In a pre-emptive maneuver against the upcoming City Council vote on the results of her ethics committee hearing, the Councilor formerly known as Esther Kennedy has legally changed her name to a symbol identical to the Seal of the City of Portsmouth.

“Shortly after the ethics committee began,” she said, “I learned that the city commonly known as the City of Portsmouth was never actually incorporated 400 years ago. I felt it was only fair to the citizens of the area bound by Newington, Greenland, and Kittery that this should be brought to light so as to be clear where their tax dollars are going. Nowhere, that’s where.”

“My client was just doing what she felt was right,” said the Councilor formerly known as Esther Kennedy’s legal council and part-time cable news talk show host Duncan McCallum. “Since the Councilor formerly known as Esther Kennedy is now legally the City of Portsmouth, if the Council were to vote to remove her, it would be removing the City itself!” 

“It’s brilliant, brilliant I tell you!” he laughed maniacally as flames erupted around him.

The move seemed nefarious to some, now seeing the Seal of the City of Portsmouth emblazoned on certain rentable watercraft.

“This is getting ridiculous,” said local organizer and Tinder star Josh Denton. “It’s really starting to seem like a clear and obvious pattern of malicious activity that establishes motive as well as a lack of remorse, one might say… in a way conducive to the discussion the city council is about to have,” he added, stopping to wave at a pair of attractive twins.

“I’m perfectly willing to return the name when the citizens decide to incorporate,” the Councilor formerly known as Esther Kennedy continued. “I was just doing it to raise awareness. There’s no reason for people to be mean or angry at me for doing bad things that are obviously bad.”

“This puts the city in a tough position, but I think we have recourse,” said City Attorney Robert Sullivan. “I don’t think they were fully aware of the process. The city was indeed already incorporated and was recently renamed Porstmouth to match the Mayor’s tattoo anyway. This will thankfully all be over soon,” he sighed.

The Councilor formerly known as Esther Kennedy also considered renaming herself Nancy Pearson, but unnamed sources say she was afraid to take on that level of power and grace.