Robert ‘Clay’ Walsh announced his candidacy for Lynn Councilor At Large April 25, at the Porthole Restaurant. A full room of supporters gathered in the function room to support Walsh’s second run for the seat. He noted in his opening remarks, “That if your heart is in it, you have to be willing to run more than once. Well, my heart is in it for the long run.”
Walsh paused his speaking to direct the crowd towards a large screen where explained that he was going to give a different kind of political presentation. He organized a power point slide show to illustrate his vision for the city. “I wanted it to be different, informative and energizing,” he said.
Walsh began his presentation with a collage of photos representing his background. There was a photo of his family, a photo of him delivering heating oil for Walsh’s Oil Co, and a picture of a martini glass. Walsh, who also moonlights as a bartender, believes that his ten years experience dealing with the public from behind the bar is strength for him as a city councilor.
A couple more slides showed him plowing downtown Lynn in a recent snow storm, cleaning up Henry Ave Park and dressing up as a pirate for “Dungeon Rock Day” in Lynn Woods. “Dungeon Rock Day, also known as Pirate’s Day is one of my favorite events in the City. It brings out so many families and utilizes our woods, and as goofy as it might be, it’s a lot of fun to dress up as a pirate one day of the year” he said.
Walsh then took a more serious tone and began to discuss why he is running. “I am running for office because I care about Lynn and want to see it become the ‘Boston of the North’ by bringing new ideas to the table.” He believes that Lynn needs to start thinking outside the box and trying some things other communities have implemented.
One idea Walsh won applause for was having municipal utility poles outfitted with solar panels. Walsh said he got the idea while driving through New Jersey. I reached out to that town and they explained that the municipality receives credits from the utility provider. “Saving money on city energy expenses, that’s something we can all support”, he remarked to the audience.
Some of the other popular ideas included a skating rink on Lynn Commons, similar to the ‘Frog Pond’ in Boston. He said the now defunct Block Buster location on Boston Street would be a perfect location for a Starbucks. Walsh is in favor of a 2am restaurant pouring ordnance for Friday and Saturday nights. “I was in Haverhill and learned that they allow 2am on Saturdays and thought that was a reasonable way to help the restaurants in Lynn”
Walsh concluded with his ‘Fashion Night Out’ idea where he said if elected he would get the city to close Market St to allow for a car show, band and fashion runway show for local retailers from Lynn, and the surrounding communities . He said he spoke with a representative from the Kelly Automotive group who offered to provide cars. Walsh ended the presentation by announcing the motto for his campaign, “It’s my belief that ‘Money Follows Good Ideas’.