CHAIR, Rockport Republican Town Committee
Copyright © Committee to Elect Jonathan Ring. All Rights Reserved.
News and Event
Ring Thanks Supporters, Congratulates O'Brien for Re-election, highlights Success of Campaign.
Dear Editor and Readers,
(Press Release 11/8/18)
I am writing because I want to thank everyone who voted for me in the Register of Deeds race and did all you could to support my campaign. I want to thank my family and friends for helping me in my candidacy. I want to thank the Republican Committees that have helped me from the initial meetings of gathering signatures all the way to the final few hours of getting signs out to the polling stations. making phone calls, and donating time and money. It is much appreciated. Although we did not win an election, I think we succeeded in making more people aware of the importance of the Registry of Deeds office. I think we also began a conversation about the need to reform our political system and the need for term limits to advance democracy and competition. I want to congratulate John O'Brien in winning re-election. Although we had sharp disagreements in the campaign, which will happen in a competitive environment, I believe that he loves his job and he wants to make sure that the Registry is working to protect your deeds as your most valuable document. It is my hope and prayer that God will bless his work and keep him safe as he continues his service to administer this office. Once again thank you for the opportunity for allowing me the privilege of running for this important office. God bless you and thank you.
Jonathan Ring Thanks his Supporters
(Facebook post: 11/7/18)
First I want to thank everyone who voted for me and did all you could to support my campaign. I want to thank my family and friends for helping me in this long shot candidacy. I want to thank the Republican Committees that have helped me from the initial meetings of gathering signatures all the way to the final few hours of getting signs out to the polling stations. making phone calls, and donating time and money. It is much appreciated. Unfortunately we did not make it this time, and fell short of the expected goal. But that's okay. There is always next time. I will be sending a letter of congratulations to John O'Brien, as it is my hope and prayer that God will bless his work and keep him safe as he continues his service to administer the Register of Deeds office. At the end of every election it is incumbent upon all of us to work towards coming together. Once again thank you for the opportunity for allowing me the privilege of running for this important office. God bless you and thank you.
Why Ring is the Most Qualified Candidate for Register of Deeds
(Letter to Editor, 10/30/18)
As we enter the final days of this campaign season, I think it is important to bring focus back to the issues that matter in the Registry of Deeds race. The deed to your home is the most valuable document that you have, and this race is about who is the most qualified candidate to manage the Registry of Deeds. As chair of the Rockport Housing Authority, I supervised the hiring of a new executive director. As a member of the Historical District Commission in Rockport, I voted to preserve the historical character of Rockport while respecting the needs of homeowners to modify their homes. As a manager of a UPS Store franchise I work to help customers, I manage employees, and produce revenue for a business that grosses nearly ½ million dollars in sales.
I don’t believe that my opponent John O’Brien is a bad guy, but I believe he is focused on the wrong issues as a Register. He has defended his actions of using government resources to aid in his campaign solicitation, despite being reprimanded by the State Ethics Commission. He only grudgingly accepts their findings. But now his stated reason for seeking re-election was made clear in a GDT article on 10/24/18: “It would’ve been easy for me to have retired,” he [O’brien] said, “But I don’t play golf. My life has been politics since I was 19, and I’ve been in this job since I was 25. I like it and it keeps me going.” The same article also reported that O’Brien said, “he wants to keep working to show that people with Lewy body dementia can continue to live full lives.”
While I feel badly for my opponent because of his condition, the office is not for his personal therapeutic needs. This election is about re-setting the direction of the Registry of Deeds and making sure the people have a voice in that direction. If O’Brien wins, I will congratulate him and wish him success over the next 6 years. If I win, I will thank O’Brien for his service and work with him in the transition for the benefit of the people. To learn more about the direction I would like to take the Registry in, please visit my website at www.jonathanring.org. Thank you again for your consideration and vote on Tuesday November 6th.
Ring Will Set Term Limits for Register of Deeds
(Alicia Beaulieu - letter to editor, 10/30/18)
Meet and Greet with Jonathan Ring for Register of Deeds
Monday, October 29th, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Mass GOP Victory Office
186 Main Street, Gloucester MA 01930
Suggested donation: $20 (or whatever you can afford)
Jonathan Ring for Register of Deeds Endorsed by Boston Broadside.
Condensed Voter Guide - MA 2018
By Lonnie Brennan
Boston Broadside, November 2018
"His campaign literature says it best: "I will keep focused on serving the public faithfully because this Registry of Deeds belongs to the people, not special interests or political insiders!" Ring is solid, hard working, has served his town of Rockport, and we recommend him 100%. Regrettably, he's up against a four-decade Democrat's dynasty. I know Jonathan. Give him your support and your vote, please."
Questions about O'Brien's Dementia Diagnosis Hover over Register of Deeds race.
John O'Brien Attacks News Paper for Criticizing Run after Dementia Diagnosis in Last Debate!
(Ring Campaign, 10/20/18)
Dear Editor (sent to all news outlets)
On Thursday morning, Oct 18th, I debated my opponent for the office of the Register of Deeds, John O'Brien, for perhaps the final time before this election cycle. You can watch this debate on Lynn TV:
While I stand behind my earlier letter stating my offense of the earlier headline used by the Broadside in connection to my campaign announcement, a headline I had no part in, and let O'Brien know that I had sent in this letter to the Broadside and all news outlets, rather than just simply thanking me for supporting his request - he proceeded to attack me and criticize me for not condemning the headline sooner - And gave himself the credit for "prodding me" into doing what I know is right! But perhaps what I found most disturbing is that rather than just talking about the issues and finding common ground - he spent a lot of time attacking a news paper and criticizing their right to publish issues they are concerned about. John O'Brien revealed, in 2016, his diagnosis of dementia and made it an issue for people to know about - but when a news outlet like the Broadside also wants to talk about his diagnosis of dementia, his response is to say, according to his letter, that they "should be stopped once and for all." This isn't just a disagreement over a headline - this is an attack on the press's Right to Free Speech!
O'Brien also doubled down on his continued deflection concerning his violation of conflict of interest and campaign ethics laws - And just refused to admit that he violated the public trust by using his office to solicit employees for campaign donations.
While I tried to reach across the aisle many times, O'Brien kept dismissing concerns of his ethics violations, kept attacking the freedom of the press, and ignored concerns that he may be opening up the Registry to litigation through his refusal to record documents without the authority or ability to detect alleged fraudulent activity. We can do better than this. I ask you for your vote on Tuesday, November 6th. Thank you,
Ring Says "Let us move past O'Brien's Diagnosis of Dementia" as Campaign Issue!
(Press Release, 10/16/18)
Dear Editor (Sent to all News Outlets)
I am writing to you to bring to your attention a concern brought to me by my opponent in the Register of Deeds race, incumbent candidate John O'Brien, about the June 2018 edition of the Boston Broadside that featured an article announcing my candidacy headlined "Republican Jonathan Ring on Ballot for Register of Deeds to Face Off Against Dementia - Diagnosed Democrat." Although I played no part in the writing of the headline, John O'Brien sent me a letter (attached) asking me to state that "I am offended by the headline and want the public to know that just because my opponent has been diagnosed with this disease it should in no way be an issue in this campaign." I agree! Let us move past O'Brien's diagnosis of dementia and focus on the issues that affect you as a homeowner, tax payer, and customer of the Registry of Deeds, because your Deed is your most important asset. This vote is about hiring the best manager that you can trust to run the Registry of Deeds and to protect your Deeds. Thank you,
Jonathan Ring for Register of Deeds Promotes Enhancing Fraud Watch Program!
Interview with Jonathan Ring, Candidate for Register of Deeds
Co-Host Gail Burke and Elliott Margolis of "What's Happening"
Filmed by Bev. Cam.
Register of Deeds Debate between Jonathan Ring and John O'Brien
Hosted by the North Shore Association of Realtors, Salem Chamber of Commerce, and Salem News
Filmed by Salem Access TV
Ring Pushes for Reform to Protect Your Deeds, Will Focus on People NOT Politics!
(Ring Campaign, 10/2/18)
I would like to thank the Salem News, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and the North Shore Association of Realtors for hosting Tuesday night's Register of Deeds Debate between me and my opponent John O'Brien. I believe that this was an informative debate and great questions were asked, and many differences in our candidacies were clearly illustrated.
I strongly believe that your property and the deed to your property is your most valuable asset, and the responsibility of the Register of Deeds is to protect that deed and manage the day to day operations of the office while seeking improvements in the recording process, not to use the office for pushing political activities. As I pointed out in the debate, O'Brien used his office for raising political donations and was rightfully reprimanded by OCPF for his ethics violation and violation of the public trust. O'Brien deflected, blaming the controversy on political pressures rather than his own actions, and lamented that he is not asking his employees for donations anymore.
As I pointed out during the debate we need to remove politics from the office, term limit this office, and make improvements such as improving the electronic closing and recording process, Improving our connections to the State Mass Land Records system, enhance the Property Fraud Watch Program to better protect homeowners, and upgrade the Registry's E-Filing system. While O'Brien kept promoting his 20 year old Smithsonian award for "improvement" in technology, and thinks that all of the Registry's are looking to his system for guidance, the opposite is true - many Registries, like the Northern Middlesex Registry of Deeds under Register Richard Howe, are making incredible advancements in the electronic closing and recording process, while improving the existing in house operating systems. I will work with fellow Registers like Howe, and the Secretary of State, to bring our Registry of Deeds up to current industry standards.
As I stated during the debate, as your next Register I will do all I can to improve customer service and work with the staff that is already there. As a manager of a UPS franchise I have managed a store that has grossed over $500,000 in sales annually, perform notary services, hire and train employees while promoting customer service. As chair of the Rockport Housing Authority I oversaw the hiring process of our new Executive Director, and when I was a member of the Rockport Historical District Commission I always voted to protect our historical district while respecting homeowner rights. I will work to protect your deeds at the Salem Registry of Deeds. Please vote for Jonathan Ring for Register of Deeds on Tuesday November 6th, 2018. To learn more, please go towww.jonathanring.org. Thank you for your consideration.
Jonathan Ring to Participate in Register of Deeds Candidate Debate - Oct 2, 2018
Jonathan Ring Announces Candidacy for Register of Deeds
(Lynn Journal, 9/4/18)
Jonathan Ring for Register of Deeds part of Successful Candidate Night in West Newbury
Jonathan Ring Receives a Grade of 100% from GOAL - a Pro-2nd Amendment Group
While the Register of Deeds race will most likely not delve in any social issues, Jonathan Ring received a grade of 100% from Gun Owner's Action League after he faithfully answered their questionnaire. To see the grade go to http://www.goal.org/MA-election.html. "As a firearms license holder I believe strongly in protecting our most sacred constitutional rights. The second amendment states that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." I believe that any restriction on our rights is an infringement." Jonathan Ring believes strongly in promoting safe and responsible gun ownership, and supporting efforts to crack down on unlawful use. "Constitutional Rights need to be protected, people have the right to self defense, and the public has a right to feel safe," said Jonathan Ring, "And I believe around those issues we can all find common ground."
Jonathan Ring thanks voters for Nomination to Ballot
Jonathan Ring for Register of Deeds to have Kick Off Event in Gloucester!
I want to thank you for supporting and considering my campaign for the office of Register of Deeds in the Essex Southern District. This campaign has been an incredible journey. I’ve met many different people along the way, and thanks to many like-minded volunteers and friends I feel confident that we will be successful in pushing for commonsense reform and accountability in the management of our Registry of Deeds office this November!
I could not have gotten this far without your help, and therefore I would like to invite you to my first campaign kick off reception to be held on Sunday, August 26th, 2018, from 6pm – 8pm at the Azorean Restaurant, 133 Washington Street, Gloucester MA 01930. Suggested contribution starts at just $25 per individual.With your help, we can win this November!
For Register of Deeds
Jonathan Ring for Register of Deeds spoke at the Comflm Citizen Journalist Conference
Tuesday, July 17th, 2018
(Fast forward to second interview and last speaker.)
Jonathan Ring for Register of Deeds Video - Outlines Platform for Change in the Registry
Ring Pushes to Remove Politics from the Registry - O'Brien Supports Status Quo
Jonathan Ring Announces Candidacy for Register of Deeds
Register John O'Brien faulted for Conflict of Interest ethics violations, illegally obtained employee info to solicit donations.
To read the letter from the State Ethics Commission to Register John O'Brien, go to:
Jonathan Ring to Challenge O'Brien for Register Seat; Voters reminded of O'Brien's campaign ethics violations, conflicts of interest in office.
Jonathan Ring states his case for Register of Deeds campaign
Jonathan Ring grateful for Register of Deeds nomination, outlines platform.
Ring votes to support Renewable Energy Research that can benefit low-income residents.
(Facebook Post: July 15th, 2018)
Thursday night, July 14th, the Rockport Housing Authority and I voted to support the efforts to promote grant research for renewable energy. A member of the community brought the issue before our board for consideration back in April. The following is a letter that I will sign on behalf of the board.
"To whom it may concern:
The Rockport Housing Authority Board would like to offer our support for a grant that would allow for the establishment of a Pigeon Cove Power; Wind, Solar, Tidal research facility to demonstrate and manufacture new solar / wind products, to be housed at the old Rockport Tool Company, as proposed by Patricia Pierce at our RHA meeting of April 12th, 2018. While the site itself offers potential for testing solar and wind-based patent prototypes, a facility like this also, according to Ms. Pierce, "Has the potential of attracting young persons seeking to accomplish professional training and skills in research and light manufacturing of products and concepts integral to new energy conservation, construction and renovation." A research facility like this would be a win for everyone: homeowners, housing authorities, students, tax payers, the community as a whole. Research facilities like this that can lead to new and more efficient energy saving technologies and reduced costs of housing authorities will allow us to more efficiently support low income and elderly populations; cost savings on energy could allow us to use reserve funds for maintenance needs for example. For these reasons we believe that Ms. Pierce's recommendation for grant monies for this facility should be considered and hopefully approved. Once again, thank you for your consideration.
Rockport Housing Authority
Jonathan Ring elected to serve as Chair of the Rockport Housing Authority Board
(Facebook Post: June 15th, 2018)
On June 14th, I was elected to chair the board of the Rockport Housing Authority for a 1 year term. I feel honored and humbled to have been trusted with this position and will do the best I can to facilitate and lead the board. This year we have many challenges. Right now the biggest challenge we have is appointing a new executive director for the RHA. We have interviewed some good candidates and will interview more before making a decision. I am looking forward to the process and feel grateful for the opportunity. Thank you.
Jonathan Ring for Register of Deeds Grateful for Nomination to run, Outlines Platform.
Jonathan Ring states his case for Register of Deeds campaign.
Rockport's Jonathan Ring to challenge O'Brien for Register Seat; voters reminded of O'Brien's Campaign Ethics Violations, Conflicts of Interest in Office.
Ring Promotes Tenant Participation in next Board Election!
(February 28th, 2018)
At the RHA meeting on February 8th, Jonathan Ring presented a memo that would inform Tenants of their right to get involved in RHA Board elections. The Board voted to support the memo and encourage RHA tenants to get involved in running. The Memo reads:
If you are a registered voter, you are eligible to serve as an elected board member on the Rockport Housing Authority. The Housing Authority board oversees the policy development, budget approval, and hiring of the executive director of the Rockport Housing Authority. This is also a town wide non-partisan elected board that is open to any registered voter to run for – and if you are interested in serving as a member of the Rockport Housing Authority, here are the steps you can take:
1. Visit the Rockport Town Clerk’s office at 34 Broadway, Rockport, to take out nomination papers. Only one position is open for election. Town Clerk office hours are: Monday 8am – 4pm, Tuesday 8am – 6pm, Wednesday – Thursday 8am – 4pm, and Friday 8am – 1pm.
2. Nomination papers are due by March 27th at 5pm. You must collect 50 signatures from registered Rockport voters. (It is recommended to get twice as many signatures as needed.)
3. Any registered voter can sign your nomination papers.
4. If you get enough signatures, your name will appear on the ballot in the Rockport town election which is being held on May 15th, 2018. Polling places for Precinct 2 is at St. Mary’s Church on Broadway, and Precinct 1 and 3 is at the Community House on Broadway.
5. And it is a recommend that you attend as many RHA meetings and voter forums as possible to learn all you can about the position and increase your chances of getting elected.
More than one tenant can run for this position just as more than one Rockport resident can run for this position. The only qualifications: At least 18 years of age and a registered voter. Not yet a voter? Go to the Secretary of State’s Online Voter Registration at https://www.sec.state.ma.us/OVR/.You can also visit the Rockport Town Clerk’s Office for a voter application and for any additional information regarding upcoming elections and additional deadlines or requirements for registration. You can also call the Rockport Town Clerk at 978-546-6894 or go tohttps://www.rockportma.gov/town-clerk for further information. Although putting your name on the ballot is no guarantee that you will get elected to this position, it will guarantee that you have the opportunity to represent an important constituency in Rockport, your fellow tenants. Thank you for your consideration.
Article Cites Report on Widespread Bullying in Public Housing
(Facebook Post, January 16, 2018)
This is definitely a disturbing trend in public housing, and one that we can not tolerate. What's most disturbing is that many fear retaliation if abuse is reported. If you live in public housing and need to report any kind of abuse you can contact the Attorney General's office. Go to http://www.mass.gov/ago/contact-us.html or call the Elder hotline at 888-243-5337. Please read this article for more information.
Ethiopian, Oromo Refugees talk to Republican group in Rockport
(Facebook Post, January 17, 2018)
On January 17th, we had a good GOP meeting with guest speaker Chala Alemo, who spoke about his experience as an Oromo and how the Oromo people are experiencing persecution and genocide in Ethiopia. He also delved into the issues of corruption in the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia under the previous Obama Administration. Other Oromo refugees came to the meeting to talk about their experiences and how they escaped persecution and are now helping others. If you would like to learn more about Chala and his organization and help in humanitarian advocacy you can go to www.u-oromo.org.
Ring Votes NO on Subsidizing illegal Immigration
Face Book Post November 9, 2017
At the November 9th meeting of the Rockport Housing Authority I voted against subsidizing illegal immigration. The RHA was required to vote to accept new wage match policies enacted by the state because it administers state funded housing programs. One paragraph in the policy states "LHAs shall conduct a wage match for every adult (aged 18 and over) of the tenant household residing in state housing programs. Tenants must be informed about the wage match program and must authorize the use of the their Social Security numbers for the program. Tenants are required by the lease to provide their social security number, and to authorize use of their social security number by the housing authority for verification of income and assets through DOR's wage reporting system. However, there is no requirement that applicants or tenants have a social security number to be eligible or housed." This whole paragraph made me ask the question - why "must" a tenant supply their social security number if there is no requirement that a tenant have a social security number to be eligible or housed? The answer from our housing director is that applicants must provide it if they have it but they don't have to if they don't have a social security number, and that applies to undocumented or illegal immigrants who can still receive subsidized housing from the state. I said to the board that if that is the case than I can't vote to support this policy. There were three of us from the board that night, Paula Murphy and Kay Hapshe were the other two, and they voted in favor - but only because the state is requiring us to acknowledge and adopt the wage match policy - which was four pages in our packet. I voted NO, not in objection to the whole policy but only to a segment of that policy that requires us to subsidize illegal immigration. I write this because I think it shows that when we are involved in these town boards it is important for us to read through all of the material and question anything that does not sound right, and its amazing how deceptively written some of these policies are. But I think its also important for anyone concerned about illegal immigration that this is more proof that our state allows the subsidizing of illegal immigration. I learned a lot today at this meeting. The minutes of this meeting will be published next month so you will be able to read the discussion. Stay tuned.
Ring is Fighting for change in management at RHA
Face Book Post November 5, 2017
Good news. Rockport Housing Authority has updated its website to publish the minutes of our meetings - I've been pushing them to do it for this past year but apparently they are required to do it anyway! So they have. And not too soon - you can read the minutes of our September 14th, 2017 meeting for a very interesting debate we had regarding management at the RHA! Many tenants are not happy and want change in management. I am working toward that goal. Stay tuned. Go to the RHA website to read the minutes of 9/14/17. https://www.rockportma.gov/housing-authority.
Ring Advocates for citizen vote on Legislative pay
July 3, 2017
Letter to Senator Tarr and State Rep. Ferrante
I am writing to submit to you a copy of a certified letter regarding a non-binding resolution at Rockport town meeting that occurred on April 1st, 2017. I made a motion at town meeting, and it was seconded and passed by a majority of votes, 39 - 31 (or 55%), "To see if the town will affirm that our state legislators should not be allowed to vote to raise their own legislative pay, and that approval of any state legislative pay raise should be referred to the approval of the citizens of the Commonwealth." This resolution was in response to and objection to the $18 million pay raise that legislators voted for themselves some months earlier. It is hoped that this resolution not only provides an objection but also provides constructive input. I ask you to consider submitting a bill to the state legislature that reflects the wording and sentiment of this vote. It is an idea worthy of debate and reflection at the very least. Thank you.
Ring Advocates for Tenant Representation on Housing Boards
Letter to state reps on May 14, 2017
Dear Committee co-chairs and ranking members of:
Joint Committee on Election Laws,
Joint Committee on Housing
Senator Bruce Tarr (Gloucester)
Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante (Gloucester)
I am an elected member of the Rockport Housing Authority, and I fully support the right of tenants and residents to elect a tenant board member to a local housing authority. I am writing to you to register my opinion and concern that the right to elect a tenant board member might be repealed because there are apparent conflicts in various statutes that are making it difficult to create regulations to implement this law. I would strongly encourage that rather than repeal, that perhaps Section 5A and related sections could be amended and clarified. On September 15, 2016, I sent a letter to DHCD to propose clarification and eligibility requirements for the election of a tenant board member. I believe that these clarifications and eligibility requirements should also be added sections to Section 5 of MGL chapter 121b, with an added clarification in MGL chapter 121b section 5 that existing LHA's should not have to reorganize to implement these requirements.
Below is my September 15th letter. In addition, I will reiterate that this letter is my opinion and suggestions only. I would ask you to keep me up to date on any pending legislation related to this issue. Thank you,
Letter to DHCD
September 15th, 2016
Dear Ian Meyer
I am writing in regard to the proposed amendments to 760 CMR 6.10 - Occupancy Standards and Tenant Participation of State - Aided Housing. I am an elected member of the Rockport Housing Authority, and I fully support the right of Rockport Housing Authority Tenants to be able to elect one of their own Tenants to the Rockport Housing Authority, and other local housing authorities in towns. The following letter represents my opinion about the proposed regulations.
I believe that Section b.3 may need clarification. It says that "Any generally applicable qualification for LHA Board membership also apply to Tenant Members. The Department may not impose special eligibility requirements applicable solely to Tenant Members other than the requirement that they be eligible Tenants." I believe that a tenant's voter eligibility status should be clarified. It should also be clarified if the tenant needs to follow other eligibility requirements for locally elected town offices including local housing Authorities. Does a Tenant need to be a registered voter, at least 18 years or older? The requirements to run for office, according to the Secretary of State's office, is to be at least 18 years old, a registered voter in Massachusetts, and fulfill the residence and signature requirements. In Rockport, a candidate for Housing Authority and other elected offices must fulfill these requirements and must collect at least 37 signatures from registered voters in town.
I believe that these requirements should be the same for the Tenant candidate, with the exception that the Tenant should get a certain number of signatures (not less than 10 but not more than 37) only from registered voters who are tenants from that town's local housing authority. This would ensure greater influence in the nomination and election of a tenant member by tenants.
I also believe that clarifying the eligibility and signature requirements will provide more information to Elections supervisors and it will make it easier for election supervisors to regulate and monitor any election process.
Once again, thank you again for your work on this issue.
Rockport votes down Sanctuary
(Face book post, May 3, 2017)
Tuesday, May 2, was a victory for the town of Rockport. Record numbers of voters turned out and voted against Ballot Question 2 - to oppose any effort to create a sanctuary policy for illegal immigration. The total number of votes cast for this question was 2556, with 1451 voting no - or 56%. This a greater number and victory than Article W at town meeting - and it is thanks to all of you, from Deb who created the flyer that we handed out, Susan who hosted our mail stuffing party, and to many of you who stood at various rallies at 5 corners and at the polling stations on election day, who put up lawn signs, wrote letters, and talked to your fellow neighbors about this issue. You won the day not just by your efforts but by your dignity and love of neighbor that you showed even to those who were campaigning in favor of this question. As has been said before and by so many - Rockport is a welcoming town to all people who love our town, our country and respect our laws. We want all kinds of people to come to our town and celebrate what Rockport has to offer. Many of us have strong immigrant families who came to this country to build a better life and these families have been a source of strength for our communities. Let us continue this tradition as we move forward. Thank you again, and God bless you.
Rockport Candidates Declare their vote on Sanctuary at GOP hosted forum
(Candidates talk aging population, parking, by Mary Markos, gdt, April 21, 2017)
Candidates in contested town races made clear how they will vote on two questions, including sanctuary status, on the May election ballot at a "Meet the Candidates" forum at the police station Wednesday night.
Campaigning to retain their selectman's seats for another three years are Paul Murphy and Erin Battistelli, challenged by newcomers Michael Polisson and Denise Donnelly. Polisson was a no-show for the forum.
Running for a single open seat on the Board of Assessors is Diane Lashua, who was present, and Chris Trupiano, who was unable to attend. The term is three years.
The first question on the May election ballot asks for an override of tax-limiting Proposition 2/12 to buy an emergency communications system; all were in favor.
The second question, regarding whether the town remain "welcoming" to all regardless of immigration status, had everyone's support except for Murphy. He said could not run the risk of the town losing federal funding despite the fact that the question is non-binding, a position Polisson has said he also holds.
The event, hosted by the Rockport Republican Town Committee, covered topics ranging from the Tool Company, the town's demographic changes, to global warming, transparency, Woodland Acres, and parking.
About 40 residents who were in attendance questioned the candidates for more than two hours.
(For complete article, go to www.gloucestertimes.com.)
Meet the Candidates Event hosted by Republican Committee
Rockport voters are invited to attend the following event:
Meet the Municipal Candidates Event
hosted by the Rockport Republican Town Committee
Wednesday, April 19th, 7pm
168 Main Street, Rockport, MA
Conference Room, Rockport Police Station.
There are two contested races for our Rockport annual election on May 2nd - the Board of Assessors and the Board of Selectmen. The Rockport GOP has invited all candidates for Rockport Board of Assessors, and candidates for Rockport Board of Selectmen to an informal forum that will allow each of the candidates to present their views and their reason for running for office, and to take questions from the audience. Refreshments will also be available. We are looking forward to this event because it will be a chance for the community to get to know the candidates that attend more personally and to be able to ask them questions about their views and the important issues facing Rockport. This event is free and open to the public. If you have any questions, please contact Jonathan Ring at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 781-632-1579. Thank you again,
Rockport Republican Town Committee
Ring Passes Anti - Legislative Pay Increase Resolution at Rockport Town Meeting.
(Face Book Post, April 2nd, 2017)
Dear Friends, at the end of the night at Rockport Town Meeting, on April 1st, I introduced the following resolution: "To see if the town will vote to affirm that our state legislators should not be allowed to vote to raise their own legislative pay, and that approval of any state legislative pay raise should be referred to the approval of the citizens of the Commonwealth; or act on anything relative thereto." This resolution passed by a vote of 56% in favor. I offered this resolution as a statement that, if approved, will be sent to our state legislators to let them know our discontent with their decision of giving themselves collectively an $18 million pay raise in a bill that took only 4 days to review and pass, when it takes other bills an average of 6 months to even get a bill number. This was a serious abuse of the legislative power and purse strings. A member of the audience pointed out that Senator Bruce Tarr voted against this pay raise and refused to take the pay increase. However Rep Ferrante and a super majority of the House and Senate voted it in. I will be getting a copy of this resolution and sending it to our representatives and senators and the appropriate legislative committees. Thank you again to meeting voters who voted to support this resolution.
Ring Praised by Gloucester Times for offering opposing view on Sanctuary Status
(GDT, Editorial: Cheers, jeers for local newsmakers, March 27, 2017)
Cheers to Rockport Republican Commitee chairman Jonathan Ring, who coordinated an anti-sanctuary forum in Rockport last week, and to the Women's March Symposium, which presented a pro-sanctuary forum earlier this month. Organizers conceded the symposium's forum earlier this month did not present an opposing view. It was one reason Ring approached speaker Jonathan Hanen of the Federation of American Immigration Reform U.S. to speak last week. Both events gave voters a chance to learn why they should or should not approve the non-binding Article W on the warrant at Rockport Town Meeting on April 1. The question reads: "To see if the town will vote to affirm our community's continued commitment to equity for all residents and visitors alike, regardless of immigration status, in order preserve our historic tradition as a welcoming community and, additionally, to consider formulating a municipal policy regarding sanctuary for undocumented immigrants."
Jonathan Ring Elected Chair of the Rockport Republican Town Committee
(Face book post, February 22, 2017)
Dear Friends, I want to thank my fellow committee members for voting me in as chair of the Rockport Republican Town Committee. I appreciate your support and look forward to working with everyone to have more Republican events in Rockport. We had a great meeting tonight (February 22) with a lot of ideas and discussion about current events locally and nationally. Special thanks again to Mike Boucher for serving as chair these past several years, and also thank you to Angela Hudak our state committeewoman for attending our meeting. Our next meeting will be announced soon. Once again, thank you and look forward to our next meeting.
Chair - Elect, RRTC
Senior Care Reschedules Breakfast for March
(Face book post, February 10, 2017)
The Senior Care Meals on Wheels Valentines Breakfast has been rescheduled because of the recent snow storm for Friday March 10th 7am at the Gloucester House Restaurant. It is their 43rd annual event to help raise funds to bring meals to low income seniors and it is a great way for the community to come together for a common purpose. You can go to their website to sign up in advance and make a donation, or come to the door. It is a big breakfast buffet. Guaranteed to fill you up! It only cost $12 per person. ...You will probably eat more than that. It is a great event and cause. Hope to see you there. Go to www.seniorcareinc.org for more information.
Rockport Housing Authority
Senior Care attends HA Meeting, presents services, Meals on Wheels fundraiser.
(Face Book Post: January 13, 2017)
At Thursday night's Housing Authority meeting (January 12), Senior Care made a presentation regarding the many services it offers to elders in the North Shore area. It was a great presentation. In addition, Senior Care is sponsoring the 43rd Annual Meals on Wheels Valentine's Day Breakfast fundraiser on Friday, February 10th, 2017 from 7am to 9:30am at the Gloucester House restaurant in Gloucester. It is $12 per person. Well worth the money. You are helping to support their efforts to bring meals to low income seniors. Go to https://seniorcare.networkforgood.com/…/1177-meals-on-wheel… to learn more. I plan to go and support this worthy cause. Hope to see you there.
Ring supports Energy Savings and more fiscal transparency on HA Board
(Face book post: January 11, 2017)
The Rockport Housing Authority, in our December 8th meeting, took the first steps to conserve energy and save money for its low income housing units. I voted, along with my fellow Board members, to authorize the Executive Director to submit a grant application for Mass Save Low-income Multi-family Retrofit Program for Millbrook Park. This is an energy conservation program funded partly by National Grid. If the application is approved, Action Energy would perform the energy audit. There would be no cost in the first year to the HA and improvements could save up to $100,000. In the following year it may cost up to $200 per year for Wego Wise to monitor the energy savings program, a cost that is below the savings in energy.
The Rockport Housing Authority also took an important step with the inclusion of section 8 expenses in the Treasurer's report. Routine weekly expenditures are normally included but Section 8 expenses haven't been. The board agreed that those expenses should be included as long as the participants names are not included. I proposed this inclusion because it gives the public more information about the true cost of public assistance.
I would encourage you to come to the next RHA meeting on Thursday , January 12 at 6pm, to learn more. Go to www.jonathanring.org to see the Agenda.
NEW LIGHTS ON POOLES LANE - LEADING TO MILLBROOK PARK
(Jonathan Ring Facebook Post October 6, 2016)
New Lights on Pooles Lane! I wrote a letter to the Parking and Traffic Committee and the Board of Selectmen. I thought it was a long shot, but I was contacted by the Parking and Traffic Committee and told that Police Chief Horvath made a request to National Grid. As a result a new light was added to Pooles Lane to make the area brighter and safer. I appreciate Chief Horvath's work on this issue, and for putting in this important request. This also renews my faith and belief that when we care about something and get involved we can make things happen. To everyone, keep getting and staying involved on the local level.
To: Board of Selectmen,Traffic & Parking Committee
I am writing this letter concerning the lighting or lack thereof on Pooles Lane. As you know, a few weeks ago a woman was attacked on Pooles Lane, in the unlit part of Pooles lane between my home (9 Pooles Lane) and my neighbor at 11 Pooles Lane. The section of this street between 9 and 11 is extremely dark at night and needs extra lighting. While more lighting will not by itself prevent such an occurrence, it may help to discourage a possible re-occurrence and also give people and neighbors more visibility of their surroundings. It will also be safer for any pedestrians walking at night that will be more easily seen by cars driving through that area. I appreciate your consideration and work on this issue.
Jonathan Ring Facebook Post (posted July 13, 2016).
Housing Authority meeting on June 30th, 2016:
We had a large group of tenants attending, the full board, and a tough decision to make of whether or not to renew the management agreement with the Gloucester Housing Authority, and for how long. The board unanimously agreed to continue the management agreement with Gloucester. Some folks thought the arrangement has been a merger, however this is not the case - the housing authorities of Rockport and Gloucester remain distinct and separate budgets and staff. Gloucester has helped us uncover a number of compliance problems, and has predicted it may take another two years to remedy any remaining compliance problems. I strongly proposed that if we renew the contract for two years that "the contract should be goal oriented." That is I believe we should look to remedying these issues, clarifying how we can remove an executive director that is not performing, and that we need to proceed to hiring a new Executive Director near the end of the contract - even if we only have 90 percent of compliance issues solved. The board had the option of renewing the agreement for 1, 2, or 3 years. In a vote of 4 to 1 the board voted to renew the agreement for two years. I voted in favor of a two year management agreement starting in September 2016. I look forward to the goals of continuing to work with Gloucester and getting our Housing Authority on solid footing, eventually with a new Executive Director.
Jonathan Ring elected as Treasurer to Rockport Housing Authority
(Excerpt from Jonathan Ring Face Book Post May 12, 2016)
Rockport Housing Authority meeting: May 12, 2016:
I attended my first RHA meeting today. It was quite interesting. This post is just a brief reflection of a few issues at the meeting, but not of every topic discussed. There was a large audience, the biggest I'd ever seen at one of these meetings. During the discussion of the non-smoking policy, I started to introduce an amendment to include the promotion of MA Tobacco Cessation program. It turns out the information is already shared by the RHA office. Go to WWW.makesmokinghistory.org to learn more. I withdrew this proposal and voted in favor of the Non-smoking policy as proposed. I was also elected Treasurer by the Board. This was quite an honor. I'm the new guy - which is why they put me in this position - I will be able to see and review and learn about various budget items and how the Housing Authority works financially. Kate Hapshee was elected chair, and Matt Wigton was elected as Vice Chair. Bethany Brosnan has been chair for the past few years and stepped down from that post. Paula Murphey is also an elected board member. And finally I got to speak at length, after the meeting, with Acting Executive Director Dave Houlden. He is quite a remarkable and knowledgeable man. It was a great meeting and many different issues were discussed and I learned a lot. I look forward to the next meeting.
Jonathan Ring Grateful for Support, Will Work to Represent all Voters.
(by Jonathan Ring, GDT, May 10, 2016)
I am writing to express my appreciation to my fellow residents and neighbors and to all those who voted for me, and assisted in my campaign for Rockport Housing Authority. I am grateful to have been elected to this important board membership. I was inspired to get in to this race by a sense of community and a desire to support Millbrook Park and Kitefield Road as essential parts of our Rockport community. While campaigning I learned more about the needs of these communities and the concerns of fellow Rockport citizens and tax payers in general, and so I hope to incorporate and represent many of the issues and concerns that I learned about during the course of this campaign. I would also like to thank Michael Josephson for running a thoughtful and positive campaign. I am grateful that he ran because his involvement in this race and his ideas was instrumental in bringing more attention to the needs and issues of the Rockport Housing Authority to the general public. Whether you voted for me or not, I hope to work with everyone to make sure the needs of the Rockport community in general, and the needs of the Millbrook Park and Kitefield Road communities in particular, are met. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to email me from my website at www.jonathanring.org or call me at 781-632-1579. Once again thank you and God bless you.
Jonathan Ring Wins Housing Authority election
(By Dimitra Lavrakas, GDT, May 5, 2016.)
Jonathan Ring won a seat on the Rockport Housing Authority with 645 votes to Michael Josephson's 637. Newcomer Mary Porter, the only announced candidate, ran a successful write in campaign to win a seat on the School Committee. A total of 187 voted penned her name on the ballot. (For full article go to www.gloucesterimes.com)
Official Election Results, Rockport, MA : May 3, 2016
Selectman: Donald Campbell jr: 734; Eliza Lucas: 674
Housing Authority: Jonathan Ring: 645; Michael Josephson: 637
School Committee write in: Mary Porter: 187
Ballot Question 1: 1193 Yes; 273 No.
Ballot Question 2: 658 Yes; 800 No.
Ring right choice for Housing Authority
(Letter by Mike Boucher of Rockport, Gloucester Daily Times, April 29, 2016)
I am writing to urge my fellow Rockport voters to support Jonathan Ring for Rockport Housing Authority. I've known Jonathan for many years. Jonathan grew up in Rockport. He is extremely hardworking and does not give up when it comes to supporting the Rockport community. He served as a member of the Historical Commission for five years, and now he serves the town as a member of the Board of Registrars. Jonathan Ring is the best candidate because he has a vision for making sure the tenants and residents of Millbrook Park and Kitefield Road have a voice in the larger Rockport community, and a tenant representative on the Housing Authority board. Jonathan Ring will also be a voice for taxpayers by making sure that the next executive director he votes to hire will have an eye toward balancing the Housing Authority budget and making sure that state and federal monies go toward any needed improvements and maintenance of the Housing Authority buildings at Millbrook Park and Kitefield Road. I urge you to vote for Jonathan Ring for Rockport Housing Authority on Tuesday, May 3, in the Rockport elections.
Jonathan Ring fights for Voice for tenants and a Director that will balance the HA budget
(Article by Dimitra Lavrakas, April 26, 2016)
Bio: Ring, 36, was born and raised in Rockport and has lived on Poole's Lane across the street from Millbrook Park all his life. He is the manger of the UPS Store in Beverly and is a notary public. His father died of lung cancer and he has sponsored a smoking cessation bill on the state level.
Experience: Appointed to the Rockport Board of Registrars in 2014, he still holds that position; Rockport Historical District Commission from
2008 to 2013; voting member of the Salem State University Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2005; sponsored House Bill S1976 to promote smoking cessation and spoke before the Joint Committee on Public Health at the Statehouse.
Education: He graduated Rockport High School in 1998, and studied political science and minored in history at Salem State University.
Vision: The Housing Authority has been a year without its own director, and Ring wants to find a director who has a vision for the community and would make sure the budget is balanced. "David Houlden (director at the Gloucester Housing Authority has been helping out for almost a year) has been doing a great job." Ring would like to see a tenant from Millbrook Park and Kitefield Road sitting on the board of commissioners, which is made up of elected residents from the town of Rockport and one governor appointee. Ring would like to have the tenant member be elected by other tenants. He advocates for state and federal grants and Community Preservation Act funds to support and maintain the public housing properties for the low-income seniors and families.
Jonathan Ring Announces Run for Rockport Housing Authority
by Jonathan Ring (March 17, 2016, www.gloucestertimes.com)
I am writing this letter to all Rockport voters to announce my candidacy for the Rockport Housing Authority. As a neighbor to the residents of Millbrook Park, I consider both Millbrook Park and Kitefield Road as essential parts of our community in Rockport. It is this feeling of community that inspires me to run for this position. I am a life long resident of Rockport, and I have also been involved in Rockport.
I served as a member of the Rockport Historical District Commission for five years where I voted on applications and issues with the focus of balancing the needs of individual homeowners while protecting the unique historical character of Rockport's historic districts. Likewise, my focus as a member of the Housing Authority will be to balance the needs of the residents of Millbrook Park and Kitefield Road while maintaining the financial resources that support public housing. To improve these financial resources I will focus on advocating for increased state grants to the Housing Authority, as well as any available CPA funds, to support maintaining and improving the Millbrook Park and Kitefield Road properties.
For these past few years, I have been a member of the Board of Registrars, with the focus that every vote counts and should be counted. But just as importantly as your vote is your representation. That is why I also support the inclusion of a residential representative position on the RHA. I believe this person should be someone who lives on one of the two properties, and is elected by fellow residents of Millbrook Park and Kitefield Road. I believe this will strengthen the voice of those who are most directly effected by the decisions of the Housing Authority, and it will help to build a stronger and more inclusive community.
To learn more about me you can visit my website at www.jonathanring.org. The election is on Tuesday, May 3, and I humbly ask for your vote for the position of Rockport Housing Authority board member. Thank you.
War on Drugs not lost
by Jonathan Ring (Gloucester Daily Times, June 26, 2015)
As the Gloucester daily times began its series on Opiate and drug addiction I had the privilege of attending a local church that hosted a Teen Challenge presentation, a faith based initiative that helps everyone, and every age group ( so don't be fooled by the name) who suffers from drug and alcohol addictions, as well as other addictions. I don't believe that the war on drugs has been lost - or the larger struggle against addictions of any kind - because God has not given up on us. An addiction began with a choice and it can end with a choice - the choice to get help from people and from God. You can learn more about the Teen Challenge faith based program at www.tcnewengland.org or by calling them at 617-318-1380. This is a good group and one of the many resources in the battle against drug addiction, and one that I support.
Ring appointed as Elections Registrar in Rockport
(Jonathanring.org, November 23, 2014)
Jonathan Ring, a former candidate for Selectman, and former member of the Historical Commission, was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board of Registrars at a Board of Selectmen's meeting on November 18th. In July the seat was left vacant when Barbara Paradis resigned from her position on the Rockport Board of Registrars as the Republican representative. After being informed of the resignation the Rockport Republican Town Committee met in mid August and nominated Jonathan Ring, a long time member of the committee, to fill the vacancy for the board. In the following months others stepped forward to propose serving, but the Rockport Board of Selectmen unanimously supported Jonathan Ring to fill the vacancy. In a letter to the Selectmen Jonathan stated "I would like to serve in this role to support the role of good government and fairness in the voter registration process, as well as to help register more voters so that more voices can be seen and heard in town, state and federal government." The Board of Registrars is also responsible for the conduct of elections, holding hearings when a voter's eligibility is challenged, as well as maintaining voter registration roles. Each town has at least four registrars, one of which is a Democrat representative and one of which is a Republican representative. The town clerk and assistant town clerk of Rockport serve as the other two Registrars that make up Rockport's four member board. Jonathan spoke briefly at the Board of Selectmen's meeting, followed by Mike Boucher, chair of the Rockport Republican Committee, to show his and the committee's support of Jonathan's candidacy. After much discussion the Board of Selectmen voted 4 - 0 to support Jonathan Ring as the Republican Registrar. Jonathan thanked the Board of Selectmen Tuesday night as well as the Rockport Republican Town Committee for their support of his candidacy for this appointment. "I couldn't have done this without their support," speaking of the Rockport Republican group, "and I look forward to serving in this new role."
Editorial: A Challenger Leaves His Mark, Gloucester Daily Times, May 8th, 2014
The victories by incumbents Paul Murphy and Erin Battistelli in the race to retain their two seats on the Rockport Board of Selectmen Tuesday night [May 6, 2014] did not come as any real surprise. And, as we noted in last Saturday's endorsements, we believed they each deserved to win a second three-year term. But while expressing thanks to voters, it was interesting to note that both Battistelli and Murphy praised challenger Jonathan Ring for entering the race and running a good campaign - with Murphy noting that Ring's presence and comments stood to "make me a better selectman" the second time around as well. That is a valid point. For, as they move into their second terms, Battistelli, who chairs the current board, and Murphy, who was Tuesday's top vote-getter and serves as vice chairman, should keep in mind that, while finishing a fairly distant third, Ring also pulled 575 votes. And that means he was named on 42 percent of the 1,383 votes cast in a race in which residents could vote for two of the three candidates. Any candidate who wins an election has reason to see the vote as a victory for his or her positions of ideals. But at the same time, any winner also needs to recognize that he or she must represent those who voted for change as well. That's something all Rockporters should keep in mind as the town moves forward on Cape Ann Tool Company permitting, any issues involving the towns' alcoholic beverages ordinance, and yes, issues pertaining to the leases at Long Beach. Our congratulations go out to the winners; but here's hoping they continue to recognize the views of others as well.