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Candidates for Quincy council squabble over lawn signs

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  August 29, 2013 02:05 PM

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A city councilor's offer to forgo campaign election signs in lieu of donating money to charity has been rebuffed his opponent, getting Quincy's election season off to a contentious start.

Ward 4 Councilor Brian Palmucci sent out the request to challenger Mike Healy in late August, offering to do without the staked-in signs that populate the front lawns in Quincy like daisies during election season.

“I think folks need some respite from the onslaught of lawn signs that will undoubtedly dot the landscape of South & West Quincy in the months to come," Palmucci said. "I hope my opponent will agree and we can help the Food Center instead.”

Palmucci cited “election fatigue” as the main reason for the switch, noting that voters had recently been through US Senate and presidential elections, as well as a special election.

As the fight for the Ward 4 seat is the only contested council seat, and one of only two contested races in the entire city election, Palmucci said he and Healy could largely shape this election.

Healy, however, said he hasn't encountered election fatigue, and suggested donating money to charity alongside election campaign signs.

“The voters I have spoken with seem very interested in the Ward 4 election and what I have to say,” Healy said in an e-mail. He said he has been asked for lawn signs in his ward and he is providing those signs.

Healy added that if a donation was to be made, Palmucci should start by making a donation for a flood pump at 20 Furnace Ave.

The land was purchased, without council permission, by the mayor’s office,

which spent $485,000 on the property. The mayor was also criticized for buying the parcel from a family friend. The property is to be used for a flood pump station, though the city is awaiting FEMA funding because the project was more involved and costly than anticipated.

“I would encourage the councilor, if he wants to make a donation to a cause, he should start with a donation to FEMA towards the 20 Furnace Ave. water pumping station, a sweetheart deal to a developer with no funding for a pumping station and no water/flooding relief in sight for residents living in this area,” Healy said.

Healy added that he would be willing to make a donation to the West Quincy Emergency Food Center in Brewer’s Corner, and said he already donates to various centers in the name of his mother-in-law.

Palmucci said without an agreement, he will hand out lawn signs to residents.

“I’ve had requests for over 150 signs, I will put up 300-400 signs. So we’ll do that,” Palmucci said. “I’m not going to universally disarm….but I thought we could do something that benefits the community.”

The incumbent added that he would still support the Food Shelter, as he has in the past.

“I’ve been in there on a number of occasions, worked with them to increase donations, help raise funds around their highest demand seasons around Thanksgiving and the holidays, and I'll continue to support their mission, whether financially or volunteering,” Palmucci said.

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