Our endorsements for the city election

On November 5, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Our endorsements for the Nov. 5 city election are as follows:

okeefe_webThis year in Ward 5 there are big shoes to be filled with the retirement of Sean O’Donovan, who served his Ward since 1995.

The choices are long-time activist and current Alderman Courtney O’Keefe or eight year School Committeeman Mark Neidergang. Although they both are more progressive than O’Donovan and on many issues have similar viewpoints, we believe the choice is clear.  We endorse Courtney O’Keefe as the Ward 5 Alderman.

O’Keefe has been a very familiar face in Ward 5 for many years. Prior to her political life – and we believe it was as much a shock to her as it was to us that O’Donovan was throwing in the towel – she was involved in every Ward 5 issue.

She was at every meeting we covered. We would look to her ward5online blog to double check our Ward 5 facts. She attended all of the Green Line meetings, Maxwell Green development meetings (where she advocated ardently for affordable housing while slowing density), all of the crime meetings, Trum Field meetings, Community Path meetings and the list goes on.

We believe O’Donovan nominated her because he saw that she would represent all of Ward 5 and not just a few. That is why we feel compelled to not endorse her opponent.  In good conscience we cannot endorse a man who supported the divestment of Isreali bonds by advocating to the Somerville Board of Alderman to vote a resolution directing the Somerville Retirement Board to immediately and without any analysis take such a measure that would have negatively impacted our senior retirees.

Additionally, O’Keefe’s opponent advocated for the removal of Good Friday as a school holiday. We at the Somerville Times have never factored in religion and are not doing so here, but we do endorse inclusiveness, which is exactly what Courtney O’Keefe is all about. Visit http://www.courtneyokeefe.com/

In the Ward One Alderman race we endorse Elio LoRusso, a lifelong resident of lorusso_webEast Somerville, married with family, a homeowner, a business owner and local employer. He has an opponent who, for whatever reasons, decided to move into East Somerville and registered to vote this past January. A nice guy by all accounts and a community activist. As a veteran, we salute him for his service. But Elio LoRusso is our choice because he has come to understand the diverse neighborhoods of East Somerville and the community itself over these recent years. Affordable housing is a term you will hear or have heard from some groups and politicians, but in their eyes it’s about affordable housing for small units not family units. Elio understands that right now East Somerville is facing progress again, which is good, but we need a watchdog local Alderman who knows the sentiments of the local residents, not to be opposed to it but to be open minded about it. The major development going on in East Somerville needs to have a spokesman from the residents, for “smart development” and not to just throw up units to make quick return on their investment. East Somerville has many other issues to deal with including the rodent problem. Elio has been on top attending all the hearings and meeting the various department heads coming down to assure the residents that it will soon be under control.  Elio LoRusso brings community knowledge, business expertise, and a strong neighborhood compassion for his neighborhood of East Somerville. We think Elio LoRusso will make a good choice for the voters and residents of Ward One. We recommend you go online and after reading about Elio, consider him and vote on November 5 for Elio LoRusso for Alderman Ward One. Make him your choice as well.   You can read about Elio online at http://www.eliolorusso.com/. This is your opportunity to make a difference.

In the Ward One School Committee race, our choice is clear. We endorse School roix_webCommittee Member Steve Riox, who was appointed earlier this year after going through a process by the School Board that we may not have agreed with here at the Times at that time, but in the end they did get it right. Steve is married with a family and one son just starting out here in the city’s schools. A taxpayer and involved in the community, he and his wife decided almost 10 years ago to become a part of it. That means making sure the schools are great and continue to be great. That what is needed for the children in those schools. We think he’s a great candidate for School Committee, following in a great tradition of past members from Ward One. We endorse Steve Riox for School Committee and urge you to go online and read his website: http://www.steveroix.com/. We think you will agree.

For Ward Two School Committee, we recommend Mike Nionankis, a lifelong nionakis_webresident, married, with children attending school here, a homeowner and taxpayer as well. He knows Somerville and Ward Two very well. He’s been involved for many years, both politically and individually. Ward Two sees for the first time in many years a vacant seat left by retiring Theresa Cardozza, who has left tough shoes to fill for Mike when he gets elected and represents the residents of Ward Two. Mike is working hard, and we feel that he would work just as hard for the children and residents of Ward Two. Therefore we recommend and endorse Mike Nionankis for School Committee Member. We suggest you check out his website: http://www.nionakis4two.com/.

For Ward Three Alderman we endorse Bob McWatters. Not surprisingly, he mcwatters_webtopped the ballot in the primary, and why not? He’s the real deal, no holding back and he knows the job very well. He is a lifelong resident, a family man, a homeowner and, best of all, he truly emulates what an Alderman is suppose to be. No wonder retiring Ward Three Alderman Tom Taylor has endorsed him. No one knows the city make up politically and demographically, and the needs of its residents, better than Bob McWatters. As he says in his literature, from Spring Hill to Prospect Hill, which encompasses Ward Three, he has literally met with every single resident not just over these past several months but for years. Bob has served the public well as an outstanding Probation Officer for Massachusetts for many years, and for the past 13 or more years has served as Assistant Clerk of Committee’s for the Board of Alderman. So we ask you, who else running from the outside understands the job better? The McWatters family has been a mainstay here in Ward Three for decades. Unlike his opponent, who is very nice, he’s not bashful and he’s always willing to help. Best yet, we know first hand here at The Times that if you ask him to do something he will do it and not give you the runaround like many politicians do. We expect things on November 5, Election Day, and one very important thing is coming out in Ward Three and voting for Bob McWatters. His website is http://bobmcwatters.com/.

As for Ward Five School Committee, we endorse Laura Pitone. We have to be pitone_webhonest, we thought it would be a tough decision, but after meeting with Laura, she is one nice and articulate lady, and we predict right now that she’s going to go places here in the future in Somerville. She’s married, has a growing family, has been a homeowner for several years, was educated at MIT with a degree in Engineering and then went on to Babson with a business degree. She worked for a few years in the private field as a consultant, then when she became a mom she decided to be a stay at home mom. But you won’t catch her home all day. She’s involved in the Healey School and by all accounts she’s very hands on and uses her strong points helping out at the school. Laura is originally from New Jersey. She and her husband married here and decided to make Somerville their home, investing in the community by being involved and taking an active interest in the city. And not just because it’s an election year, she’s been involved for several years. We like her, and once you meet this lady and sit down and talk to her you will too. We think she’s going to leave a positive impression on the entire School Board when the good residents of Ward Five elect her on November 5. We join a lot of local people here in the city who support her and her commitment to the schools and our city as a whole. We proudly endorse Laura Pitone for School Committee Member in Ward Five. Her website is http://www.laurapitone.com/. Once you read it make sure you meet her in person if you haven’t already and you’ll see why she was our pick. One final note, this is an opportunity to elect two women from Ward Five representing all the residents. What a great opportunity for entire city of Somerville and Ward Five.

In the Ward Seven Alderman race we endorse Joe Capuano. Yes, he’s from a capuano_webpolitical family and some might see that as a drawback, but after meeting with Joe we feel he will best represent Ward Seven for the next two years. He’s dedicated and committed to the job, since he made the decision to run back many months, filling the seat now occupied by retiring Alderman Bob Trane. Joe is a local guy, attended Somerville schools and went on to Boston College. He’s a homeowner and a taxpayer as well. As Joe says in his literature, he was raised to be an active member of society with his father as the current congressman and his grandfather as a former alderman going back many decades ago. His father was a great mayor of our city for many years in the 90’s and Joe was raised throughout those years seeing how his father’s devotion and love of public service affected him. Make no mistake about it, he’s the first to tell you he’s his own person. He has a great love for Somerville and is eager to serve the residents of Ward Seven as their champion up at City Hall. All the residents, not just a few. He wants to be a part of the future of the city and that’s great. We strongly endorse Joe Capuano for Ward Seven Alderman. Go to www.joecapuano.com.

Our choices for Alderman At Large:

First of all, we feel very strongly that we have choices every year and maybe just maybe we should be pleased to see some new faces sitting around the horseshoe up at city hall. Remember, you can vote for one or two or three or any four for At Large. The four top vote getters will be elected. Some candidates in the past have asked their family and close supporters to “bullet” a vote, which would in turn give them four votes or, if you like, deprive three other candidates of your vote. Just remember, you have four choices.

We endorse the candidacy of Mary Jo Rossetti for Alderman at Large. She has servedRossetti the city well these past 13 years as a School Board member from Ward Seven. Presently, she serves as the Board Chairman. This is her third time elected by her peers on the School Board, so they all know she’s good in a leadership role. Mary Jo Rossetti is a lifelong resident, is married and has two daughters, is a homeowner and a taxpayer. Mary Jo has been an active and ardent supporter not just of Ward Seven but the entire City of Somerville. It’s logical that she would choose to run At Large instead of at the ward level.  Mary Jo, we feel, will make articulate, educated and thoughtful decisions while serving on the Board of Alderman. We think it’s a good fit for a nice lady who will make the entire City of Somerville proud. We endorse and support Mary Jo Rossetti on November 5 for one of your four votes for Alderman At Large.

We also endorse the candidacy of William Medeiros for Alderman At Large. Willie, as medeiros_webhe likes to be called, is a real Somerville guy. A lifelong resident union guy from local 17 Sheet Metal Workers, and for over 30 years has worked to help make Somerville a great place to live and work. Willie is someone who, when he speaks, you can tell he’s got Somerville at heart. Those that know Willie are happy that he’s running. We think, along with his many friends and supporters, that he will make a very good Alderman At Large. Willie Medeiros is involved here. He is currently serving as chairman of the Condominium Review Board here in the city. We, like many others here in Somerville, like Willie. He’s very popular and we think he would make a good Alderman At Large. So on November 5 you should consider him for one of your Four votes for Alderman At Large.

We endorse the candidacy of Sean Fitzgerald for Alderman At Large. He’s a family fitzgerald_webman, active in the schools, a long time resident here in Somerville and a past spokesman for both former Mayor Dorothy Kelly Gay and past Senator Charlie Shannon. Sean Fitzgerald grew up in CT, one of eight kids in his family. He attended college at Northeastern University, earning a degree in political science. Sean works hard at what he does, both here in the city with the PTA, and the various other groups in Somerville.   He presently serves as an assistant to a state representative. Sean is well known by many here. He’s got one of those nice smiles and a genuine down to earth listening attitude.   He has a lot of supporters and we think he will do a great job representing us on the Board of Alderman. We ask you to give him one of your four votes for Alderman At Large.

We endorse the candidacy of Alderman At Large Jack Connolly, who has distinguished connolly_webhimself as a great public servant, sitting on the Board of Alderman now and has been for many years as Alderman At Large, and before that as Alderman from Ward Six. Jack has served under several administrations but has also been a strong supporter of Mayor Joe Curtatone. Jack is a lifelong resident, a family man, a homeowner and business owner, employing several local residents. He sort of has one foot in the private sector and one foot in the public sector. Both jobs done well for many years, he has sponsored legislation on the board and is, more importantly, a listener to the residents. He represents the entire city, all segments of the population, and we say that’s why we endorse Jack Connolly for Alderman At Large and ask for one of your four votes on November 5.

We endorse the candidacy of Alderman At Large Dennis Sullivan, a lifelong resident, a sullivan_webperson who has worked his entire life in the public sector, in his job with the state and as a public official here in Somerville. Dennis was the former School Board member from Ward One, then elected to the Board of Alderman, serving the entire city. He’s done a good job and we think he deserves two more years. Although we have asked you to vote for the previous four candidates, we offer you the option to also pick and choose, and Dennis Sullivan is a good choice for Alderman At Large. We ask you to consider him for one of your four vote.


64 Responses to “Our endorsements for the city election”

  1. ritepride says:

    Some good choices. Hard dedicated people who we hope will serve the people first and not the outsider$/developer$. Do not want to see long time residents forced out. See more resident friendly issues for all addressed instead of just taking care of just certain groups. Give the city back to its residents. Good luck to all.

  2. Lars says:

    I received Courtney’s mailing yesterday and was VERY IMPRESSED. Holy sh*t!

  3. Mememe says:

    Is this another paid press release or actual reporting/editorializing. You guys never let us know which is which. Is part of the annual check from the City of Somerville funding this?

  4. JMB says:

    Great endorsements! Agree with Capuano, O’Keefe and Fitzgerald. Disagree with Medeiros, Connolly and Sullivan.

    O’Keefe has been a ward activist for years, and I personally was surprised when she was appointed. I thought she would have run against Sean outright. She probably would have won. I bet if she knew she’d get a blow-back for accepting an appointment (honestly, who wouldn’t), she’d have thought twice about it so that her commitment to the ward wouldn’t be questioned.

    I love the Capuano family. Andy Capuano was long retired when I knew him, but he was always kind to my family. Mike Capuano Sr’s policies brought Somerville to a place where Joe Curtatone could further enhance it. Mike Capuano Jr is the most principled member of the planning board and should consider public office himself. Joe Capuano is a smart, dedicated young man and a welcome addition to this family’s dedication to public service.

    Sean Fitzgerald has run a much better campaign than in 2011, where unfortunately he fell flat. Unlike the other At Large candidates, he has actually been campaigning. He is a smart, caring man with a wonderful family. He has worked in local and state politics for years, and will bring a good deal of experience in compromise and compassion to a board of aldermen that often lacks backbone and common sense.

    Unfortunately, Willie Medeiros lacks the gravitas of someone who should be seeking citywide office. I’ve met him a few times, and he appears disorganized and unkempt. Dennis Sullivan, while a jovial guy who does his traveling office hours, doesn’t actually do much more than that. Neither he nor Connolly have done much to lead or rock the boat on any issue, and seem to show up to meetings only during election years. I just got mailed pieces from about 5 candidates the other day including Sullivan and Connolly. First bit of campaigning I have seen from ANY of them. No thanks.

  5. Max Weinberg says:

    Glad to see Elio Lorusso finally recieved an endorsement. Does this mean he can finally stop calling himself “an independent candidate for ward 1” over and over again? Elio Lorusso, the candidate of choice for real estate agent everywhere.

  6. Ron Newman says:

    Mark Niedergang did not support the divestment of Israeli bonds. He actively lobbied AGAINST this. Please check your facts.

  7. Andy Richter says:

    Interesting endoresments. What was the process for these endorsements? Was there an interview? Did you pull names out of a hat?

  8. the know says:

    The blow-back was from a bunch of blow-hards who were angry Neidergang didn’t get picked. They march up to city hall-get the public hearing-now Rebekah can’t seem to get them back for…wait for it…another public hearing she tried to have just before election day. Pair this with the fact that she endorsed Neidergang and you can see what her motivations are. JMB is on point about the rest of them.

  9. Linda says:

    The literature I received about Courtney yesterday is by far the best piece of political material I have seen in a long time. It was informative and had great pictures. Her mother and father are adorable :)

  10. Maria says:

    I already received my absentee ballot and voted for Courtney. You go girl!!

  11. Joanne says:

    My two cents…..
    ~I can’t speak to when Matt McLaughlin registered to vote in Ward 1, but he has lived there for several years. He may have kept his Ward 6 (?) registration intact as he was moving into a building that may not have become a long-term reisidence for him.
    ~There’s nothing to add to your endorsement of Courtney O’Keefe over Niedergang, the man with the agenda.
    ~I disagree with your endorsement of Pitone. I was at a friends’ house when she came around doorknocking at 8:00 on a Saturday night. Is she stupid, or does she just not care that people don’t want a politician they don’t know to solicit their vote at that time?
    ~I disagree with your endorsement of Rossetti. She has, from what I can see, done zero campaigning. I have seen not a single sign, mailing, or leaflet from her. If I didn’t read this paper I doubt I would know she was running. Or does she think she doesn’t need to? Question is, if she loses, does her family continue to work for the mayor?

  12. Lynn says:

    Mederios will never, and I mean, NEVER get my vote! No way, no how! I know too much about him to even think about connecting that arrow for him on the ballot. There are so many other better people running that deserve the spot.

  13. CL says:

    As a resident of Ward Five, I can honestly say that my quality of life would not be the same if Courtney O’Keefe did not live in the community. My wife and I bought a 2-family on Bartlett Street in 2009 and days later we met Courtney while she was out for a walk. Over the next few years we read her blog and bumped into her at community events – but more importantly we got to know her while she was out on her walks. As Alderman, Courtney is the most connected and accessible public servant that I have ever known. She listens to her constituents, she connects them with City Hall and above all she builds community.

    I am so incredibly grateful to Courtney for her invaluable contributions to our community – promoting small businesses, dealing with out-of-town landlords, recruiting neighbors for spring clean-up days, reporting sidewalks/signs/streetlights to 311, helping my 90 year-old neighbor with her water bill…the list goes on, and on, and on.

    With great pride I will cast my vote for Courtney O’Keefe as Alderman so that her passion and hard work may continue to benefit the community.

  14. Somerbreeze says:

    Dennis Sullivan always gets back to me in a timely manner, and tackles the issue(s) accordingly…

    He is no lightweight; he’s got MY vote!

  15. Maria says:

    Elio brings expertise and community knowledge! Lets go Elio!

  16. Chris says:

    Courtney’s newspaper piece was great but only had 1/2 of what she has done for the ward and for Somerville. If she included everything it would have been the size of the yellow pages hitting our doorstep. LOL.

  17. To the Editors of the Somerville Times:

    It’s fine that you have endorsed my opponent, Courtney O’Keefe for Ward 5 Alderman. It is not OK that you got my position on divestment from Israel 180 degrees wrong. You have accused me of doing exactly the opposite of what I actually said and did. This is a public record, there were several newspaper articles in which I was quoted as an opponent of divestment. When the Somerville Divestment from Israel group went before the Board of Aldermen, it was a complete surprise to me and others in the Jewish community here in Somerville. I dropped everything I was doing at the time and made hundreds of phone calls to advocate against divestment from Israel. We got the Jewish Labor Committee to bring a dozen union members to City Hall to support our position against divestment. The Board of Aldermen voted against divestment as a result of our hard work to inform them about the issues. Later, when the Somerville Divestment from Israel group put a question on the ballot to promote divestment, I worked with Steve Grossman, Mike Capuano, Joe Curtatone, Dorothy Kelly Gay, and virtually every elected official in Somerville against that ballot initiative, and we beat it.

    I would appreciate it if you would run this as a letter in the next print version of the paper or print a correction and retraction of your erroneous statement about my record on divestment from Israel.

    Mark Niedergang
    Somerville School Committee, Ward 5
    Candidate for Ward 5 Alderman

  18. Matt says:

    Two outright lies about Mark Niedergang. It’s no secret that the News/Times personally dislikes Mark, and if it’s a surprise to anyone that this “newspaper” would choose to endorse the hand-picked successor of Sean O’Donovan then it shouldn’t be. We’ll see what the voters say on Tuesday.

  19. Norman says:

    this election will tell if money can buy an election. Elo Lorusso has spent more money in a local election than most spend in a citywide election. He ahs nothing to offer but plenty of money to spend. This is his 5th time running and he is spending like he is printing the money. On the other hand Matt McLaughlin is not spending at all but is outworking any candidate I have ever seen including Bill Roche who was the hardest working alderman ever.

  20. John says:

    I was going to write about how much I love Courtney and how appreciative I am of her but CL beat me to it and included a lot of the reasons why I am voting for her.

  21. Bob W says:

    you gotta be kidding me, Elio Lorusso is your pick for ward one. how can he now claim he is the independent candidate? he actually bought an endorsement — he has done NOTHING in ward one – NOTHING. his business has not given back AT ALL – NOTHING. he is a republican in democratic clothing, he supported scott brown against liz warren and he has republican beliefs — get rid of immigrants, no gays or lesbians need apply, and he has no clue about blue collar workers that is why ALL the city unions endorsed his opponent. ALL of them.

  22. Richard Karpley says:

    You have an error in your comment about Niedergang supporting divestment. I remember clearly arguing with him in front of a polling place a few years back when this actually got on the ballot. He was against divestment. I was for strongly for it. I’ll always remember our argument. Also for the record, the Jewish community itself is split on this issue. I like many other supporters of Israel felt that divestment was a good way to force Israel to follow international law and to change what we thought were policies that were not in the state of Israel’s best interests. I fully respected Mr. Niedergang’s opinions on this topic (Victorino just hit a 2-run triple!!!!!) and hope for an opportunity to discuss this with him again.

  23. JazzMo says:

    Joanne wants to know if the Rossetti family will still work for Mayor Curtatone if she loses her bid for public office. Probably yes, but that is her right and the Mayor can pick who works for him. They have been with him for some time now. Her daughter Jackie has done a fantastic job for the Mayor from what I understand. The Mayor would hate to lose her services.

  24. A.Moore says:

    Neidergang would be a great choice for ward 5. Certainly deserves to get in for all his hard work.

  25. Linda says:

    What work, A. Moore? What the hell has this guy done to make him a worthy alderman?

  26. samira says:

    Agreed, Linda. He doesn’t attend school functions on a regular basis, and hasn’t accomplished any of the promises he made. He’s a fraud.
    @JazzMo, look at the politicians who vote down the line for the mayor, and at their family members (or themselves) who have been hired by the mayor.

  27. Lars says:

    There’s a simple answer to A. Moore’s comment–take all of the major issues/projects/developments/topics in ward five and see if Mark has *any* knowledge about them. Something tells me he doesn’t, but something tells me O’keefe does.

  28. murt says:

    a.moore has a cherry connection

  29. ritepride says:

    A question that arises for the voters is…. more than 50% of city/town budgets go towards the school systems, yet after all these years we constantly hear that our MA students are not at the top. Schools that are less than 40 years old are tore down to build new ones. Total waste of taxpayers dollars. A state engineer told me that as long as asbestos is properly encapsulated, that there is no need to tear a building down.
    Just look at Somerville and old structures that still stand strong and do not need to be replaced. Old Lowe school on Morrison Ave (now apartments) just one among others. The old Union Square firehouse (home to SCAT TV). City Hall, Central Library, College Ave Library, etc.

    So where is the problem? Are School Committees, Superintendents, etc., doing their job properly? Fifty percent or more of each yearly budget spent on the schools, surely the results after all these years should be better, especially in a city where more than 50% of the land is tax exempt and places even more of the burden on the taxpayers than most other cities/towns.

  30. Ron Newman says:

    the West Somerville library doesn’t need to be replaced, but it certainly needs a lot of work — air conditioning and ADA accessibility, at the very least.

  31. Rich F says:

    I believe Courtney O’Keefe will listen to the needs of the people and stand strong against the things that she believes is not in our best interests. I also believe her involvement and knowledge of the issues involving ward 5 and all of Somerville make her a good choice for another 2 years as Ward 5 Alderman.

  32. Sophie says:

    Very interesting. It seems that Mr. Niedergang is highly offended by an error made by this paper (intentional or not, I have no idea). Yet he has a long history of campaigning door to door and lying to people about himself and his opponent. This is a fact. Seems a little hypocritical to me. Desperation maybe?

  33. Joanne and Simira are right. JazzMo you are delusional.

    She has always been power hungry for a top political position without giving back–self interests before the people of this city. I thought she was on the side of ward 7 opponent. Oh well, friends today enemies tommorra, don’t cha love it. Nepotism and favoritism create problems. Hiring should be based on qualifications. Hopefully, the voters will make a better choice for Aldermen-At-Large. School Mom of two decades has nowhere else to go and the squirrelly Tufts broker masquerading as a humble insurance salesman are well known imposters.

    Vote wisely on Tuesday!

  34. I also don’t understand why people are giving Niedergag the time of day and why is he allowed to post on this forum? Take it up with the editor.
    People have a right to vote for who they want without being harassed by obnoxious candidates.

    I haven’t been following too closely about the pension plan investments, but it may be too late to back out of any of these questionable dealings. When the US got involved in the Middle East conflict, that’s when most of our problems began–fiscal and otherwise. I hope they know what they are doing with these investments. After all we have seen and heard from the mortgage scandal from these loan sharking banks, how can anyone trust how they invest our money?
    I think if we are going to invest at all, it should be from a diverse selection, not for only one nation to continue to grow into another super power–the people of Palestine deserve their say as well, no nation should suffer at the hand of another. The American people deserve better since we have been backing these wars and cash flow for centuries while our nation gets the boot.

  35. I don’t understand why Rebekka isn’t backing Courtney. This has become a mystery to me. I’ve never been a fan of Rebekka. I find her to be also as equally self-interested and obnoxious. When she speaks at events, she sounds more like a valley girl auditioning for a high school play. She enjoys hearing herself talk while extending time limits. That gig in Davis Square has her convinced she’s dancing with the stars. Come back to reality, it’s only a job. I don’t believe Hollywood will be calling anytime soon.

    I’m all over the map when it comes to pols–I don’t vote clique, I vote for the individual. We need balance in our city, not more of the same.

    Only in Somerville.

  36. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Seanee boy’s only good deed was giving Courtney what she and the constituents deserved. Do not be fooled by the tricksters, she is the real deal. Ward 5 has been through enough grief by that clown. What goes back around. If you only could see what I have seen, Judge Heff knows too. You don’t spend decades in this town with blinders on. Courtney is the only choice. We already have enough of the eccentric crowd. Please bring some much needed rationale and team spirit, long over due!

  37. Linda says:

    I am DISGUSTED with Rebekah! DISGUSTED! She should be absolutely ashamed of herself endorsing the opponent of a fellow alderman. Can someone PLEASE run against her in two years??!!

  38. ritepride says:

    “Pixie P” Nother issue that no elected official will give the answer to is….
    Who is getting the “finders fee” for the bonds the city floats for various projects and purchases. Is it going back into the city funds or is it going in somebody($) pocket$????

  39. Joan Falcone says:

    Linda – Rebecca also just endorsed the opponent of Joe Capuano in Ward 7. Huge mistake … if these people think publicly opposing a Capuano in this city is a smart idea, they’re delusional, especially since the Capuanos are real progressives.

    There is no chance that Gewirtz’s endorsees are going to win. The PDS usually run negative campaigns, run bad candidates, and run against whatever they consider the “machine” to be – which is basically anyone who is not part of their self-identified group of “progressives.” The unfortunate thing is, the PDS wants to BE a machine, it just keeps losing.

    Gewirtz’s victory was luck against an unpopular Jack Connolly, NOT indicative of the successes and popularity of the incredibly divisive “Progressive” Dems. They won very few races – and mostly on the school committee, which does almost nothing. They lost when they ran Heller in 7, Ballantine in 7 before, Bremer for mayor, Martinez for aldermen a few times, the woman who ran against LaFuente in 4 two years ago.

    They backed McLaughlin this time because he was the best of the three, but if he ever votes against their interests, they’ll find someone to run against him next time.

  40. emir says:

    From the comments here, it’s completely clear that c o’keefe gathers a crowd of noisy and thoughtless bullies around her. she seems poised to play dirty and secretive and run with scissors, just give her the chance.

    m neidergang has a perfect right to post in this online edition and correct the outrageous misinformation being spread about him.
    Considering all the bullies ready to punch him- anonymously- i’d say it was a courageous act on his part to post here.
    He also deserves a retraction from this rag, which is now knowingly misrepresenting the facts.

  41. TimeZ says:

    @linda: what’s with all the DISGUST? Elected officials endorse candidates in other races all the time. Of all the dirty aspects of local politics (money, favors, nepotism), public endorsements seems fairly above the board.

  42. Joseph Glavin says:

    Sorry to be insensitive, but I cannot vote for someone who refuses to work or hold meetings on Saturdays. Just my opinion.

  43. Dewey says:

    You DO NOT endorse the opponent of a current member of the board. You DO NOT do that!

  44. josie says:

    He works?

  45. Lars says:

    Courtney has bullies surrounding her, emir??!! How about the bullies surrounding Mark?

  46. sandy says:

    Ross Richmond is the clear choice for Ward 5 School Committee. He is involved in the schools as a volunteer tutor (something we sorely need), and he understands the workings of a school district. His work at the State House on educational issues means that he knows also about the big picture. That is, funding, state and federal regulations, etc. It is important for the School Committee to have some working knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the schools. I take issue with his opponent because of the fact that she wishes to represent Ward 5, but send her own kids out of the ward to attend school.

  47. TimeZ says:

    @Dewey: why not? some sort of tradition among insiders? I wanna behave, but I don’t know the rules.

    @Joan Falcone: you’re making an argument for nepotism?

  48. S-ville Parent says:

    @sandy: I take issue with Ross Richmond and his divisive and negative campaign. After talking with former school committee members and lifelong residents, I found that children have never been assigned to schools based on the ward they live in. In the past, children were assigned to the school nearest to their home. Currently, parents can request for their kids to attend any school in the district. There is a small bias given for proximity to place of residence. The ward divisions of the city do not figure into any school assignment considerations. For Ward 5, the available schools include Brown, Healy and Winter Hill as well as Kennedy. Residents in parts of Wards 2, 3 and 6 as well as part of Ward 5 have geographic preference for the Kennedy. For other than elections, the division of school committee members by Ward serves no real purpose. Given that children from one side of the city can attend schools across town means that essentially all school committee members serve “at-large”. People should be voting for a candidate who can best manage the challenges posed to all the schools in our diverse and rapidly changing city. Other than some general and vague positions about improving various programs in our schools, Mr. Richmond has not stated specifically what he would do or how he would do it. He has also not explained how his work in the legislature can be directly applied to the Somerville public schools. Mr. Richmond’s demonizing of school committee members who have or had children attending the Healy school shows a lack or maturity and political savvy. If elected, how does he expect to work productively with people he has insulted? This divisive tactic also shows a lack of understanding of how the school committee functions. School Committee members sit on different subcommittees which oversee items such as budgets, facilities, professional development, staff, etc. Depending upon the issue, a parent could be in contact with any of the school committee members not just the member from their ward. Ross Richmond might be a nice guy to have a hotdog with but I don’t think he would make a very effective school committee representative for ward 5. The children and parents of all Somerville deserve better.

  49. Real S-Ville Parent says:

    @S-Ville Parent, you don’t seem to have a clue as to how the school committee works, or you don’t care. Each committee member represents an area of the city. That area usually includes 1 or 2 of our district schools. The member representing the ward will advocate for the wards’ schools, attend functions at the wards’ schools, and keep the committee and the city informed of things that are happening at the school. They are not there to advocate their own agenda, as in the Choice Program at the Healey School. I think Richmond is absolutely right to point out that too many of the school committee now have children at the Healey School, and that is a concern for me. Have you followed school committee meetings? Do those members advocate for the Kennedy, the Lincoln Park, the Winter Hill School? I think Richmond has clearly advocated his qualifications for the position, and what his expertise will bring to the committee. I have seen nothing at all from Ms. Pitone as to what her positions are and what her expertise as an Engineer, or as a Healey parent, will bring to the school committee. Are there overall district considerations as well? Of course, but the input of the committee members should come from their unique perspective and how something might affect their district school, not how the Healey school will be impacted. People haven’t forgotten that until it was forced to merge with the rest of the school, the Choice Program and its’ parents considered itself better than the rest of the district schools, even better than the ‘regular’ students in the Healey School.
    @emir, I see Courtney O’Keefe on her own out and about the city, surrounded by noone. Mr. Niedergang, from my experience, is himself a bully. And he should be glad that the facts have been misrepresented, I think all of the press reports on him have been kind, to say the least. The real facts are very interesting.

  50. SomMom says:

    How VERY interesting that there’s no endorsement for Bill White! Bill White spoke up against all the aldermen resigning a year early and designating their chosen successors — Bill Roche in ward 1 and Sean O’Donovan in ward 5 in April. I think he got a little too close to the truth for the guys at the News (or whatever this paper is called now).

    It’s also very interesting that Bill Roche’s hand-picked successor, Maureen Bastardi, went down in flames in the primary for ward 1 alderman. And very interesting that BOTH Bill Roche and Sean O’Donovan are endorsing Courtney O’Keefe, O’Donovan’s hand-picked successor. (I believe they also back Bob McWatters but may be wrong.) If I were Courtney, I’d have said thanks but no thanks, but she did not. Tells me a lot about where her head is at, regardless of how she’s trying to appeal to the Ambers of Somerville (who “never really felt at home in Somerville” until she met Courtney– really???).

    so, if people want to keep alive this machine that makes decisions about who should be in office, just go ahead and vote for Courtney and Bob McWatters. Oh, and probably Joe Capuano, too, who you call “his own person” — he is no way “progressive,” was never involved in ward 7 issues till this election, and actually has professional ties to FRIT, which is the big developer in Assembly Square. He’s nothing like his dad. (And, though Elio claims to be an independent voice, he’s actually a bully. Matt McLaughlin is the real deal. He moved to ward 1 because he couldn’t afford to live in ward 5, where he grew up, so he understands the lack of affordable housing in Somerville, and he’s concerned about families not being able to live here anymore.)

    @ emir — This newspaper is nothing but an echo chamber. Most of the time lately they don’t even print my comments… But I guess I’ll be the next one the bullies pile up on, if they do print this….

  51. ritepride says:

    Got a robo call today to vote for Courtney. Good candidate…unfortunately I live in Ward 7, Next time Courtney hire a company that is going to do the job correctly.

  52. MarketMan says:

    All residents of the city as taxpayers, directly or indirectly. So when is that a qualification for running for office??!!

  53. S-ville Parent says:

    @Real S-Ville Parent: I care deeply about the Somerville Public Schools because I have children who attend the Somerville Public Schools. I have volunteered in the schools and I make it a priority to be involved in my kids education. At PTA nights and other school events, I have always seen at least three members of the school committee at my children’s school. When my wife and I had an issue with a staffing policy at my children’s school, it was Adam Sweeting, who represents Ward 3, who came to our house, which is in Ward 6, to discuss it. Mr. Sweeting was serving on the staffing subcommittee and was the person best informed on our issue. I have sat with both Mary Jo Rossetti and Maureen Cardoso at parent working groups. There again school committee members involved in schools and with parents outside of their home wards. Now as far as your assertion that I am clueless. The Choice Program at the Healey School was phased-out about three years ago. About five years ago, the Lincoln Park school was demolished and the Argenziano School now stands on its site. Through an effort by the entire school committee, the Winter Hill School is now a Massachusetts Innovation School. Just one more point of fact, only one committee member currently has children attending the Healey School. By my count, three have children at Somerville High School and three no longer have children in the schools. Finally, if you have not been able to determine Laura Pitone’s positions on schools and the expertise she will bring to the school committee, you, Real S-Ville Parent, are truly the clueless one. She has a website where see clearly enumerates her positions, her expertise and her experience. She has also submitted detailed answers to questions from the local media. Except for a few “youtube” videos lasting less than two minutes each, Mr. Richmond’s site is sorely lacking for substance. Nowhere does he mention what degree he received from his college. I would rather have someone trained as an engineer in critical thinking and problem solving serve on the school committee than have someone who likes to hear themselves talk and sees the office as a polical stepping stone. As I said before the children and parents of all Somerville deserve better!

  54. Somerbreeze says:

    Will the Backroom Machine continue to grind on as long as it has?

    Ah, stay tuned….

  55. Steve Keenan says:

    The most important thing to remember in an election is that YOU MAKE THE CHOICE. I was saddened to hear that it appears that the turnout in Boston is only about 21% so far.

    Many good men and women have died to ensure that we have the right to vote in our great nation. Exercise your right to vote. Many people in the world do not have the right to vote. We do-let’s keep it that way.

  56. Somerbreeze says:

    @ Pixie – “the squirrelly Tufts broker masquerading as a humble insurance salesman….”

    Why, who could THAT be…?


  57. ritepride says:

    “Steve Keenan” ..Good points. You are correct, in the 25 multi family homes on my block according to our alderman, only… f i v e… families are registered to vote. Most of the neighborhood is student or transient population. Then you have the added problem of students voting (mainly presidential elections) who vote in Somerville and then vote via absentee ballot back where they come from.

  58. Emelda says:

    Stop with the “we should all vote” garbage. There is no one to vote for. None of the people running today I would trust to paint my basement floor let alone “represent” me. pfffttttt. What we have are a collection of people who for the most part have never even run a lemonade stand and they’re our only choices? I’m all set staying home.

  59. Steve Keenan says:

    To Emelda-sounds like you should be running for office when you say “there is no one to vote for.” Don’t stay home-take out papers and run for office. The old adage from my college days in the 60’s was “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” There might be some truth and wisdom in that. To say “I’m all set staying home” is not part of any solution.

    If you run and your views and ideas resonate with the voters, you might get elected and start to change things. You won’t know unless you try. Take care.

  60. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Where do I begin? Matty I’m overjoyed. Dennis there were no worries.
    The rest, I am bewildered, disappointed and filled with disgust. Cupcake got his wish, the loyalist moldy chair from school committee, sibling by his side. Door to door insurance salesman who never leaves home sweet home, both Tufts insiders. The husband and wife of ward 7 architects will soon be drawing up fine plans w/Tufts, bet they never saw it comin ‘. Beware those tangled webs by two females in 7 who duped the males looking the other way, never to be seen since she won! Sorry Cap, better luck next time. Choose your friends carefully, Bob was right, she speaks with fork tongue. McWatters, as long as he does no engineering you might be safe. Fitzy, it was rigged! What hurt you was that “02155” college zip code! Next time keepem’ close to the chest. You would have kept those cupcakes in line! Where is the sleaze when you need him! Not funny anymore, but I could sure use a few laughs right about now. Our only hopes are Matty and Dennis, all else has gone to hell. It’s all bekkahs fault! That dumb valley girl. It was rigged !

  61. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Courtney, I wish the very best. You know your neighborhood will love you regardless. Keep on truckin’, it’s only two years, maybe change will come on the next round. Those good souls who must deal with this mayor have my blessings and sympathy. In time, you may be grateful. The rest, you deserve the misery you wished for and will feel right at home.

  62. TimeZ says:

    @Joan Falcone: looks like your political analysis will need to be revised. The PDS seem to be flexing their muscle. Not a clean sleep, but certainly a blow to the Machine.

  63. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Look on the bright side local peeps, at least Boston local compadres get to keep their hardworking unions. Felix is happy tonight and so are thousands of working class citizens.

    I can’t help wondering if cupcakes decided to run for mayor would he have supported the local candidates? But what a tragedy, whether he’s on our hill or theirs, were doomed. Two more years…..

  64. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Cupcakes running for gov is what I meant, but running unopposed as mayor? It’s a no win situation. At least one senator is very happy tonight, but I’m not. Isn’t it suppose to be the true residents of our community who’s vote counts most? Why do short term transients get to vote on candidates they never stick around long enough to know. Where did Ward 7 winner’s money and support come from? Let’s have some transparency. She didn’t work her campaign, outsiders got her elected. Ward 7 is saturated with student and transient populous.

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