had many, many friends in business here or who lived here or came from Lynn but who moved to Marblehead during the 1950’s.

The only mayor I’ve come to know well was Chip Clancy. By default, I came to know Pat McManus but didn’t really appreciate Pat until after he died.

As for Clancy, he had an incredible work ethic.

He loved the job.

He respected the job.

He knew what it takes to run a city with 100,000 people and dozens of competing constituencies.

Many, many people came to dislike Chipper over the years.

He took tough stands that many people didn’t care for and in the end, he paid the price.

While he was mayor he had a long agenda everyday.

He was at City Hall early and he left City Hall late.

He attended every conceivable meeting one could imagine and he attended as well wakes and funerals of friends and families with whom he had a long relationship.

He was, in the words of those who study such things, a man with presence who was always present.

For Clancy, being the mayor of Lynn required a sacrifice. It also required smarts – street smarts, political smarts, and community smarts. He believed he had to be everywhere all the time and he was.

A big part of his agenda was strong-arming businesspeople and developers, corporations with big interest here and elsewhere to act on behalf of this city. It was just that type of strong-arming that led to the overhead electric transmission wires being removed from some of Lynn’s most valuable land off the Lynnway – land which will one-day be developed because of that.

The present mayor lacks the interest, the understanding and the business ability to make a development happen. By failing to use whatever talent she has just to show up for the job, the city inevitably drifts.

Lynn is drifting. There is no leadership at city hall.

There is a mayor.

She picks up her check and cashes them just like Chipper did.

But as residents, we’re not getting our money’s worth.

She is the latent mayor – present but largely unseen.

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