by Steven Hale
A party at Megan Barry's house isn't exactly news.
The At-Large Councilwoman who is, at present, the only official 2015 mayoral candidate, frequently plays host to the local politerati at her Belmont-area home. But Thursday night, many of her guests came bearing $1,000 checks.
Although she doesn't plan to hold any sort of official campaign kickoff until the fall, Barry tells Pith she's beginning to ramp up her mayoral campaign. She'll be doing a lot of "ground-laying," she says, trying to start the conversation with events like last night's, which included live-polling of the guests, who answered questions via their smart phones.
"They were all about policy and they were all about trade-offs, because those are always the hardest kinds of questions," Barry says. "Do you do economic development, or do you figure tax relief, or do you take those dollars and put them into education? Those kinds of question. And the answers were fascinating."
Despite what one would expect to be a largely like-minded group, Barry says the answers actually revealed an variety of viewpoints and priorities. There was near unanimous agreement on one point, though, she says: no one wants a tax increase.
That sentiment didn't keep them from opening up their wallets for Barry, though. She says her campaign took in $100,000 in contributions and commitments.
(Full Disclosure: Megan Barry's husband, Bruce Barry, is a longtime Scene contributor and posts on his blog, BruceBarry.net, appear occasionally on Pith in the Wind.)