Last Wednesday night a crowd of about 70, along with city officials including the mayor, filled Turbine Wine Bar in downtown Lynn to hear Robert ‘Clay’ Walsh speak about his candidacy for Councilor At Large.
“I could have held my first event anywhere,” Walsh said, “but I held it in downtown Lynn because I believe that downtown Lynn holds the key to both pride and tax revenue for all of Lynn’s neighborhoods.”
During his speech Walsh recalled the downtown of his youth, “My grandmother and I would go to lunch at Anthony’s and walk up Union Street to Connolly’s Candies. Lynn is no longer my grandmother’s downtown, but I believe in the future of the new downtown.”
Walsh said his first priority is making people feel comfortable walking and parking in downtown. He voiced support of the mayor and chief adding new police officers to walk the streets. He was also open to the idea of hiring more police if necessary to secure a Lynn community policing program.
Another important issue to Walsh is pushing Smart Growth. He explained that Smart Growth includes developing small concentrated communities, promoting clean energy, and accessible public transportation.
“In the mayor’s state of the city address, a lot of the accomplishments she mentioned depended on state or federal aid. What the voters need to know is that if we invest in Smart Growth initiatives, we set our self up to qualify for additional state and federal money.”
While many of Walsh’s statements received applause, the loudest came during his remarks about his vision for Lynn. Walsh believes the city will have a Starbucks in its future. He also said, “It’s not if we get a casino at Suffolk Downs, it’s when. We need to start thinking about how Lynn can position itself to so we can take advantage of that situation.”
Walsh then changed his tone to discuss why the voters should support him. “I believe in leading by example”, he said and went on to talk a little about his involvement with community. He cited his participation with community cleanups, efforts to bring the vote back to the Ford School, taking a stand on community issues like the Post 507, and volunteering in charitable groups like the Knights of Columbus, of which he also sits on the council.
In his closing remarks Walsh addressed the voters saying that he will be a great and vocal leader for them. He then addressed the officials in the crowd and said, “You may be pleasantly surprised that I also make a great teammate.”
After the speech his father, Bob, owner of Walsh’s Oil Co said, “I am proud of my son’s involvement in the community. We need a young person’s view to help move the city forward.”
Clay said his next step is to start going door to door. He also suggested holding a second event. “After the success at Turbine, I think everyone agrees we have something good going. I’d like build on that and hold another event, perhaps in a different part of town.“
Voters can learn more about Clay Walsh and any future events at www.electwalsh.com