Hippo Manchester
November 10, 2005

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Publisher's Note: Guinta’s work pays off
by Jody Reese

I must be out of touch.

Early this year I told Ward 3 Alderman Frank Guinta he couldn’t beat Mayor Robert Baines. The city was doing well. People were happy. Even if people didn’t personally like the mayor, they would vote for him.

Wrong.

Guinta edged out Baines in a very hard-fought race, at least for Guinta. When I voted at 4 p.m. on Tuesday at McDonough School, no one was holding a Baines sign. My colleague Dan Sczcesny, who votes in Ward 11, says he too saw no Baines supporters at the polls. It seemed as though Baines just gave up toward the end, thinking, perhaps, that people would support him. Not enough did.

Baines needed people who thought the city was on the right track to come out and vote for him, but that just didn’t happen in large enough numbers.

I find it difficult to believe that Guinta’s “wrong combination 6-55-3” campaign (six years of tax increases, 55 percent violent crime increase and three failing schools) convinced people to vote for him. I just have not heard enough people complain about crime, taxes or the schools to believe that that’s what got them out to vote for Guinta. But then again, it’s clear I’m out of touch.

My Hippo tower aside, I really do think Guinta won because he worked harder. You could see him and his team night after night at their Lowell Street headquarters working to win.

Guinta’s task now will be reach across the electoral divide and get the support of those who supported the mayor. His fellow Republicans didn’t do all that well in the aldermanic races. They actually lost a seat, leaving only two Republican aldermen of the 14 — Ted Gatsas, Ward 2, and Michael Garrity, Ward 9.

On a side note, Baines deserves some major props for walking over to Guinta’s victory celebration at Black Brimmer election night and personally congratulating Guinta in front of all his supporters. Even in defeat, Baines can’t help but take a part in a major Manchester event.

*  *  *

Parking does matter

This is your chance to tell city officials and parking experts alike what you think of parking downtown. A public meeting will be held in the aldermanic chambers City Hall Public Meeting at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 14. The goal of this meeting will be to learn what the consultants have to say about the parking situation and to get more information from business owners, residents and downtown parkers.