Marketti riled by Ryan’s election day activities
By Citizen Chronicle Writers
SOUTHBRIDGE — Jacquelyn M. Ryan has stepped down as chair of the Democratic Town Committee and has withdrawn her membership in the group. In a letter to committee members dated June 20 she states that her resignation is “because it has become clear that I cannot actively support candidates I know would lead our community in the wrong direction.”
In advance of the June 12 town council election, the Democratic Town Committee had endorsed candidates John Daniel and Mike Marketti. Both candidates ran for three-year seats in an overall field of seven candidates. Daniel won one of the three available seats, along with Kristen Auclair and David Adams, beating out Marketti, Joseph Cotrona, Scott Lazo and David Smick.
On the day of the election, Ryan publicly revealed that she had voted for Daniel, Auclair and Adams, along with candidate John Jovan for a one-year seat. Her picks revealed that she did not vote for Marketti, despite the endorsement of the Democratic Town Committee. As preliminary election results were being taped to the polling center doors on June 12, Ryan excitedly proclaimed “my candidates” had won.
Marketti, who has drawn editorial cartoons commenting on Southbridge politics for decades, released a cartoon several days after the election showing Ryan in a negative light and implying that she had influenced the election alongside another candidate. The cartoon was seen on Marketti’s website and on Facebook, escalating the conflict between Ryan and Marketti.
Ryan’s resignation letter acknowledges that she did not support a candidate endorsed by the town Democrats but did not use Marketti’s name directly.
“It has become clear that I cannot actively support candidates I know would lead our community in the wrong direction. The Town Committee endorsed a candidate this year that I could not support because of their background and positions,” the letter explains.
In an interview with The Citizen Chronicle, Ryan acknowledged she was referring to Marketti and said “This was one candidate I could not vote for. He has shown himself to be unwilling to compromise and he does not work well with others.”
Of the editorial cartoon, Ryan said, “Mr. Marketti has the right to view me any way he wants. My voting record speaks for itself.” She added that in terms of her alliance with other candidates, “I get along with most or all elected officials. It’s my job to get along with other elected officials.”
Marketti commented on Ryan’s resignation; “I assumed she resigned because she felt conflicted and confused. I hope she feels better. If she wanted to be Chair of the Town Dem Committee she should have promoted Dems for election. If she wants to be nonpartisan, she should head up the League of Woman Voters. She is conflicted and confused about where her loyalties lay.”
In her resignation letter, Ryan suggests party politics are not as important at the local or municipal level as they are at the State and Federal levels, and that she will continue to be active in the Democratic Party at “legislative, statewide and national levels.”
Ryan asserted that “Party politics are not as significant in decision making at the municipal level” and that “Issues matter more than partisan politics at the local level.”
“In my letter, I did not name Mr. Marketti because I wanted to focus on my own reasons for the decision. I took the election very seriously. I want to be sure we get the leadership we need in the next few years, at this critical time for Southbridge.”
“I want to work with people who have the best interests of the town at heart. It’s all about who is the best candidate, who brings the best ideas. No party perfectly encapsulates that at the local level,” she said.