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Well, the 2013 elections are finally over, and the damage has been done.
It’s been some weeks since I posted here at the Intruder. I know I mentioned I would be returning to regular posts after taking the summer off, but once again life intervened and before I knew it, it was a couple days into November. Earlier this fall I injured my eye – a corneal abrasion that hindered my ability to see in bright light, and even made looking into a back-lit computer monitor difficult for me. So I took a couple weeks off to let that heal up good. Then around that same time I also received interest in one of my manuscripts – a novella I have been pitching – and so I’ve also been busy working with an editor on that project.
I won’t be so egotistical as to believe my absence from blogging has adversely affected any of those running for office who in the past I have traditionally supported. In a perfect world, I’d have the time and the desire to both write my fiction and continue on with the Intruder, uninterrupted. But that’s just not how I feel. I know others have done it. I can’t.
So I’ll do my best to post when I can, but I can’t promise any routine posts here in the foreseeable future. I just can’t commit to that and keep working on my other projects, too, which at this time I feel more strongly about. I will, however, endeavor to continue with occasional “special reports” on things that catch my interest.
Okay. Now let’s get on with it.
The Springfield Elections
People who know me can safely assume I am a bit pissed off about the results. (Although there was a small silver lining under my dark cloud.)
Thank you Ward 8 voters for returning Springfield to single party rule. You have single-handedly ensured that cronyism and insider politics will remain alive and well in the city. Challenger Orlando Ramos has for years been salivating over living off a government salary and pension, and now he can at last call his quest “mission accomplished.” All City Councilor John Lysak did was honestly and judiciously represent the entire ward and by legislating responsibly and fairly. His penalty for that misstep was defeat.
Single party rule. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Welcome to Springfield.
School Committee At-Large
Incumbent School Committee member and firebrand political figure Antonette Pepe lost her re-election bid to challenger Calvin McFadden and fellow incumbent Denise Hurst. Pepe came in third in the three-person race, with the top two getting seats on the School Committee.
Pepe is best known for her fiery personality and reformist agenda that marked her years on the committee. Pepe ran for Springfield Mayor in 2011, losing to fellow challenger Jose Tosado and incumbent Mayor Domenic Sarno in that year’s September primary.
I’m not sure why Pepe’s message of transparency and accountability in government failed to resonate with voters, especially these past couple years. Perhaps the city’s voters just tired of her constant harping over corruption and back-room dealing. Whether it was the controversy over mistake-riddled exams being issued to the city’s students, or the obscene contract of former Superintendant of Schools Alan Ingram, who looted Springfield for tens of thousands of dollars in fringe benefit goodies, all delivered to him in a special “side agreement” no one had even heard of before Pepe brought it to light, people just seem to have short memories in this city. Or they simply stopped giving a crap at all.
Again, so much for honesty in government.
The small silver lining
Remarkably, the numbers finally fell on the side of common sense and, well, brains, as City Councilor Jimmy Ferrera – who, mind-numbingly, kept getting re-elected to office over and over again – was finally shown the door. Jesus Mother of God. How much longer could that have gone on?
Another silver lining
My friend Melvin Edwards handily won re-election as Ward 3 City Councilor. I’m happy for him. He’s a good man and a good councilor. Just a few weeks ago his challenger, Sal Circosta, reached out to me and asked to chat with me sometime. I had intended to do so the following week, but then I got in the middle of my stuff again and got caught up with things. I’m sorry for that. But Circosta ran a good campaign and, as far as I could tell, did everything a challenger should or could do to get the vote out. We’re also talking about Ward 3 here, though, which some time ago lost its Italian base and now is more of a minority community. I’m not convinced Ciscosta could have identified with most of his would-be constituents.
Other Voting Results
Springfield Ward 1 City Councilor Zaida Luna looks to have kept her seat on the council by the slimmest of margins, beating out challenger Jose Claudio by eight votes. Claudio reportedly will request a recount in that vote.
Voters elected Justin Hurst, son of race-baiting former School Committee member Marjorie Hurst and member of the politically influential Hurst clan, to the at-large seat lost by Jimmy Ferrera. Justin Hurst is the husband of re-elected at-large School Committee member Denise Hurst.
Incumbent Springfield District 1 School Committee member Norman Roldan was taken out by newcomer Rosa Perez, who earlier in her campaign made this nifty YouTube ad.
In Chicopee, incumbent Mayor Mika Bissonnette was defeated at the polls by challenger (and former Chicopee Mayor) Richard Kos.
Palmer Casino Vote
Well, shit, I can’t blame the voters in Palmer. The Mohegan Sun’s bid to put a casino resort in that town failed by a mere 93 votes. (Mohegan Sun has asked for a recount.) Palmer voters did what Springfield voters could not.
If the vote stands, then that means MGM Resorts is now the sole candidate for a casino resort in Western Massachusetts.
Oh My God (OMG). I’ll have to get off I-91 in Longmeadow in order to get to my house in the South End. If we thought the city had prostitution and petty robbery crimes before, wait ‘til the free money train arrives.
You lazy %$#@ stay-at-home Palmer voters!
Pictures from up north
Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time in northwestern Massachusetts. The scenery is beautiful up in the Berkshires, and I’ve taken some photos here and there when I get the chance. This past weekend I stopped by the Hoosac Tunnel with a special lady friend of mine. Below are a couple snaps from that visit. (click to enlarge)
More of my photography crap is located here.
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