Worcester City Council candidate websites and signs, 2009

posted by Mike on September 17th, 2009

For a blast from the past, take a look at the 2007 candidate websites. More election info at the Worcester Activist wiki.

Please send any comments to pieandcoffee@gmail.com or post a comment. I’ve taken screenshots of the candidate websites I could find, and photos of the candidate signs I’ve walked past when I remembered my camera.

Kola Akindele, At-Large challenger


Website: Unknown CMS/authoring tool. Calendar items out of date. No position papers. Donation button. “Media” menu button does not work.

This site doesn’t load well for me–perhaps because it uses iframes, I’m not sure.

I like that Kola is branding himself with his first name–it’s a memorable one, and probably less intimidating to voters than his last name.

I wish most of the candidates put all their info on the homepage, rather than splitting it among a handful of small pages. In this case, it might be a little unwieldy to have it all on one page, but I think it could be done and would make it easier to learn about the candidate.

Copy needs a quick rewrite–a few grammatical quirks linger.

Kola is experimenting with Twitter but not using it much.

Quote: “Partnering with REAL people to bring REAL solutions!!”


Sign: A takeoff of the Coca-Cola logo. Love this. Memorable. As a campaign sign, quite unconventional.

Steve Buchalter, At-Large challenger


Website: Unknown homepage CMS, WordPress for blog. Various features that are not used, most prominently the calendar. No position papers. Donation button.

Lotta flag.

Quote: “Hello all…boy..I have been sooooo busy with my trolley tour and knocking on doors I have missed out updating all of you on my whereabouts!”

Michael Germain, At-Large incumbent

No website.

Mary Keefe, At-Large challenger


Website: Google Sites.

Using Sites gets good results with little pain; nice idea. Little content, but the embedded Google Calendar is packed with events (another nice idea).

Had to take the above screenshot with Opera, because Firefox, my default browser, somehow decided the embedded calendar was not allowed:

Konnie Lukes, Mayor and At-Large incumbent


Website: CMS unknown. No donation button. “This website is still under construction, please visit us later!”

I love that her domain is “mayorlukes.com”–bold and gusty. Mildly ugly site design, very little other than a bio. No reason for this website to be more than a page. See also her Wikipedia page.

Quote: “In January, 2008, Konnie was sworn in as the first popularly elected female mayor in history of the City of Worcester, no small feat.”

William McCarthy, At-Large challenger


Website: Unknown CMS. Takes a few positions. Donation button.

This site is a little ugly, but I like that he has a YouTube video (him addressing a “Tea Party” crowd) and Facebook links on the front page.

“We will be updating our site with more information regarding upcoming campaign events so check back soon.” Why make these promises, web people? They just make you look bad.

Quote: “Please support our effort? We will not become beholden to special interest groups by taking their money.”

Joe O’Brien, At-Large challenger


Website: wordpress.com. No donation button. Position paper on city schools.

A little boring, but not ugly. Hosting the website on wordpress.com is a smart move. You get a good CMS and reliable hosting without doing any work. The campaign is also using Facebook and Twitter and promoting these on the site.

Campaign signs: (Will post a pic soon–essentially identical to the header of the website.) Blue + dark green = progressive Democrat? Note 2 stars.

Joe Petty, At-Large incumbent

No website.

Rick Rushton, At-Large incumbent

No campaign website. Does have a press release on his scattered personal blog.

Kate Toomey, At-Large incumbent


Website: “Coming Soon”

What?!?!? Kate Toomey has been one of the Councilors to make best use of the net. During our bad 2008 ice storm, there were people who learned of emergency shelters via her detailed Facebook updates. Her 2007 campaign website was bad; her 2009 website is nonexistent. C’mon Team Toomey, make a katetoomey.wordpress.com and let’s move past this issue.

Emmanuel Tsitsilianos, At-Large challenger

No website.

Joe Casello, District 1 challenger

Joe Casello

Website: WordPress. Various features that are not used, most prominently the calendar. No position papers. No donation button.

This site has a nice layout but is a little light on information. The URL “http://votejoecasello.com” redirects you to “http://votejoecasello.com/vjc” which strikes me as annoying and unprofessional; most people won’t notice it.

Last election’s website, http://www.joecasello.org/, no longer exists. As with last year’s site, this year’s site has a good standalone homepage, with a small amount of info on other scattered pages. Casello should get all this info onto the homepage–not worth the clicking for so little payoff.

Casello is using Twitter, but not promoting this on the site.

Quote: “Followers say they want leaders who will make the tough decisions and not study them to death.”

Joff Smith, District 1 challenger


Website: Unknown CMS. Donation button.

Unobjectionable website. No effort to link to presence on Facebook, etc.

Quote: “I have been a vocal leader in the fight against the Asian Longhorned Beetle.”


Campaign sign: Blue/light green, lotta stars. Progressive Democrat? Not sure if the light green means “mildly green” or “very green” compared to dark green.

Phil Palmieri, District 2 incumbent (unopposed)

No website.

Frank Beshai, District 3 challenger


Website: Drupal. Donation button.

Drupal is some serious overkill for a city campaign website. And it hasn’t been customized very well in this case. Why waste valuable “above the fold” screen space with login stuff? Why make “Issues” link to the forum, hiding all of the issue titles, and have some info on some issues and almost none on others?

Intriguing photo, though. And the front page has most of the info you need about Beshai. This is a one-page site + a ton of unhelpful stuff. Prominent Twitter link.

Quote: “He said it is time for change in District 3, where Mr. Clancy has held the seat for more than 20 years.”

Paul Clancy, District 3 incumbent

No website.

Barbara Haller, District 4 incumbent


Website: Unknown CMS. PayPal donation buttons. “News” and “Events” all date from 2007 campaign.

I think everyone in her district knows what Barbara is about, but this website is strangely silent. Nothing about the PIP, crosswalks, etc. Her other campaign materials are striking, perhaps grating, but this is just inoffensive. Other than the dated material and lack of info on the issues, nothing to complain about here.

Quote: “Favorite Book: One Hundred Years of Solitude”

Grace Ross, District 4 challenger


Website: Most recent version of WordPress. Donation button. Position paper on business. No link to her busy Twitter account.

I built this site for her 2007 at-large campaign and continue to host it, though I’m not working on the 2009 district campaign. The page could probably use a link to her bio, or include her bio in the front page text.

What would I do differently were I building this in 2009? I’d continue to use a basic WordPress install. I would create a custom page template for a “Press Info” page with links to press releases, articles, photos licensed for reuse, YouTubes, etc.

Quote: “I believe locally owned businesses are the key to our sustained economic development.”

Bill Eddy, District 5 incumbent, unchallenged

No website.

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