Tag Archives: Bob Croce

Tom Grelish: ‘Croce has a right to be miffed’

22 Nov

(Editor’s note: The following “Just Thinking” column, written by Peabody Citizen Publisher Tom Grelish, appeared in this week’s edition of that newspaper, and is re-published here with permission.)

By Tom Grelish, Publisher, Peabody Citizen

VoteJust thinking as usual this week and offering the thought that Bob Croce, who recently lost the Ward 5 city council race to Joel Saslaw, is well within bounds to be more than slightly disgruntled concerning the shenanigans that transpired in the polling place during the election.

Malfeasance in the polling place is never acceptable, and make no mistake about it – what transpired was flat-out malfeasance carried out by a couple of birdbrained poll workers. The height of stupidity, no two ways about it.

For those of you who may have missed it, here’s what took place: the poll workers, while on duty as representatives of the residents of Peabody, saw fit to post massages on Facebook urging residents to scamper to the polls and vote for Saslaw.

You gotta be kidding me. Some folks have said that the incident was tantamount to no big deal, but I vehemently disagree with that assessment. It was a very big deal and borders on voter fraud. We cannot tolerate that type of stuff. End of story.

Candidates for office must remain at least, I believe, 150 feet from a polling place so that voters are not unduly influenced by them. That’s a good rule. Then we have a couple of pinheads violating that rule from inside the polling place?

Only in Peabody could this type of baloney go on. And Croce should be streaming about it – all he asked for was a clean election, and he didn’t get it.

Let’s not be naïve about this. Those Facebook postings did not alter the outcome of the election – Saslaw took home the prize by almost 90 votes, a safe enough margin of error even if a couple of voters did heed the efforts of the harebrained poll workers.

But that doesn’t detract from the seriousness of the situation.

City Clerk Tim Spanos is handling this mess the right way – he’s turned the entire ball of wax over to the office of Secretary of State Bill Galvin, as well as the Ethics Commission, to figure this thing out and what should be done about this quagmire.

The worst thing about the polling place game-playing is that it casts Spanos, Mayor Ted Bettencourt, and Saslaw, in a very bad light. And none of them deserve to have that black light focused on them, because none of them did anything wrong but will get swept into this kerfuffle nevertheless.

I have particular empathy for Spanos, who is a top-shelf city clerk and always does his utmost to run clean elections. Then to have a couple of poll workers stab him in the back like that just isn’t right.

Spanos has no culpability in this fiasco. All he can do is hire the parties he thinks are the right people to man the polls – then, he has to trust them to do the job properly. He can’t be everywhere, all the time, on the day of the election, and was completely blindsided by those poll workers.

Saslaw, too, receives a black eye for this and he hasn’t even taken office yet. The renegade poll workers were, after all, obviously supporters of his. But there is no way that Saslaw should take guff for this – he didn’t tell those pinheads to do what they did. No way, no how.

As for Bettencourt, he doesn’t need this malarkey. He had nothing to do with it but will nonetheless be held somewhat responsible because it was city workers involved in the transgressions. He has bigger fish to fry in his efforts to run the city, and can easily live without this nonsense.

As for Croce, he has apparently retained an attorney to assist him with this election disgrace. I don’t blame him – Bob Croce has to look out for the best interests of Bob Croce. No one is going to do it for him.

That being said, I’m not sure how an attorney will be able to bolster his case, short of demanding a new election, a scenario that is highly unlikely to unfold.

The lawyer will easily prove that malfeasance took place, but that’s not going to change the outcome of the election. It’ll be very interesting to see where the lawyer takes this matter.

If he is successful in getting a new election – which, as stated, if highly unlikely – all bets are off. Croce could win it the second time around.

Wouldn’t that he something?

No matter what the lawyer does, this is for sure – the city of Peabody should reimburse Croce for his legal fees.

It would be the only decent thing to do. After all, Bob Croce did not initiate this brouhaha. A couple of city workers did.

And the rest of us are responsible for making good on the missteps of city workers. It’s lousy, but it is also reality.

So I hope the city council walks the proper path on this and gives Croce his money back. All he ever asked for was an unfettered election, and he did not receive that.

Again, some people are of the mind that all this is no big deal. Let me reiterate – it is a very big deal. No two ways about it.

Thanks to you, 1 year later, EOP blog is still standing

16 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

eyeResarch shows that the average lifespan of your average citizen blog is less than three months, and many burnout in the first couple of weeks. That’s why I’m proud to come to you today bragging about the “longevity” of Eye on Peabody.

Today marks our First Anniversary. Exactly one year ago today, I launched with this post.   Twelve months later, and following two city elections and special elections for State Senate, State Rep, and US Senate, we’re still standing while keeping you informed on the issues that matter most for our hometown of Peabody, MA.

We had a little bit of a sabbatical while I ran recently for Ward 5 Councilor, but our visitor statistics have bounced back up the past two weeks as we’ve gotten back into keeping you informed. Since our debut on Nov. 16th, 2012, we’ve had more than 62,000 page views, and more than 15,000 unique visitors. What that means is that more than 15K different people have viewed at least one page of EOP the past 12 months.

Thank you for visiting and reading. Considering that life happens, it’s not always easy to keep content coming your way, but I’ve enjoyed bringing you each and every post, and I’m committed to keeping it going.

So just for fun, here are some other details I’ll share.

What was our busiest day for visits? 

That would be Nov. 29, 2012 when we announced the tragic  passing of State Rep. Joyce Spilliotis. In tribute to our friend Joyce, more than 900 people read our coverage that day, including 600 who read this post, and many who left comments in tribute.

What was my favorite post of the year?

It was one that also made me feel great, and I published it on the night these kids came to my door.

Of course, there are several other posts I’m proud of, but to choose between them would be like asking me which are my favorite children. So, I invite you to visit our archives and let me know which were your favorites.

Here’s to the start of another great year!

Please join us tonight for live ‘You Make The Call’ show

13 Nov

SAMPlease join my partner Dick Jarvis and me tonight as we discuss the Peabody issues of the day on a new, live “You Make The Call Show,” 8-9 p.m., on PAT Channel 99.

This is our first new show since the election, and on our list of topics tonight will be the latest with the expansion and entertainment license of the Stonewood Tavern in South Peabody, the issue of using public schools for voting, and much more.

It’s always open lines on YMTC, so we’ll entertain and comment on whatever is on your mind.

Please tune in and give us a call. You can also follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/calldickandbob

- Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Why I want to be Ward 5 Councilor: I’m in it to be a serious public servant for you

30 Oct

(Please vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5th. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

By Bob Croce, Ward 5 Councilor Candidate

Why am I running?

Well, it’s simple: I want to represent the people of Ward 5, and be on their side no matter what. It’s not complicated being an effective ward councilor: People call you with a question or concern, and you help them.

I’m not in this to take campaign contributions from attorneys of notorious developers, or to put campaign signs on the properties of some developers and some business owners who could care less about the rights of taxpaying residents. You’ll never see one of my signs on the Golden Banana either.

I love where I live. My wife Maureen and I raised two beautiful daughters right there on Goodale Street. We actually know that the little neighborhood elementary school the girls went to is spelled K-I-L-E-Y. It was named after two brothers who grew up in the neighborhood, joined the military, and paid the ultimate sacrifice to their community and their country.

I’m not running to be one of the “cool kids” either. This is about becoming a serious and dedicated public servant, and not “Sophomore Class President.”

There are a lot of issues that pose serious threats to quality of life, and these issues need the attention of a serious public servant, who will always return your phone calls, and always seek a solution to every issue no matter how large or small.

In the past seven months, I’ve visited over 1,000 homes in Ward 5, and I’ve listened. It’s these visits that taught me what the job of ward councilor is all about. It’s all about people who pay their taxes on time, and expect their quality of life to be protected, not trampled on. You learn these things not by waving at cars on a street corner, or by putting multiple signs in front of abandoned buildings, or gas stations. You learn these things by actually talking to voters.  On these visits to many of your homes, it amazed me to learn that I was the only Ward 5 candidate who visited to learn about what you felt was important.

This isn’t about “grasping at straws.” It’s about listening, and then making sure that I make it clear that it’s all about the residents, and not about me. This wasn’t “a good opportunity for me to run.” It was an opportunity to try and give back to a community that has given so much to my family and me.

No, I’m not in this attempting to win elective office to become one of the “cool kids” in town.

I’m in this always and only for you. I’m in this to serve.

If that’s the kind of Ward 5 Councilor you want, then the choice is pretty clear, and I would be honored to have your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Sincerely,

Bob Croce, Your Candidate for Ward 5 Councilor

Signs of our times: More ugly billboards on the way

24 Sep

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

While we’ve all been focused on the battle against the giant billboard eyesore on Lowell Street near Route 1, outdoor advertising companies have been lining up to erect even greater monstrosities in other Peabody locations. If you think that the static sign next to the Subway sub shop infringes on your quality of life, wait until you see what’s about to happen elsewhere in Ward 5.

Two giant, flashing digital billboards have been approved for Route 1, and now comes a third, which will soon go before the city council for approval. Welcome to Peabody’s version of the Las Vegas Strip.

Cove Outdoor Advertising is hoping to win city council approval to erect a 14 by 48 feet digital sign on Route 128 near Jubilee Drive. The city, meanwhile, stands to make $25K annually on each one of these eyesores. I know that Peabody needs revenue right now, but are we willing to destroy our community aesthetically for this sort of incremental revenue?

It’s definitely time for the city council to come up with some guidelines on how many of these we’ll allow in our community.  It’s also important that they ask some serious questions when Cove comes before them for a permit on this latest sign.

Here’s the link to the full article in the Salem News.

Please let me know what you think in the comments section.

Triumph over tragedy in store for next year and beyond at the Boston Marathon

16 Apr

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

In what now seems like a lifetime ago, I was a sportswriter.  Long before becoming a 9-to-5 businessman, I covered sporting events for newspapers from Albany, NY, to Framingham, MA.  I not only wrote about high school sports and Little League championship games, but also about the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and Patriots.

But one event always stood out.  It made my job rewarding, even in the face of long hours and weekend shifts.

baaYou see, over the course of several Boston Marathons in the mid-1990s, my favorite assignment always included being at the finish line of the world’s most-famous foot race.  But I was never there very often as elite runners broke the tape in Copley Square.

My editors wanted me out there as this event evolved from a world-class competition, into an exhibition of determination, accomplishment, personal achievement, and … love.

The best stories at the Marathon truly do happen beyond the 4-hour mark. When I covered the Marathon finish area in the day, I interviewed and wrote about people who were always so happy to tell me, from their hearts, why they subjected themselves to four-plus hours of pain on race day, and untold hours training beforehand in all kinds of terrible weather.

It was all about personal triumphs over serious health issues, to honor a deceased loved one, or to simply give themselves one major life accomplishment that no one could ever take away. Listening to them, it was as if they were telling me how each step, from Hopkinton to Boston, washed away the bad times and put them on top of the world.

Long after my deadline had passed, and what I had written ended up lining the bottom of some birdcage, the memory of watching these runners embrace loved ones, who waited hours for them to arrive on Boylston Street, left me with my own little “life is good” feeling.

Terrorism, wherever it happens, is an abomination against innocent people, and it causes us to react not only with sadness, but intense anger. What happened at the finish line of yesterday’s Boston Marathon should unite the good people in the world – and there are way more of us good people than there are of them — in hoping that the perpetrators soon feel the full brunt of justice.

But after that, we know that we will all pull together to ensure that people are out there again next year, trying for that one shining moment.

Here’s praying that what returns beyond the 4-hour mark in future Boston Marathons is again all about personal triumph, step-by-step healing of mind and body, and … love.

A message from the publisher

22 Mar

Dear readers,

It has been a busy month for me with work travel, and the process of beginning my campaign for Ward 5 City Councilor, so I apologize for not posting very often lately.

As my campaign goes into high gear, it’s likely I will be posting less frequently, but I will also try to keep up with it the best that I can. Since starting this blog back in November, we’ve had almost 50,000 site visits, and I’m honored that so many people have found the content here interesting enough to visit.

Going forward my goal is to continue to bring you the best in hometown news and commentary. I just might not be able to post as often because of my personal time constraints.

But with that I’d like to offer all of our readers the opportunity to write and post as well. If you are a candidate who would like to get your message out, please feel free to submit a candidate statement.

But you do not have to be a candidate. I will consider submissions from everyone. All you need to do is email me at racroce@comcast.net, and I’ll consider it for publication. The only thing I can’t do in the main content area is use anonymously written content.

Thanks again for reading.

Sincerely.

Bob Croce, Publisher, Eye On Peabody

Bob Croce running to become: ‘Your’ Ward 5 Councilor

24 Jan

By Bob Croce, Candidate for Ward 5 Councilor

 

CroceA political mentor always tells me not to leave out the most-important detail when it comes to running for office. I hear him saying, “before you do anything else, let people know why you are running.”

It’s the thing that the people you seek to serve will ask, and you better be prepared to give them an answer.  So, on this Arctic-like January morning, I come to you with an answer to that very first question.

I am running for Ward 5 Councilor this fall in Peabody’s city election because I believe that I can be a strong advocate in supporting my neighbors on issues that affect our quality of life.

My message during the long campaign ahead will be clear: If elected, no issue will be too small for my attention when a taxpayer calls me.

That is what being a ward councilor is all about.

People reach out to you, and you help them. You become their watchdog on the City Council, taking their side when developers don’t follow the rules of their special permits. You ensure that the rights of citizens are protected.

You answer their call in the early morning hours when their street isn’t plowed. You ensure that their streets are properly maintained, and that you respond immediately when they have any concerns about public safety in their neighborhood. You do things for people, and you come to the job realizing that being a ward councilor truly means being a public servant.

It’s something that retiring Ward 5 Councilor Dave Gamache learned over his 24 years in this seat. And it’s something on which I will center my entire campaign.

To the people of Ward 5, I want to be Your Ward Councilor.

There will be a lot more on my campaign as the ground thaws, spring makes its debut, and I burn shoe leather going door-to-door under the hot summer sun.

But for now, I hope you will consider helping me in my pursuit to become a good public servant.

If you would like to find out how you can help with my campaign, please visit my campaign website.

Also,  please  “like” my campaign Facebook page.

I also welcome your questions here in the comments section.

Sincerely,

Bob Croce, Candidate for Ward 5 Councilor

Tune in tonight to first ‘You Make The Call’ show of 2013

9 Jan

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

You Make The Call co-host Dick Jarvis returns tonight for our first live show of 2013

Happy returns
You Make The Call co-host Dick Jarvis returns tonight for our first live show of 2013

Join us tonight, 8-9 p.m.,  on  Channel 99  as we welcome legendary co-host Dick Jarvis for our first live “You Make The Call” show of 2013.

There’s a lot to talk about tonight, including the special election for State Rep.  Dick and I will also discuss our impressions of Monday night’s State of the City address by Mayor Bettencourt.

Please tune in, and give us a call! Or send us a question through our Facebook page.

Benvenuti, benvenido, bemvindos, bienvenue, fáilte, and … welcome

16 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

They’ve come. They’ve gone. They’ve informed, enlightened, and even made people cringe. They’ve gone by different monikers. From a guy named Fred, to the Patriot, to Twisted Tanner, and just plain old “Keith.”

The Peabody blogosphere has been up, down, and all around. And now, a new player emerges.

Welcome to my world. Won’t you come on in?

I’ve been a keen observer of past blogs and bloggers here in Peabody, and I have to say that I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly along the way. But in my opinion, the one major missing element has always been a lack of accountability.

Although some of these bloggers past have certainly been entertaining, they haven’t exactly been forthcoming. Well, ladies, gentlemen, and kids of all ages, I’m here to tell you that it’s time throw away all of the masks.

Past bloggers, for reasons known to them only, have created these forums anonymously. In doing so they’ve created some colorful characters and alternative personalities.

But all of that is over. It’s through. I’m the guy behind the keyboard. I’m the one accountable for everything that’s written here, and I hope it’s something that lends more credibility to what I feel could be a very useful and effective forum of ideas, commentary, and … entertainment.

We definitely want to inform with this new blog venture. But come on, folks, let’s also not take ourselves too seriously.

I’m not Fred or the Patriot or the Tanner, or even the Outfront Guy. Welcome to the new Peabody blogosphere, where transparency rules.

Of course, you can still feel free to be anonymous, so let the characters return to post comments that I’m sure will be informative, make you think, and be zany all at the same time.

Welcome to my world. Let me know how I’m doing. Wake the neighbors. Tell the kids.

There’s new blog sheriff in town.

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