Looking at the City : It is All Very Hush Hush

August 28, 2012
By

There has been some talk about the possibility of a huge development by foreign investors on a big parcel of land on the ocean behind the Walmart.

I’m not at liberty to give particulars but the city is apparently talking with foreign investors – Southeast Asian businessmen with deep, deep pockets – about putting up a series of buildings with residential spaces and perhaps even a hotel.

It is all very hush hush as Danny DeVito might be heard to say in the famous movie, LA Confidential.

Now on to politics.

It is hardly a secret that Council President Tim Phelan is now positioning himself for a mayoral run in the next election. He has been methodically positioning himself with friends and supporters throughout the city for the past six months.

In addition, Phelan is taking on the appearance of a bona fide candidate for mayor. This is a much more motivated Tim Phelan than ever before.

Like many, many politicians who grew up in this city, Phelan has wanted to be the mayor of Lynn since he was a little boy.

He knows what it means and what it takes to become the mayor of Lynn.

He is not underestimating Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy. In fact, he takes seriously her expected candidacy for a second term.

She ended up sending former Mayor Chip Clancy into retirement (which he is enjoying). Her victory was as improbable as anything many of us who study have seen in the local political arena.

Her wishy-washy mayoralty has caused the natural erosion of much of the support she drew from the anti-Clancy voters. If she runs for re-election, she will face a highly organized, high energy Tim Phelan who feels his moment has arrived.

He will enlist the aid of those the mayor has disappointed during her lack luster first term.

This is not unnatural. It goes with the territory.

Clancy, it should be recalled, had no idea his time had come and that Flanagan-Kennedy was going to beat him. He did not understand this until the end.

This is how it nearly always works in politics. A long time mayor seemingly doing everything right, keeping a busy schedule, spending plenty on good advertising, touching all the bases and looking very much like a sure thing loses when all the votes are counted and to someone who ends up without much of a serious work ethic, no meaningful understanding of development, and not much of a vision for the future.

Phelan has to give this city and its younger leaders and voters a vision for the future, the promise of a all day everyday work ethic and he must show his ability to communicate, to delegate but to control when necessary.

He must be everything to everyone and as Flanagan Kennedy would be the first to tell him, that just isn’t possible.

Running against a woman presents problems of sorts in the modern world – not because Flanagan Kennedy can’t take care of herself – but rather, because running against a woman means the male candidate cannot take the kind of liberties on a female candidate that he might take out on a man.

Phelan will run his campaign without gender consciousness. This means he will treat Flanagan Kennedy with the same respect he would treat a male candidate.

What Phelan and Flanagan Kennedy are both going to find out is whether or not the voters in this city want a change? Do they feel Flanagan Kennedy deserves a second term or does Phelan meet all the criteria for change?

Lynn is a conservative place when you boil down everything about the city.

She has had her moment under the sun.

Her administration doesn’t have very much to point to in the way of success. The major players for her in her stunning victory over Clancy have all deserted her. Her most important mayoral staffers have all been replaced and department heads all publicly saying she is OK privately bemoan the fact she is basically absent without leave.

A lot will be at stake the next time around.

Flanagan Kennedy will be hard pressed to repeat what she did to Clancy.

Phelan is not Clancy. Phelan’s star has been on the rise.

His time has come – not t be knocked out of the box but rather, to become the next mayor of Lynn.

Should be a very interesting mayoral election here.

What seems very far away in reality is closer than you think.

 

Recent Activity

Full Print Edition