From My Corner: September 15, 2023

Who are they hurting?

There is something on the front page about Councilor at-Large Richard Russell but I managed to keep it based on the facts and reserve my opinion for this section.

He was appointed to the seat vacated by Pavel Payano since he ended in fourth place during the previous elections but I don’t believe that he was ever welcomed by the other councils.  That’s my personal opinion, not that he ever said anything or I heard any comments, but just reading the room and watching for the common exchange among them.

I will not be surprised if they prefer him not be reelected so they pulled out the Massachusetts General Laws as a reason for not being listed as “incumbent” and that is correct because it’s the law.  Now, he is the last name on the ballot.

Not happy with that, the councilors gathered testimonies about reasons for which Lee Fickenworth should not work at the polls this year.  They are roommates and she works in his campaign and Stephany Infante claimed that she saw Lee passing out political literature during the Little League game at the end of May.  That was not true because Russell picked up his promotion cards on August 25th and he didn’t have anything printed until that time.

As a result, since he’s running city-wide, they requested that Ms. Fickenworth not be allowed to work at the polls.  Normally, anyone who works in a candidate’s campaign is not placed at one of the polls within that district.  In Russell’s case, they probably fear that she will be a threat wherever they place her trying to influence voters.

You will find reproduced the letter that several city councilors wrote to City Clerk Eileen Bernal objecting to Lee Fickenworth being allowed to work at the polls.  They allege that she is disrespectful to voters and, if that’s true, we have measures in place to remove anyone that doesn’t abide by the protocols of respect and decency on Election Day.

The letter mentions that “she has been collecting signatures and handing flyers and business cards” as a big sin that must be punished.  Notice that one option mentioned is for Mr. Russell to resign from running.  That was wishful thinking!

They also received support from Mayor Brian DePeña who sent a letter to City Clerk Bernal on August 22, 2023, stating that based on the City Council’s request, he “agrees to remove Ms. Lee Fickenworth from the list as poll worker.  He understands their concern and is in full agreement.”

Lee is disabled and her income from those four days at the polls is vital for her.  Those councilors put politics and their dislike for him (my opinion) ahead of reasoning and didn’t take into consideration how they are hurting another human being.  That says a lot about them.


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