Archive | January, 2013

Sign of our times: What do you think of Peabody’s first giant billboard?

31 Jan

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

This space wrote about this back in November, and now here’s a real example of  what this might actually look like. For now,  I thought I’d throw a photo out there and let you weigh in on what you think about the first of our  gigantic billboards.

The first one, for which the city of Peabody collects a 5-figure permitting fee, is up on Lowell Street near Route 1, and it’s been causing quite a stir so far with a debate on Facebook. There are dozens of comments,  all of them negative.

City Councior Anne Manning-Martin even posted the following photo. No, that’s not a giant ape at the top swatting at airplanes. Let me know what you think in the comments section as to whether you think this in an infringement on quality of life:

sign

The new billboard on Lowell Street near Route 1

Peabody’s Mitsopoulos in nationals of prestigious academic competition

31 Jan

By Eye on Peabody

Christina Mitsopoulos (center) poses with some of her teammates

Christina Mitsopoulos (center) poses with the Notre Dame Academy teammates on her panel.

Congratulations to Peabody’s Christina Mitsopoulos, a junior at Notre Dame Academy of Tyngsboro, who was on the winning team in the prestigious “We The People” state academic contest recently at Harvard University.

With the win, in this contest that tests a student’s knowledge of history, the Constitution,  and law, Christina and her NDA classmates advanced to the nationals at George Mason University and on Capitol Hill  in Washington. DC, in April.

A very well-rounded student, athlete and performer, Christina is also on the NDA track team, and is a champion dancer with the Bremer School of Irish Dance.  She hopes to study law someday.

Leah Cole officially announces her run for Peabody State Rep

31 Jan

(If you are running for any office in Peabody in 2013,  please send us your statement, and we will post it here as written by you. Leah Cole will face off in a Republican primary for state rep on March 5th against Greg Bunn, with the winner going on to the final election ballot on April 2.)

From the Leah Cole Campaign 

Leah Cole

Leah Cole

Leah Cole of Lynnfield Street officially announces her intention to run for State Representative in the upcoming special election for 12th Essex district.  Cole is dedicated to meeting the residents of Peabody to earn their vote to represent them in the State House. Cole’s campaign collected all the necessary signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Leah Cole,  a current Licensed Practical Nurse at a medical practice in Danvers, touted her passion for helping people get better in her community. As a working class nurse,  Leah spoke about the struggles she sees people engage in every day, whether they are trying to become healthy or trying to make ends meet.

“My parents always instilled in me the importance of living within one’s means and being fiscally and morally responsible.  My vision for the Commonwealth is much like the American Dream! That dream is to have the opportunity to start with basically nothing, work hard, and achieve success and reach your goals. My generation, along with future generations, will be unable to participate in that Dream, unless we participate in the political process, because our current leaders continually increase our debt and steal our liberties.”

As a young middle-class working taxpayer, and not a seasoned politician, Cole believes citizens need to get involved to shape the future of our Commonwealth. Cole sees increased regulations in the healthcare field that result in higher costs and lower quality care. Her experiences in health care, combined with the recent proposals to increase taxes, have motivated Cole to get involved to represent the working class.

“I dreaded hearing the proposals to increase our taxes. People are struggling to get by and we have an out of touch government that keeps on spending our hard earned money. On top of that, the regulations and restrictions of our government are suffocating us, and making it harder to save for our future. I believe we deserve better.”

The special election Primary Day is March 5th and the General Election Day on April 2nd.
Leah Cole can be reached at 978-595-2755 or leahcolecampaign@gmail.com, and can be found on Facebook and Twitter. If you would like to find out more information about Cole’s candidacy please check out her website at www.COLEFORPEABODY.com.

Poll: Which candidate gets your vote in Republican primary for Peabody State Rep

28 Jan

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Greg Bunn

Greg Bunn

Leah Cole

Leah Cole

For the first time in a very long time in Peabody, we have what seems like a competitively contested primary on the Republican side.

Political newcomers Greg Bunn and Leah Cole will face off in a primary on March 5, with the winner joining Democrat Beverley Griffin Dunne and independent candidate Dave Gravel on April 2nd’s final ballot in the  12th Essex House District State Rep special election.

You are eligible to vote in this Republican primary if you are either a registered Republican or listed as unenrolled (no party affiliation). You must also live in Peabody Wards 1-4 or Precincts 1 or 3 in Ward 5.

So, here’s today’s poll question, which should test the current enthusiasm among the die-hard supporters for Mr. Bunn and Ms. Cole. Please only take the poll if you live in the district and are registered as either Republican or unenrolled. I’ll put you on the honor system here!

Poll: Who do you think will win the special election for State Rep

26 Jan

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

With the looming special election for Peabody State Rep in the 12th Essex District, I’m posting an initial poll here now that the entire field is set.

Obviously only three of the following five candidates can make it to the final ballot, and there will be a Democratic and Republican primary on March 5, but for now I’m only asking who The Eye readership feels has the best chance of winning the final election on April 2.

Please keep in mind that I am asking who you think WILL win, and not who you will vote for. At later date, we will do additional polls on who you prefer.

Bunn announces he is on ballot for State Rep special election

25 Jan

(If you are running for any office in Peabody in 2013,  please send us your statement, and we will post it here as written by you. Greg Bunn will face off in a Republican primary for state rep on March 5th against Leah Cole, with the winner going on to the final election ballot on April 2.)

From the Greg Bunn Campaign 

Republican Greg Bunn

Republican Greg Bunn

Greg Bunn today officially announced his intention to run for State Representative in the upcoming special election for the 12thEssex district. Greg and a team of volunteers collected over 500 signatures, more than tripling the state requirement to appear on the ballot. The 12th Essex represents Peabody Wards 1-4, and Ward 5 Precincts 1 and 3.

A Peabody resident, Bunn has worked in public service for over 15 years. Currently,  he is the manager of the North Shore Career Centers of Lynn,  Salem and Gloucester.  Bunn also heads up the Business Services Unit for the centers,  providing staffing and financial solutions for employers.  In 2012, his offices helped more than 5,000 job seekers find employment and provided assistance to over 550 North Shore companies.

“I am running to foster a more competitive environment for businesses both large and small to get the nearly 1,700 Peabody residents currently out of work back on their feet,”  Bunn says.  “By providing individuals the opportunity to work, we strengthen families and create healthier, safer communities.”

With his skill in workforce development, Bunn’s primary focus will be bringing businesses to Peabody and increasing job opportunities for its residents. He aims to collaborate with public officials and promote legislation designed to support those dealing with long-term unemployment in their efforts to find work.

Bunn also wants to make sure that the Commonwealth is spending its revenue as efficiently as possible before increasing the burden on taxpayers and focusing on putting the people of Massachussetts back to work.

“It is essential that our state’s leaders direct taxpayer dollars in the most effective and efficient ways before taking more hard earned money from Peabody’s working families.”

Bunn said, above all, he is committed to being independent.

“Peabody is great because of our refusal to conform to any formula. We are independent – and that is how I will represent our city.”

Greg encourages Peabody residents to contact him through his website and Facebook page, or through Twitter  @bunnforstaterep.

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

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

Mayor asks governor if he can appoint an interim State Rep

18 Jan

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

It may be an unwinnable situation and a little too late, but it’s good to see that Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt is petitioning Governor Deval Patrick for the right to appoint an interim replacement for deceased State Representative Joyce Spilliotis.

The Mayor wants to ensure that, until a new rep is seated following the April 2nd special election, Peabody has its fair share of representation on Beacon Hill. The problem is that there is no precedent or law giving a mayor such powers to appoint, and it might end up taking an executive order from Patrick to allow this.

Bettencourt appointing an interim rep presents another potential sticky situation: Although Mayor of Peabody, he doesn’t even live in the open seat’s 12th Essex House District. A Ward 6 resident, Bettencourt is represented on Beacon Hill by Ted Spelliotis.

The Mayor says he would only appoint as the interim someone who is not running in the special election. So far, Democrats Beverley Dunne and James Moutsoulas, unenrolled candidate David Gravel, and Republicans Greg Bunn and Leah Cole have pulled nomination papers to run for the right to complete the final 19 months of Spilliotis’ term. The deadline for returning their petitions with at least 150 qualified signatures is Tuesday, Jan. 22. The 12thEssex seat represents Peabody Wards 1-4, and precincts 1 and 3 in Ward 5.

Let me know what you think in the comments section, and be sure to take our poll.

Mayor Bettencourt announces plans to seek re-election

16 Jan

(The following statement came from Mayor Ted Bettencourt, who this week announced that he will seek re-election in November. If others would like us to post a candidate statement, either for the state rep special election or the fall city election, please send it to us here, and we will run it in the Eye unedited.)

By Edward A. Bettencourt, Mayor of Peabody

Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt

Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt

When I first ran for Mayor I had a long list of things I felt needed to be done in order for Peabody to reach its potential. While I believe we have accomplished a great deal so far during my first term, much work lies ahead.  I respectfully ask the voters for another term to keep our momentum going.

Overseeing the construction of a new Higgins Middle School will be chief among my second term priorities.  Last spring, we  sought and received community support – including unanimous votes from both the City Council and School Committee – to build a new school rather than renovate the current facility.  Then in July, the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to accept our  new school preference.

A new Higgins is vital to Peabody’s future because our middle school program represents such a critical phase of academic preparation. I am committed to seeing the project through the design phase this year and then working to build a school which will best serve the educational needs of generations of Peabody students.

The ongoing Main Street revitalization project was also an important  first term accomplishment,  but that represents only the beginning of downtown transformation, and that the next phase will be a key focus of my second term.  The project,  slated to be completed this spring,  is funded by a combination of state and local grant money.  It aims to ease Main Street traffic,  improve parking and pedestrian safety, and transform the entire corridor into a more attractive place for residents and businesses alike.

We will have made Main Street a more desirable location but the next step is to decide what we want our downtown to be. We cannot just try and copy our neighbors because Peabody is unique.  We need our own vision, our own character and our own way forward.

To that end,  I’ve called for the creation of a new Master Plan for the city with a keen focus on downtown Peabody.  Peabody’s last Master Plan was completed more than a decade ago, and no longer reflects the realities of today’s landscape.  In crafting a new blueprint for Peabody’s future,  we plan to cast a wide net and tap into the expertise available those from private industry, academia, state and local government, and everyday Peabody citizens.

We need to engage in careful planning and take a deliberative approach to executing a sound strategy. There is a lot at stake in terms of Peabody’s future and I am committed to doing the hard work necessary to get it right.

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