Catching up on nice honor for local hero … and more

22 Mar

(Just catching up on some things after a very busy month for work travel and the campaign.)

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Local hero Alex Romano

Local hero Alex Romano

Starting this off today by talking about an honor for a “local hero,” and a young woman who should be a model for other Peabody teens to follow.

Peabody High senior Alexndra Romano was honored this week as a local hero by the American Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts for going above and beyond in putting together a campaign to help people who became homeless because of Hurricane Sandy. Alex called her campaign “Kill the Chill,” and it included collecting clothing and blankets, and collecting donations for storm victims, which were quickly put to use by the Red Cross.

Alex and her sister Lea are both very active in their community when it comes to public service, and it’s an awesome thing to watch in these days when many young people would rather spend their free time playing video games.

The sisters also each year organize the “Caring Carolers,” who roam our Goodale Street-area neighborhood during Christmastime singing carols door-to-door while collecting money for Haven From Hunger. Not only do they get their friends together to sing for a very good cause, but their visit to your door really makes you feel good and get into the Christmas spirit.

Angela and Mike Romano must be very proud parents!

 Want to know why we are stuck with Comcast?

Mayor Ted Bettencourt  says he is asked on an almost daily basis why Peabody is not home to any alternative providers of cable TV, high-speed internet and telephone service. Conspiracy theories abound but it turns out the answer is simple and straight forward, according to a press release The Eye received from City Hall this week:

“At this time, no other provider of the phone/cable/ internet trio of services has expressed an interest in coming to Peabody,” Mayor Bettencourt tells The Eye. “We would like residents to have a choice of providers and would certainly welcome other options. At this time however, none of the alternatives to Comcast has stepped up with a proposal.”

Mayor Bettencourt said he understands Peabody residents’ frustration with the lack of choice here. “I absolutely understand their frustrations,” Bettencourt said. “Having a choice helps assure we get the best value for our money. When there is no competition in the marketplace, people feel like they are at the mercy of a monopoly. In the final analysis however, we cannot force these competitors to set up shop in Peabody against their will.”

With some of the best known alternatives out of reach for now, Bettencourt says the city may turn its attention to niche providers who offer similar services on an individual or dual basis rather than the heavily marketed three-in-one portfolio.

“We recognize the benefit of having more than one provider of cable, phone and internet service,” said Mayor Bettencourt. “If another provider sees a market in Peabody, we are all ears.”

 Our sign of the times: Great job by Smuz and the Mayor

Hats off to Mayor Bettencourt for holding firm and instituting the cease and desist order, and to City Solicitor Michael Smerczynski for his skillful argument in court this past week on placement of the giant billboard on Lowell Street near Route 1.

Judge Howard Whitehead agreed with city officials — the 92-foot pole is definitely not where they thought it was going to be installed when he ruled against the city last year.

As reported in the Peabody Patch, Smerczynski says the issue now for Whitehead to decide is whether that truly was because of a clerical error when the plans were submitted in court or a broken promise first made to appease local officials who didn’t want the billboard there at all off Lowell Street. The city and the owner of the billboard, Total Outdoor Corp, argued their sides in Salem Superior Court this past Monday. Definitely more work to do in court before this is resolved. Stay tuned.

 Should be either Dunne or Gravel, but Cole could surprise

Going to be a very interesting Election Day on April 2 when people go to the polls to vote in the State Rep special election. Because name recognition is so important, I honestly think it’s between Democrat Beverley Griffin Dunne and unenrolled candidate David Gravel. But there is a lot of money being pumped into Republican Leah Cole’s campaign by the Republican Party and the Ron-Paul-inspirted Libery Movement. There’s also a lot of unhappiness these days with traditional candidates, so Cole might actually pull a solid number. It’s not my State Rep district, so I sort of feel cheated here. I can’t even vote! …

Great job by Councilor At-Large Tom Gould while handling the MC duties at last Saturday’s First Annual St. Patrick’s Day Roast and breakfast at City Hall. Also, a lot of surprisingly funny performances by some local politicos. I mean, who knew Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz and Mayor Bettencourt were actually funny guys? It was a really fun morning for a really great cause as all the ticket and raffle money went to Haven From Hunger.

If you are in the 12th Essex State Rep District: GET OUT AND VOTE on April 2nd!

21 Responses to “Catching up on nice honor for local hero … and more”

  1. Anonymous March 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    The St. Patrick’s Day breakfast was an embarrassment to the city. I watched it on PAT and some of those guys should be ashamed. We need more serious people in government and not a bunch of clowns. So happy not to see Councillor Manning up there. She has class!

    • ralph smith March 26, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

      Didnt see the irish breakfast but i dont need to see that to know that Anne Manning-Martin has class!

  2. Anonymous March 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    Anne for mayor! She is way better than what we have right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Anonymous March 24, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    Thanks for commenting Anne.

  4. Ward 6 resident March 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    On another topic, what does everyone think about Rep. Ted Speliotis getting $4,266 in travel expenses to drive to the State House from Danvers the past year? When is the last time your boss gave you mileage money for just coming to work?

  5. Anonymous March 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    Uh oh … Teddy S got some ‘Splanin’ to do. Seiously though shouldn’t we get an explanation here from him on why he put in for travel expenses for 118 extra days when they were not in session?

  6. Anonymous March 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    THIS IS WHY WE NEED LEAH COLE!!!!! She will not take this per diem. She will blow the whistle on people Like Ted Spelliotis who take advantage of the taxpayers. I am paying for this jerk’s gas to get to work and meanwhile I haven’t had a raise in 3 years!

  7. Anonymous March 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    Mr. Spelliotis this is embarrassing. Please resign.

  8. Anonymous March 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    This guy is shameless. You would think he would at least try and cover his tracks at little by only taking the 119 days. Does anyone else hear an oink oink sound coming from Danvers?

  9. Ward 6 resident March 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    The really outrageous part is that I bet Teddy Pockets supports the guv’s “mileage tax.” Why not? He doesn’t have to pay for it.

  10. Anonymous March 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    GO LEAH GO! These Dems are a bunch of freaking crooks!

  11. anonymous March 25, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    365 days a year minus 237 days Speliotis claimed he was at the statehouse leaves 128 days. Take away 104 weekend days leaves 24 days. Take away vacation of 2-3 weeks leaves 9 days unaccounted for. Are you telling me Speliotis went in almost every day!!!? Now you know why the governor won’t release the parking records. This would clear up whose telling the truth. I do know that after the September primary Speliotis was campaigning every day in ward 6 and was not at the statehouse. He was scared about losing his seat. Please release the parking records so the taxpayers know how much were getting screwed over by this guy.

  12. Throw the bums out March 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Did you know that these State Rep slugs get 45 cents a mile? Doing the math it looks like Ted put in exactly 40 miles round trip for each trip he claims. Sounds about right considering he lives in Danvers, but if his car only gets 20 miles to a gallon (which in this day and age is very conservative) at .45 per mile we are paying Ted and the other reps $9 per gallon of gas they put in their tanks. Last time I checked, gas was still less than 4 bucks a gallon. Just another reason why Teddy boy and the guv need to raise your taxes again!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m voting for Leah Cole and I am making sure all of my friends in West Peabody know NOT to vote for Teddy Pockets next year.

  13. Anonymous March 25, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    With his mileage reimbursement, Teddy made $80,099 as a freaking State Rep in 2012. It’s all public record. Throw in another $6K for the free parking he gets while going to work on those “237 days,” another 800 bucks for tolls, another $1,000 for free food, and he’s closing in on $90k. Nice work if you can get it. For what? To vote to continuously raise our taxes? This guy needs to go.

  14. anonymous March 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    We’re paying for tolls too! I bet you they have records every time he crossed the bridge! What a piece of work. Know you know why he got the committee seats. He’s a rubber stamp tax and spender like the governor. Now you know why the governor won’t release the parking records. He’s protecting Speliotis.

  15. Anonymous March 25, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    It is actually even more than that. Speliotis earned $75,833 in salary in 2012, another $4,266 in mileage reimbursement. Each state rep also receives an extra $7,200 a year for expenses.That means, not including health insurance, he made $87,299 as a State Rep in 2012. By the way, by law, State Reps do not have to account for expenses or prove that they actually did travel to the State House. It’s ALL “honor system.”

    And their parking space DOES NOT come out of the $7,200. They get FREE parking anytime they want in Boston.

  16. Brutal March 25, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    The parking beni is worth about $6,000 a year. I know cause I work near the state house and it costs me just about $500 a month to park. My base salary is $100,000. But throwing in me having to pay for my own gas, tolls, lunch, and parking, I’d make out better if I were a State Rep. I’d have a lot less pressure too. Congrats, Mr. Spendi-otis!

  17. anonymous March 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    So when Speliotis goes into town for dinner and a few drinks, the toll and the parking is on the taxpayers. What a creep. Please release the freakin parking records. If it’s an honor system the pols are on to report the use, we’re screwed.

  18. the Outfront Guy* March 25, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    OG says….and just to be clear on this…..Ted Speliotis is the FIRST and ONLY state rep to take advantage of this approved ‘perk’ here in the Commonwealth of Mass ?

  19. Anon March 26, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    You don’t have to go into Boston to see the outrageous perks given out. Here in Peabody our former mayor collected over $30K in 2012. I thought Ted was the mayor.

    Raise for the new Mayor..No Problem.
    Raises for the City Council.. No Problem.
    Raises for the School Committee.. No Problem. Oh, Let’s throw in pensions for them too. Who knew the raise would trigger MORE perks?

    Raises and perks for everyone!

    Tax the homeowners MORE!

    Where’s the outrage?

    Where’s Peabody’s Hero?

  20. Anonymous March 26, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Bonfanti got a 30,000 pension last year! Wow what a guy. You have to give him credit though. He didn’t take the car!

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