Council field set

With the passage of yesterday’s deadline for filing nomination papers, the 2011 Lowell City Council field is set with 19 candidates. They are, listed alphabetically with incumbents first followed by challengers:

  1. Kevin Broderick
  2. Franky Descoteaux
  3. Rodney Elliott
  4. Bill Martin
  5. Joe Mendonca
  6. Rita Mercier
  7. Jim Milinazzo
  8. Patrick Murphy
  9. Corey Belanger
  10. Paul Belley
  11. Fred Doyle
  12. Ed Kennedy
  13. John Leahy
  14. Marty Lorrey
  15. John MacDonald
  16. Armand Mercier
  17. Vesna Nuon
  18. Van Pech
  19. Fred Wanjiku

Four others took out papers but did not return them: Mary Burns, John Descoteaux, Robert Merrill and Patrick O’Connor.  My records indicate that the last city council primary was in 1999.  They were fairly regular before that (since 1965, primaries were not needed only in 1985 and 1991).  I suppose this year there will be the urge to debate the cost of the primary versus the benefit of eliminating just one candidate, but we’ve had that debate often enough and I thought last time, we all promised not to do it again.  We’ll see.

3 Responses to Council field set

  1. C R Krieger says:

    Not do it again?  The debate is all part of the theater of local government.  Sure, the primary costs money.  So does the election in November and fortunately no one has proposed that the candidates all draw strips of paper from a bowl to determine who is on the Council and School Committee and who is not—as a way to save money.

    The idea of having rules and following them seems to have gone by the board.  I hope it is just confined to the local primary.

    If the City Council had moved to change the minimum number to avoid a primary earlier in the year, or last year, I would have been impressed and I would have been supportive.

    The problem with the “holding an election to eliminate just one candidate” argument is that if we set the number at 30 and 31 sign up, it will be an excuse to not hold the primary.  Can we use a range?  If there are 24 candidates we will hold a primary to pare back to 18, but if not we will allow up to 23 to run in the November election?  In my mind, the big thing is to have a system that is fair and which we follow come rain or shine.

    Regards  —  Cliff

  2. Joe S says:

    We will have a preliminary election (unless a candidate withdraws by Aug 25th). This council has already gone on record to not change the criteria for the preliminary election – they have to hold steady on that.

    It will be like letting a canary loose in the coal mine for some.

  3. Deb Forgione says:

    I would like a primary. We should have had one last election too instead of having it waived