The Great Lynn Mayoral Debate is now in the books.
Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy and Council President Timothy Phelan offered sharp exchanges on a number on issues and how they would lead the city over the next four years during their two-hour debate that was broadcast live on television by LynnCAM.
So who won the debate?
Former Mayor Albert DiVirgilo, one of the moderators, offered his analysis, echoing what many were saying about the debate.
“I’d say that that they were very even – they did a good job,” said DiVirgilio. “They clearly showed their differences and are giving the people of the city a real choice and a direction they want to go.”
Cassie Vitali, executive director of LynnCAM and also a moderator for the debate, said, “I think they both did an excellent job and the city of Lynn is really fortunate to have two very qualified individuals who care so much and are willing to put the time in for the people to benefit.”
Debate moderator Magnolia Contreras, a community activist said, “We wanted the Lynn residents to know the differences between the two candidates and tonight they heard enough so that people have more information and can make the decision that’s right for them.”
Following are the closing statements of the two candidates:
Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy
Thank you to everybody both in the live audience and who called in and who have been watching on TV for tuning in.
Choosing the leaders of your city is a very, very important civic task and I appreciate that you took time out of your schedules in order to listen to Councilor Phelan and I debate the issues.
Councilor Phelan and I have known one another for 22 years. I respect him. I like to think he respects me as well. We both have your best interests in mind. I would not dispute that Tim, Councilor Phelan, will be a good mayor – someday. However, I think I have shown you that for the past four years I have been a good mayor and I think I deserve another four based on my track record to this point.
Everything from reverse 911 to increasing the number of ticketed shows at the Lynn Auditorium from two to four a year back in 2009, now we’re doing 12-15 a year, with the air conditioning going in, we’ll have even more shows and more revenue and more people coming into the downtown area.
The quality of life improvements from the dog park to the splash pad at Flax Pond, to the new splash pad that will be going on down behind McManus Field to the bandstand renovations to the Lynn Common.
The designation of an arts and cultural district downtown. The return of third Thursdays, our dog park over on Parkland Avenue. These are just a few of the amenities and a few of the improvements that are made in the city.
I want to continue to be your leader for the next four years and I respectfully ask for your vote on September 17 and November 5.
Thank you very much.
Council President Tim Phelan
For us to move the city to the next level, I think we have to recognize that it’s not about credit, it’s not about blame but the future accomplishment of working together.
Do I like the dog park? The dog park is nice. But I think over the past four years we should have had more built than just that.
People tell me that I’m never going to win, that you can’t beat the power of the corner office, that you’re the underdog. But I tell them they said the same thing to the Red Sox in 2004 against the Yankees. People tell me that I’ll never win, that the corner office has big developers behind them, big banks, a lot of money. But I tell people that money doesn’t vote, people vote. People tell me when I knock doors, well things haven’t gone wrong in the last four years and I say to them, if that’s your standard, then you shouldn’t vote for me. But where has our standard got to that place? I think we should just expect more.
If you’re looking for leadership, if you’re looking for energy, you’re looking for innovation, you’re looking for somebody who’s not afraid to take a risk or push the envelope, someone’s who not afraid to hold the people accountable and have the ability to work together with people, then I am the one for you.
I think it’s time that we stop talking and started sweating more for this city so we can move it forward. If you’re looking for someone who knows that it’s not about the work that’s been done, but rather the work that we are left to do, then I’m the guy for you.
Lynn’s not about rich or poor, or black versus white, or older versus younger, it’s about knowing that tough talk is not a substitute for sound judgment. And that’s what I bring to the table. I tell people not what they want to hear but what they need to know.
I want you to vote for me because you think I’m qualified and you think I care, not because you know me and you know someone in my family. I want you to vote for me because you think I can lead this city back to greatness. Because if you don’t think those things, you should not vote for me.
But, what I say to you is the United States Constitution gives you the right to vote, but the families, the children, the people, and the neighborhoods give you the responsibility.