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AMESBURY — Citing improvements she had brought to communication and transparency in city government, Mayor Kassandra Gove said on Friday she is ready for a second term.
Gove confirmed she has already taken out her nomination papers to run for reelection to her second term. Although no potential mayoral challenger has appeared, the city native said she is looking forward to a good campaign season.
"I love what I do," Gove said. "I wouldn't call it a job, it's a lifestyle."
Gove defeated Mayor Ken Gray while running her first campaign in 2019 and was inaugurated in January 2020, just a little over two months before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all city buildings and schools that March.
The 2021 municipal election is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 2 and nomination papers for registered city voters interested in running for public office have been available since Wednesday, May 13.
The mayor cited her administration's work dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and its recovery, as well as improved communication and transparency, both at the city level and in the school district.
"We recently got (budgeting software) ClearGov online and we are bringing OpenGov online," Gove said. "We are also in the early phases of approvals for the funding of a website refresh, making things a lot easier to find."
Gove also mentioned her proposed five-year capital plan which was a part of her recommended Fiscal 2022 operating budget
"People are always talking about our aging infrastructure and the delayed maintenance of our buildings," she said. "The continuity of leadership for that I think is really important. We want to make sure that we are establishing some consistency and a strong commitment to managing our infrastructure, whether it is physical or technological. We have learned how necessary that is this year and how important it is to protect and what role cyber security has in everything as well."
The mayor also said she was excited to be on the "other end" of the COVID-19 pandemic and looks forward to people seeing the results of her administration's work over the past 15 months.
"We have been focused a lot on the pandemic response and recovery but we have made a lot of progress with other things too," she said. "We have a lot of things in the works and are setting a strong foundation for the future. I just want to be able to continue that."
The mayor and city councilors are elected to two-year terms in Amesbury. Gove will need 50 signatures from registered voters to be placed on a municipal ballot.
Four city councilors, including District 4 Councilor Nicholas Wheeler, District 2 Councilor Anthony Rinaldi, District 6 Councilor Michael Hogg and at-Large Councilor Adrienne Lennon have also taken out nomination papers for reelection.
Lennon will need to collect at least 50 signatures as an at large councilor, while the district councilors need only collect 25 signatures from voters who live in their districts.
District 5 City Councilor Tim Kisieleski had not pulled nomination papers as of Friday but he could face a challenger in Spindle Tree Road resident Peter Frey, who has taken out papers.
According to City Clerk Amanda Haggstrom, the Housing Authority will also have two, four-year terms as well as a two-year seat up for grabs this year. A total of five, four-year terms on the Library Board of Trustees are also available, as well as five, four-year seats on the Planning Board.
Library Board of Trustees member Laurie Cameron; Housing Authority member Michael Noon; School Committee member Abigail Jurist Levy; and Planning Board member Pascal Rettig have all taken out nomination papers this week.
People looking to run for the Planning Board, Library Board of Trustees, Housing Authority or the School Committee will also need to collect at least 50 signatures.
Friday, July 23 is the deadline to take out nomination papers with Tuesday, July 27 at 5 p.m. the deadline to file.
A preliminary election would be held on Tuesday, Sept. 14, if necessary.
City Council President Matt Einson said during the board's May 12 meeting that residents interested in running for office can pick up nomination papers at the City Clerk's office at City Hall, 62 Friend St.
"If you have been watching our meetings and saying, 'I could do that, I could do that better,' now is your chance," Einson said.
For more details go to the clerk's webpage at www.amesburyma.gov/clerk.
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.
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