Business liaison position a good idea, but it needs to have some authority to get things done

27 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt

Mayor Ted Bettencourt will tonight ask the city council to approve the creation of a new position he hopes will help make the process of doing business in Peabody easier. This position for a “business liaison” would pay from $45,500 to $58,500 a year.

The responsibility of this liaison would be to guide business people through the process of setting up and maintaining a business in Peabody when it comes to dealing with the governmental issues and red tape.

It’s a good idea, but only if this new position has some teeth. If this only about giving business owners, and perspective business owners, information on what they need to open or maintain a business in Peabody, then it could be a waste of taxpayer money.

But if the person in this position has some authority, backed by the mayor, to break down the walls that typically make it more difficult to do business in Peabody, then I definitely applaud this move.

The mayor tells the Salem News that his intent is to have Peabody be more business-friendly, and that’s definitely a worthy goal. For years now, local businesses have found the process of operating  here complex and difficult, especially when it comes to regulations and permitting. From Day 1, Bettencourt made it his goal to have city departments be more customer-friendly to business owners. He’s made progress here, and shown he is serious through a handful of firings and hirings.

He’s also established an Economic Development Council to come up with a strategy for energizing and expanding Peabody’s commercial tax base. But that committee, of which I’m a member, definitely needs to start meeting again. We haven’t had a meeting since the spring.

But all of this, I feel, continues to show that the mayor is serious about expanding our tax base to give Peabody much-needed revenue in these times when big bills are coming due on school projects and other much-needed improvements to our infrastructure.

So, the idea for this new position is a good one … just as long is it has some teeth.

21 Responses to “Business liaison position a good idea, but it needs to have some authority to get things done”

  1. Not happy November 27, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    More tax payer waste so Bettencourt can hire one of his buddies. This is a joke. Enough already. Businesses are doing fine.

  2. Anonymous November 27, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    Getting tired of hearing about how business unfriendly Peabody is. The previous mayor left this guy Bettencourt a pretty good deal here. Things were in excellent shape when Mike B. left. Including with businssess. All your hero Ted did was come in and start firing good people to replaced them with his pals. Croce get off the Peabody is anti biz kick. You are sounding like an ass. Mike Bonfanti was a pro business as they come and he did a good job here.

  3. Anonymous November 27, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Carnavale is qualified for city treasurer? what was her previous experience again? ALso, is this the rumored position for the current ward 5 councilor?

  4. Anonymous November 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    I predict it GAMACHE’s job. He has been angling for something since TB took office.

  5. Anonymous November 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    I heard it would go to McGenney.

    • Bob Croce November 28, 2012 at 10:22 am #

      Just to make it clear for the record, the comments made so far on who might be in line for this job are totally unfounded. I have it on very good authority that neither Dave McGeney nor Dave Gamache are candidates at this time. That doesn’t mean I think they aren’t qualified. I’m just telling you what I know. The word is that the mayor is looking to create a position here that will definitely help Peabody become more business-friendly.

  6. Ann November 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    So for $45,000 how will we know if he is doing his job? What will be required of them? Will they be required to fill out the paperwork of the business that want to open here? Will they be going before the council to get approvals? That could be a conflict of interest since he was a counselor before taking the job.
    There is no way to tell if he is doing his job without a job description. And if it is the ward 5 councilor it looks like they are just trying to pad his pension that WE will have to pay quite a bit for in a very bad economy! And Please if you are going to try to improve business lets get someone that knows about business for a change!

  7. Anonymous November 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Ted should give the job to Sean so we can have co-mayors.

  8. Anonymous November 27, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    Again I mention the down town partnership of the past. If this positon would cover that job than I am all for it. If this position only mirror’s the chamber forget it.

    On the sarcastic side, nice touch for having Santa arrive in West Peabody instead of the traditional down town. This is no way to show support to the down town area.

  9. anon November 27, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    I hope the mayor didn’t create this position for Mcgeney so he can get a lifetime pension from the city. That would a slap in the face to the citizens of Peabody. Give the position to a qualified, well educated individual that would actually do something positive for the city. Not some HAckerama.

  10. Anonymous November 28, 2012 at 6:22 am #

    What are you talking about? Isnt the holiday festival on the 9th? The polar express event is completely different and separate from the annual event. You really need to fact check if you want to be a legit blogger…

    • West School mom November 28, 2012 at 10:00 am #

      I hope Bob does not delete this. Sorry if I am over the line but I honestly feel in my opinion the event in W. Peabody is being held so the McGeneys can promote themselves and there singing contest.

  11. Anonymous November 28, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    You are not going to get an MBA or someone with their masters that has experience in this salary range. Its just not going to happen. The salary is not competitive and if the committee is set up has not met since the spring Bob said then how can you even take this as a serious position?

    • Anonymous November 28, 2012 at 10:26 am #

      First off, you never pay the higher end of the salary because you have already topped out the range with no where to go. Private company doesnt compete with benefits? There are a ton of private companys that fund decent percentages of deffered comp plans, provide very low cost insurance. What I am trying to get across that is that based on the requirements they are going to get a very narrowed field of candidate especially with the low salary range. I personally think our Mayor is very underpaid and in some ways may be overqualifed which is great for us but this seems like a job opportunity for someone with very little experience based on what the comp is.

  12. TT November 28, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    Hey now La La Land! It’s TT back prowling the Peabody blogosphere. I left with my tail between my legs but now I’m back. Cue the music maestro!

    I had to chime in on this business development issue. Peabody needs one person at City Hall who can act as a liasion (sp?) between the business owners and all the various departments, permitting authorities, etc. What’s the big uproar? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

    Most successful cities and towns have someone like that and why it took Peabody all this time to create such a position I have no clue. Well, maybe I do have a clue but why rehash old battles with dim-witted former city officials? Most of them are all gone now and Peabody is on the upswing. Consider yourselves lucky La La Land.

    And consider yourself warned. TT is back! And I’m more twisted than ever!

  13. Bob Croce November 28, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Just for the record, there was a comment by Anonymous at 10:25 a.m., today that I decided to remove since I was concerned with the facts presented. Just want to say to the commentator that he/she is welcome to post it again, if they can provide some proof, such as a link or a document. I don’t want to censor here, but I also want to ensure that our credibility remains intact, and that this doesn’t turn into an attack blog. Thanks for understanding.

  14. Anonymous November 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    With regards to McGeney’s companies being revoked. All you have to do is go to the secretary of states office and search his name. He has to companies listed and both were revoked this past summer

    • Bob Croce November 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

      It’s a little off topic, but I’ll allow your comment to stand, since this is real evidence that those business licenses were revoked by the state. But I say, “so what?”

      Just because a business license was revoked, it doesn’t automatically mean something was done illegally. I just checked the actual law, and there are circumstances — for example — where business licenses have been “involuntarily dissolved” because the partners couldn’t agree on voluntary dissolution.

      Let’s be fair here and allow those involved to comment, if they choose.

      • Anonymous November 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

        Not saying illegal but polar express is not for promoting his closed businesses

  15. Bob Croce November 29, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    How is anyone making money off Polar Express? Isn’t it free admission?


  1. Update: Council approves mayor’s request for business liaison position « Eye on Peabody - November 28, 2012

    […] the city council last night unanimously approved a request from Mayor Ted Bettencourt to create the position of “business liaison,” which the mayor  hopes will help make the process of doing business in Peabody easier. This […]

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