Letters to the Editor

Good things are taking place

As most of you know by now, this year’s City Council elections included the need for a preliminary in District 5 and for the three at-large seats for the first time in nearly a decade and that seats in nearly every District and all three At-Large seats are being hotly contested, many by relative newcomers to involvement in city government and affairs.

If one were to listen to the rhetoric being promoted by many of the candidates running this year, he or she would be reasonable to conclude that Chelsea is a directionless city with, in office, unaccountable and unacceptably uncaring elected officials. Residents are being told city government does not care about them, their needs or about important issues like crime and development while re-election, according to some, is all that matters to those currently in office.

Speaking for myself, I believe such generalizations are not only wrong, but a gross distortion of what is actually occurring in our city and an affront to every Councilor who decided to run for office because he or she cares about this city and the residents they represent. While our city faces issues like crime and development-related concerns, Chelsea has made significant advances since I was first elected in 2011. Despite this reality, a vocal segment of our community has decided to use rhetoric based on misinformation (often completely lacking supporting facts) to mount a “kick ‘um all out” campaign.

The last municipal election saw the return of every incumbent, something I do not dispute was both unusual and perhaps unwarranted. In a noteworthy contrast, however, Nov. 3’s election has the potential to see eight new City Councilors, most of whom have never held, or even run for office before or, in some cases, demonstrated any involvement in any community affairs, government or otherwise.

As one who has gone through the City Councilor learning curve even after attending a significant number of government meetings and events before taking office, I write this sincerely concerned that the significant lack of experience or knowledge of any facet of city government or of its operation, especially under our City Manager form of government, has the potential to turn the City Council into a weakened entity in which eight or so inexperienced members rely to an unhealthy extent on one or two vocal leaders.

Just as we transition to a new City Manager in our city which, I believe, is not by any means “off track”, but in which good things are taking place that should be managed with the oversight of experienced representatives, I fear a situation where much of what we have accomplished may be placed at risk.

Perhaps what disturbs me the most, though, is the overall sense of entitlement from some running for office this year. While some candidates have stated platforms and done actual campaigning, for which I commend them be they incumbent or challenger, others, I am of the impression, have decided to ride a perceived “anti-incumbent” wave to office without actually working for your vote or making an argument as to why he or she is better than the one currently in office in a disturbing manner that belittles what I have come to understand of the Democratic process.

The notion that a candidate need not provide any actual policy position to get elected is for me as a resident, let alone Councilor, scary, and has gotten so eschew that the district I currently represent and hope to represent again, will, if I am unsuccessful, be represented by a brand new Councilor who has never once found the time or interest to vote in a single City Council/Municipal election.

To the residents of Chelsea, I pose two questions: First, are things in our city so bad that we should ignore candidates’ lack of experience and prior involvement in city affairs so as to have a “kick everyone out office” election? And Second, should we be content with candidates running for office who choose only to ride a wave of groupthink and unsupported negative sentiment and not, as voters, demand that those seeking office demonstrate a record of involvement and interest in, and knowledge of, city affairs and, in doing so doing, actually earn your vote for the important job he or she now seeks?

As one whose serves with dedication and for the right reasons, I feel strongly that you all deserve better, and on Nov. 3, whomever you chose, I urge you to settle for no less.

Clifford Cunningham

City Councillor



Roy Avellaneda and Damali Vidot

As a former At-large City Councilor and City Council President, I ask for your consideration of two candidates whom I am endorsing for the At-Large race in the upcoming election on Nov. 3.

Roy Avellaneda is an experienced leader who is a former City Councilor and City Council President. He is a business-owner, member of the City’s Licensing Board and a community advocate who has dedicated years to improving Chelsea.  As an educated and articulate professional, Roy has the insight, perspective and experience to ensure that the issues we all care about: safety and crime reduction, development and traffic, quality of life, and strong public schools are top on the City’s agenda.

Damali Vidot is a lifelong Chelsea resident, a mother, homeowner and small business owner.  Damali is articulate, intelligent and her energy and passion for Chelsea are infectious.  Damali is a breath of fresh air who knows firsthand the multitude of issues facing families in Chelsea. She has invested in our community and is dedicated to making our city safer for her daughter, my children and everyone in Chelsea. As the last female At-Large City Councilor, I know it is time for a woman to get back into that seat. For all of these reasons and more, I wholeheartedly support Damali.

I am confident that having Roy’s experience and Damali’s perspective, energy and passion for change, our City will be moving in the right direction. I respectfully ask you to cast two of your votes in the at-large race for Damali Vidot and Roy Avellaneda on Nov. 3.

Thank you for your attention and consideration of these highly qualified candidates.

Roseann Bongiovanni



Perlatonda supports Henry David Wilson

Yes that’s right, I am supporting Henry David Wilson to take over my seat as the District 5 City Councilor.

There is no one I see better than Henry to take over the seat that I have held.

Henry has the same ideas I’ve been fighting for over the past four years as the District 5 City Councilor.

Henry has done so much behind the scenes that needs to be recognized, such as working with The Neighborhood Developers, being an All-American City delegate, receiving several awards for his community service by helping out with the summer youth program, mentoring for REACH after school program and currently serving on the Planning Board for the past several years.

Most importantly, being a board member that will ensure diversity on the Council.

He has been vocal about keeping Chelsea safe, which is one of my biggest pet peeves.

No one should be afraid to go or walk anywhere in Chelsea and Henry plans to keep my vision of fighting as hard as I did to rid the crime off the streets of Chelsea.

Henry also wants solve the trash, parking and rat problem the City is still facing right now.

I know it’s not easy as a City Councilor to resolve a lot of these issues when you don’t have the support to conquer these issues, and believe me, these are big issues and you’ll need someone with big shoes to fill them.

In my heart, I believe Henry is the man to get these things done unlike the other candidate who hasn’t even contributed anything to the city until now.

So when you go out and cast your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 3, remember if you believe in what I have tried to accomplish and if you have liked what I have done as a District 5 City Councilor, then help me in supporting Henry David Wilson as the next District 5 City Councilor.

He believes in fighting for you, the people of Chelsea. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed.

Joseph Perlatonda

District 5 City Councilor

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