Cleaning out the notepad of the mind today while dodging the raindrops …
With the Peabody city election still 13 months away, we’re already hearing rumors and other scuttlebutt about who’s in and who’s out. And most of the early activity is around the race for city council.
First off, we hear that the Ward 4 Councilor seat, which will be open with the retirement of Bob Driscoll, is already being coveted by school committee member Ed Charest. We’re told by someone who knows that Charest — who once declared that he was “just a dad” and not a politician — will not only pull papers, but is lining it up so he has the full support of the out-going Ward 4 Councilor. The Endicott College pastry chef apparently wants to have his cake, and … eat it too. Welcome to the club there, Big Ed. Looks like you’re an honest-to-goodness politician just like the rest of us. . . .
The other hot rumor on the streets of South Peabody is that Ward 1 Councilor Barry Osborne is almost certain to face a strong challenge from long-time Lynnfield Street resident Jon Turco. Turco, who has worked on a number of campaigns – including those of Richard Tisei, Joyce Spilliotis, and Mayor Ted Bettencourt – is well-known and well-liked in Ward 1, presenting Osborne with what would be his toughest challenger yet. . . .
Although dislodging any of the five incumbents would be a tall task, the other rumor we’re hearing is that Light Commissioner Tom Paras might run for an at-large seat . . .
If Charest runs in Ward 4, and Dunne — as expected — beats Leah Cole for the State Rep seat in four weeks, there could also be unprecedented change on the Peabody School Committee. That’s because the other hot rumor on the street is that long-time school committeeman David McGeney is leaning toward not running for re-election. Could there actually be three open seats next fall?
Stay tuned for more.
Signing off? Not in Demo’s case
If you didn’t know that James “Demo” Moutsoulas got trounced by Beverley Dunne last month in the Democratic State Rep Primary, you might think he’s still in the race. That’s because Demo’s blue lawn signs still litter the landscape from Lynn Street to Lake Street. Who knows? Maybe he’s leaving them there for his next unsuccessful run for city-wide office. …
Westside Restaurant: We hardly knew ya
Following a history of conflict with neighbors over attempts to get a liquor license and other disturbances, the Westside Family Restaurant will in a couple of weeks be no more. The property was recently purchased by Rabbi Nechemia Schusteman and the Peabody Chabad Lubavitcher Jewish Center. Chabad will move in by November, and plans to convert the former restaurant into a kosher kitchen, multipurpose room, and sanctuary. The good news for the neighbors on Samos Circle is that they no longer need to worry about keeping the Westside alcohol free. The somewhat bad news for Peabody taxpayers is that – because Chabad is a tax-free religious organization – about $12K will be coming off the tax roles . . .
Has All Pro cleaned up its act? Find out on Oct. 8
We’ll find out at the next Conservation Commission meeting whether or not a landscaping company located behind the Latitude Sports Club has finally cleaned up its act. If not, who knows? Maybe the politically connected All Pro Landscaping will be given yet another chance.
Months ago, All Pro was issued an enforcement order by the city’s conservation agent to clean up a number of violations. Some of the violations threatened wetlands that drain into Peabody’s water supply. Some of the violations were potential fire safety hazards. But for months, the company, with very close political ties to Ward 5 Councilor Joel Saslaw, has been allowed to ignore the enforcement order. The ConCom has threatened fines, but so far allowed All Pro to slide.
We’ll see what happens this time. Who knows? Maybe All Pro has finally cleaned up its act. If not, we’ll let you know here what happens.
File this under the title of “Lawsuits Worth Fighting”
After the city council did the right thing by sticking together, and voting against allowing a 60-foot cellphone tower in the middle of a residential neighborhood off Lynn Street, the city received notice this week that Verizon Wireless is suing Peabody over the issue. When you consider how adversely the proposed tower would affect quality of life in that neighborhood, this is one lawsuit where every taxpayer should be quoting Dirty Harry. Go ahead and sue us, “Feeling lucky punk? Go ahead, make our day.”