Tag Archives: peabody elections

Competitive field already shaping up in race for Peabody School Committee seats

20 Jun

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Since giving voters multiple candidates to choose from is always a good thing, it was both distressing and disappointing two years ago when all three Peabody School Committee incumbents ran for re-election unopposed.

Incumbent Brandi Carpenter

Incumbent Brandi Carpenter

But now, with two of the three seats open on the November ballot, suddenly a large field of contenders is emerging. Long-time school committee member David McGeney is retiring, and Ed Charest’s decision to run for Ward 4 Councilor opens the two seats. Brandi Carpenter, meanwhile, is the only incumbent running for re-election.

Eight candidates have so far picked up their nomination papers to get the required 50 signatures to run. If all bring back their signed papers by August, there will be a primary in September to narrow the field to six.

The challenger field so far includes all men, many of whom have kids in the Peabody Public Schools, and have never run for office before. This could give Carpenter an edge when it comes to retaining her seat, not only because she is the lone incumbent, but because lone women candidates on a ballot traditionally do very well in Peabody elections where voters can make multiple choices.

The rest of the field, though, is fascinating for political junkies like myself to handicap. I’ve participated — either as a candidate, campaign worker or wiseass pundit – in dozens of Peabody campaigns the past 20 years, and this is the first time I don’t see any clear favorites beyond the one incumbent.

Right now, I see several challengers with legit shots to get one of the two remaining seats, and I can’t ever recall that being the case at this stage in any Peabody School Committee election. Although there are a number of candidates in this race with the “right stuff” to do the job well, none of them right now have much in the way of all-important name recognition.

All of that will change in the coming months, and whomever manages to run the best campaign is going to prevail. For now, you can’t tell the candidates without a scorecard, so maybe my take here will help:

Joe Amico has been out there working longer than anyone else in the field, having been one of the first to pull papers. He’s even already held a successful fundraiser, and has lawn signs out. He’s personable, a good family man, and has experience in the Revere Public Schools as an educator.

School committee Brian Addesa and family

School committee Brian Addesa and family

Brian Addesa is the newest candidate in the race. For the sake of full disclosure, I’m already helping Brian with his campaign, since I feel he has some great, commonsense ideas for improving Peabody’s schools, while also being mindful of the tax concerns of young families, empty-nesters and seniors. Brian decided to run after being a leader of the parents group that fought and won to preserve the For Kids Only (FKO) afterschool program. He’s not only a noteworthy family man and father, he’s also an educator.

john

John Olimpio

John Olimpio, is an attorney, CPA and family man from West Peabody, who has run before for school committee. I don’t know John well, but I hear positive things about his character, and will attempt to learn more about his ideas as the campaign unfolds.

Andrew Arnotis and Travis Wojcik are both college kids running for the first time. Neither has the professional or life experience of the previous three candidates, but I’m always encouraged and happy to see young people get involved.

The other two candidates who have pulled papers are Michael Bonbon and Neil Papamechail. Michael has been active in the Peabody Democratic City Committee. Other than the fact that he pulled papers last time to run and then didn’t bring them back, I don’t know much about Neil’s background.

More to come, but this should definitely be an interesting year when it comes to the school committee ballot.

Observations early on this Election Day; Please let us know what you’re seeing

4 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Some observations so far on this Election Day . . .

VoteConstant Companion and I voted at the Kiley School at 8:15 this morning, and once again it was nice to see a professional and courteous poll worker crew on duty. Hats off to the city and Clerk Tim Spanos for cleaning up what had previously, in the case of some workers, been a bad scene in Ward 5 …

Just got a robo call from some women who said she used to live in Michigan, and if we don’t vote against casinos by voting “Yes” on Question 3, there’s a chance that Massachusetts could become as bad as Detroit. After hearing this silliest robo call ever, it made me question my voting Yes this morning. I voted to roll back the casino law for more common sense reasons.

We won’t become Detroit because of casinos, but Peabody will lose a big chunk of change when MA lottery sales dwindle because of big-time gambling alternatives . Right now, Peabody gets about $6 million from lottery sales at stores and restaurants within our borders.

For the record, I voted: YES-NO-YES-NO on the ballot questions. I left that ridiculous “moonbat” Question 5 blank. . . .

Quiet morning for sign holders at the Kiley. All I saw were two sign holders for State Rep Ted Speliotis, and one lonely sign holder for his opponent Tom Lyons.  . . .

Secretary of State Bill Galvin is predicting a healthy 53% voter turnout across MA today. When we voted this morning, we were No. 87 and 88 in Ward 5, Prec. 2. Not bad, considering the polls had only been open for a little more than an hour. . . .

Let me know in the comments section what you’re observing as you vote today.

If you haven’t gotten out yet, or are confused as to where you should go to vote, you can use this handy tool from the Secretary of State’s office to find out where you should vote.

Peabody should be proud of its chief elections official for doing the right thing

10 Sep

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

We spend some of our time in this space pointing out when those on our public payroll don’t do the right thing when it comes to the public trust.

So, it’s only fair that we also point out when public officials do the right thing. Today is one of those days.

I’ve always known Peabody City Clerk Tim Spanos to be both professional and honorable, and my positive opinion of the job he does as the city’s chief election official was affirmed last night when my wife Maureen and I went to vote at the Kiley School polling place.

Following some very bad behavior by poll workers at the Kiley when I ran for Ward 5 Councilor in last fall’s city election, Mr. Spanos not only took my complaint seriously, but he also acted to ensure that no candidate would ever have his or her bid for office jeopardized by unprofessional, and potentially illegal activities by supposedly unbiased election officials.

Simply put, he cleaned house at the Kiley. Poll workers who participated in campaigning for my opponent, Joel Saslaw, while on duty as election officials, are no longer working the polls.

Saslaw’s margin of victory was less than 90 votes, and the behavior of these rogue poll workers immediately questioned the validity of the outcome. Spanos also banned the use of cell phones inside polling places across the city, since the bad actor poll workers in question used their phones for their illegal electioneering activities.

This is the first time I’ve written about the episode, choosing instead to file official complaints with the Secretary of State, State Ethics Commission, and Mr. Spanos. I initially thought about legal action against the city, but Tim Spanos’ responsiveness and professionalism during that time gave me the confidence that I could trust him to take care of the situation.

He did, and now any future candidate who decides to run against Mr. Saslaw can expect a level playing field on Election Day.

It’s nice to know that Peabody voters can be secure in the knowledge that we have an honest and professional man as our chief elections official.

Hats off to Tim Spanos.

Follow Bob on Twitter @eyeonpeabody

Poll: How do you feel about taking voting out of the schools

14 Nov

Some members of the Peabody School Committee, citing student safety and disruption of the educational process, would like ban the city from using schools as polling locations on Election Day.

How do you feel about the issue?

5 candidates beat deadline, qualify for the State Rep special election ballot

22 Jan

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

I’ll have more on this in the coming days, including some more polls, but ladies and gentlemen, the following candidates made today’s deadline to qualify for the ballot to run in the special election for State Rep in the 12th House District.

There will be both a Republican and a Democratic primary on March 5, followed by the final election on April 2.

Unenrolled canddiate Dave Gravel

Dave Gravel, unenrolled, on final ballot

Democrat James Moutsoulos

Dunne

Democrat Beverley Griffin Dunne

Republican Gregory Bunn

Republican Greg Bunn

Republican Leah Cole

Republican Leah Cole

Dates finally set for Peabody State Rep special election

3 Jan

By Bob Croce, Eye on Peabody

stateThe entire process will be over in just 13 weeks as the dates have been set for the special election to fill the Peabody State Rep seat left vacant with the passing of Joyce Spilliotis.

The Mass. Secretary of State’s office reports that the primary election in the 12th Essex District will take place on March 5, followed by the final election on April 2.

And there is not much time to get into the race, since nomination papers, with no less than 150 certified signatures, must be submitted to the Peabody City Clerk’s office by no later than 5 p.m. on Jan.22.

So far, the only declared Democratic candidates known to the Eye are School Committee member Beverley Griffin Dunne, and former Ward 3 Councilor Jim Moutsoulas. If both Dunne and Moutsoulas return their papers, it would necessitate a Democratic Primary.

Councilor At-Large David Gravel, who has official organized a committee through the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) , will need to run as an independent. To run as either a Democrat or Republican, you would have had to been an enrolled member one of those parties as of Oct. 31, 2012.  Gravel is currently listed as “unenrolled,” and all he or any other independent candidate would need to get on the final ballot is at least 150 certified signatures.

You must also live in Peabody Wards 1-4, or Ward 5 (Precincts 1 and 3 only)

Other candidates who have been speculated about on the Democratic side include Peabody attorney John Slattery, who held the 12th Essex seat before Spilliotis.  Slattery recently made an unsuccessful bid to beat  Salem’s Joan Lovely in a special election to replace retiring State Senator Fred Berry.

Ward 5 resident Gregory Bunn, has entered the race on the Republican side, registering a committee with OCPF on Dec. 24th.  Kosma Evangelidis told the Boston Globe earlier that he was running, meaning there would be a primary on the Republican side if both he and Bunn entered the fray.

There has been speculation that Peabody Councilor At-Large Anne Manning-Martin might jump into the race as an independent, but so far she has not told the Eye whether she is in or out.

Moutsoulas will run in state rep special election; take our poll

2 Jan

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

We welcome 2013 with the news of a new announced candidate in the yet-to-be-announced special election to fill the Peabody State Rep seat left open with the passing of Joyce Spilliotis.

The Eye has learned that former Ward 3 Peabody City Councilor Jim Moutsoulas has made it known that he will pull nomination papers and run once the State Legislature sets the dates for what is expected to be a special election in the spring.

Moutsoulas, we’ve learned, will run as a Democrat, meaning he would join another announced candidate, Peabody School Committee member Beveley Dunne in a Democratic Primary.  The other announced candidates at this point are Councilor At-Large Dave Gravel, who will reportedly run as an independent, and Kosma Evangelidis. who told the Boston Globe he would run as a Republican.

In addition to serving as Ward 3 Councilor, Mousoulas has made unsuccessful runs for councilor at-large and mayor.

At this stage, we’d like to get your take on who you feel has the edge in the Democratic primary, if it were to be only between Dunne and Moutsoulas, so please take our poll.

Poll: Who would you support for Peabody State Rep seat?

12 Dec

Note to all those who would still like to vote in our poll. We’ll be announcing the latest results tonight on the “You Make The Call” show, 8-9 p.m.,  on PAT Channel 99.

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

I’ve had people ask me to do this poll so we can, at this stage, measure the electability of candidates and potential candidates for Peabody’s open State Rep seat. This poll is not scientific, but it has been set up so people can only vote once.  I’ve been asked by some influential Peabody politicos to conduct this poll, so it’s important that we get as many people to vote as possible. The results here could end up influencing, in a big way, who will end up supporting who.

If you live in Ward 6 or Ward 5, Prec. 2, I respectfully ask that you don’t vote here, so we don’t skew the results.

If you are a candidate or a potential candidate, spread the word with your supporters. I have left out both Tom Gould and Sean Fitzgerald, since both recently said that they would not run for the seat.

If your candidate is missing here, please list your choice in the comments section. Your vote is TOTALLY anonymous. Even I can’t tell who is voting.

New ‘You Make The Call’ show tonight on PAT Ch. 99

12 Dec

phoneJoin us tonight for a new live “You Make the Call Show.”

We’ll be talking about the State Rep special election, the city council’s decision to ban pot shops, and more!

Show is on PAT Channel 99. 8-9 p.m.

Gould says he’s definitely not running for State Rep

8 Dec

Take our poll on your choice in the State Rep special election

Bob Croce, EOP Publsher 

Follow on Twitter @EyeOnPeabody

Tom Gould

Tom Gould

Peabody City Councilor At-Large Tom Gould told me this afternoon that he has decided not to run in the special election to replace late State Representative Joyce Spilliotis. Gould said he made the decision this week after talking with his family, and after evaluating how running a campaign this spring might affect his focus when it comes to his Peabody business, Treadwell’s Ice Cream.

“I’m out. I’m definitely not in,” said Gould, who after topping the ticket at-large in his first run for office in 2011, was being a considered a very strong candidate to replace former Rep Spilliotis. “I’m flattered that so many people thought highly enough of me to ask me to run, but I have a lot of things on my plate right now, including running my business.”

Gould’s departure from the race leaves just Beverley Dunne as the only candidate right now on the Democratic side. Sources are telling us that Councilor At-Large Dave Gravel will seek the seat as an independent. If no other Democrat steps forward, both Dunne and Gravel would be on the final ballot. All independents need to do is get the required 150 signatures, while Dunne would face a primary challenge should another Democrat step forward.

So far, no candidates have shown interest in running as Republicans, although Councilor At-Large Anne Manning. who is registered as unenrolled, is said to be considering a run. Manning lost to Spilliotis twice in Democratic primaries, but there’s a chance she could enter the race either as an independent or a Republican.

No date has been chosen for the special election, and according to Peabody City Clerk Tim Spanos, those dates are up to the State Legislature to decide.

Spilliotis passed away less than two weeks ago after losing her battle to cancer, and after serving the people of Peabody as a library trustee, then councilor at-large, and then state rep since the early 1990s.

The Eye will continue follow developments here, so please be sure to check back regularly.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 70 other followers