A craving for public service rather than self-service

3 Nov

Here everybody has a neighbor. Everybody has a friend. Everybody has a reason to begin again. My father said “Son, we’re lucky in this town. It’s a beautiful place to be born. It just wraps its arms around you, nobody crowds you and nobody goes it alone .  — Long Walk Home, Bruce Springsteen

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Been thinking tonight about the struggle. Not when it comes to my life, which is pretty damn good these days, but when it comes to wanting to serve my neighbors, serve the community in which I grew up.  For me, that goal is likely over, but while I sit here, thinking about the scars of political battles past, which tend to stay with you for a lifetime, I’m also thinking about a woman named Bukia Chalvire.

fistYou see, these past two days she has become representative of that struggle. A struggle to serve in a city where good ole boy politics rule, and those who truly want to be public servants for all the right reasons, are ridiculed. In Peabody, if you don’t fall in line and kiss the posterior of those currently in power,  the ruling class, the “cool kids” clique, you’re stuffed into a locker after homeroom and forgotten,

If you’re not willing to “go along to get along,” and don’t quite get the wink and nod of developers who grease palms with “envelopes” stuffed with Benjamins,  then there’s no way you’re getting elected, and your family members can forget about that city job.

For our fair berg can indeed be a corrupt place, where people are afraid to speak up, and where the aggravation of running for office just isn’t worth it. Take it from me and my wonderful family and friends, who have waged hard-fought campaigns, only to many times face the wrath of political goons, who are connected to a corrupt power base.

This brings me back to Ms. Chalvire, a wife, a mom, a businesswoman who – after emigrating from Haiti in her 20s — has worked hard to support her family and realize the American Dream. All she wanted was to settle down in a nice all-American community, in a nice little home, on a nice little street with friendly neighbors and kids and dogs. And once doing so, she wanted to give back to this place by running for Ward 4 city councilor.

What she got instead the past 24 hours was a smack in the face from the establishment, which thinks elective office is all about self-service rather than public service. Maybe it was political inexperience, but she left herself open to a smear, an attack, a gross display of political sleaziness by the powers that be. She dared do what every other candidate and elected official has done for years on political literature and on Facebook campaign pages: She posted a picture of herself and her family with the city’s most-powerful elected official, who willingly smiled in the direction of an iPhone. Big hairy deal.

But the sleazy establishment insiders used it against her, smeared her in the local newspaper, and with self-righteous indignation, made this very good woman, who only wanted to serve our community, look like a scoundrel.

It’s a common tale here in our fair berg, a storyline of which I’m very familiar.

The hope at this point is that enough very good people will go to the polls on Tuesday in Ward 4, understand all of this, know what really happened, and make the bad guys pay for the horrible way they treated someone who only wanted to do the right thing. It’s called public service. Not self-service, Mr. Mayor.

Here’s hoping that Ward 4 comes out to vote in record numbers for Bukia Chalvire.


18 Responses to “A craving for public service rather than self-service”

  1. anonymous November 4, 2017 at 9:49 am #

    Let’s hope your right Bob. This city needs change. This would really upset the good ole boy network.

  2. Anon123 November 4, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

    Peabody has never been looking for the “best person for the job.” It has always been either a)someone connected or b) someone safe. Just look at the school system! Herbie is connected but a joke of a superintendent (the interim tag is just a formality at this point), and his heir apparent (Cara M) is both safe AND connected.
    I wish Ms. Chalvire the best of luck. A change is definitely needed in this city, and she may just be the breath of fresh air we need! It’s too bad all of these but bad tough guy bullies are so intimidated of her, one can’t help but wonder why???

  3. Ward 6 voter November 4, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

    Did anyone else see today’s post from M Geomelos’s Committee? The Mayor AND his wife are both tagged in it – giving this Ward 6 voter the impression that they are supporting him. https://www.facebook.com/Geomelos4Ward6/posts/370584793384498

  4. Casey A November 4, 2017 at 5:02 pm #

    In the words of Chris Rock … “I take care of my kids!”

  5. mayor Pinocchio says.... November 4, 2017 at 6:40 pm #

    I can’t believe how politically inept the mayor is. He panics and runs to the Salem News to deny he’s supporting Charest. He then says charest is doing a great job in ward 4 basically endorsing him. Now Beverly Dunne puts a paid political ad and with mayors face plastered right in the middle of it. Now he’s supporting Mike Geomelas. What a hypocrite for attacking bukia Chalvire. It looks like Bettencourt has his hand in every race in the city even though he lies and says he’s not endorsing anyone. Sure Ted, I believe you. Just like I believe there will be no tax increase this year…..

    • Beverley Griffin Dunne November 4, 2017 at 8:08 pm #

      I specifically requested the Mayor’s permission to use that photograph, as well as the permission of the photographer, prior to having that piece printed. The Mayor reviewed a copy of my literature well before it was printed. All candidates know you need permission from a person before you print a photograph or a quote from them on campaign literature.

      • Anonymous November 4, 2017 at 9:29 pm #

        Maybe you should have asked him for that kind of help when he stabbed you in the back against Leah Cole

      • Anonymous November 5, 2017 at 9:14 am #

        All she cares about being a part of the machine. She made excuses about the change in the state tests to argue why no one should worried that the HS is a level 3. For someone that always goes the conferences for the SC and is a lawyer, she should find a better argument as to why we shouldn’t be worrried that our schools could go into receivership. Also allowing Herb to serve as long as he has is quite disturbing too. Not having to be graded like any other Superintendent since he isa quote unquote interim is disgusting. How have you fought for our schools that has allowed for no real 5 year plan? The five year plan was to postpone to put the asst superintendent who lacks all of the qualifications to be our superintendent. How she made top 5? Just another friend of Ted…. wake up Peabody!!?!

  6. Anonymous November 4, 2017 at 9:26 pm #

    So the mayor is endorsing Ms. Dunne. I’m sure the rest of the school committee candidates appreciate that….

  7. Anon November 4, 2017 at 10:37 pm #

    Beverly is a wonderful person. When she ran for state rep the Democratic city committee crapped all over her. Tom Gould vice chair of the city committee supported Dave Gravel who ran as an independent. The mayor a democrat did nothing to help Bev. Shame on Gould and the mayor.

    • Bob November 4, 2017 at 10:46 pm #

      If Ted had supported Bev, she would have easily beaten Leah Cole in that special election. He betrayed her big time, and then cried crocodile tears at her election night get together at the AOH (I witnessed it personally). That’s one reason why a guy like Dick Jarvis wants nothing to do with him right now. Joyce wanted Bev to succeed her in the State House.

  8. Anonymous November 5, 2017 at 9:17 am #

    Deb Ryan is at it again posting a picture of Ed and Ted with a quote from the Salem news….our fearless leader may want to make an official statement about all of this….crickets…too cowardly to do that bc all he wants to be is liked….

  9. Diane November 5, 2017 at 9:44 am #

    To be quite honest, the city has never looked better. House values are sky rocketing, people from all over are trying to live here . We have more city events than we ever had bringing our community together. Our taxes are low, our schools are being updated slowly. I’ve lived here my whole life and I am so proud to live here. I don’t have any connections with any of these people, just a truly unbiased Peabody citizen. It sounds to me that all of the people on this thread are upset that their candidates didn’t get in and are now trying to pretend this city is crap.

    • Anon123 November 5, 2017 at 10:48 am #

      Your argument would hold more weight if it weren’t for three little words: LEVEL. 3. SCHOOLS.

      • Diane November 5, 2017 at 11:08 am #

        Yes, but this city has never had the best school system. While I would love more than anything for our school system to get better, how are you going to blame any one politician (or politician group) for this? I haven’t heard about plans for better school system from any ward candidate, so why is this thread attacking Ed? Again, I have no connection to any of these people, I try and vote for whoever I believe will make an impact on this city Republican, democrat, male, female.

      • Anonymous November 5, 2017 at 11:33 am #

        The city is better off? The mall which is our largest taxpayer is losing all the major stores that has sustained it for many years. The city has just assumed it would always be there but guess what, that may not be the case. Why wouldn’t the city make a pitch for Amazon. That is a large area that could have been redesigned with a large company, retail, restaurants, and condo/rentals. No let’s see what we can do with downtown….I’m sorry pop up bars don’t get it done. It looks good for photo ops but doesn’t make it more attractive. The schools being fixed slowly? Maybe my kids grandchildren will benefit with that slow progress. The excuse is that we are big…how about looking at a city like Newton instead of Lynn and Lawrence. This is bigger than Charest. It’s the fact that that people in these roles think they know what they are doing. What they are doing is not working. Btw the house values are going up because of other cities prices that are closer to Boston are going up and not bc the city is doing better….

      • Anon123 November 5, 2017 at 11:47 am #

        The mayor is the head of the school committee; and he will therefore be strongly influencing the hiring of the next superintendent of schools, Cara Murtagh. This article is about shady practices of elected officials. I think the mayor is a HUGE part of that; and this sham of a superintendent search is further evidence of their ineptitude. Also, I was more responding to your sunshine and rainbows rose-colored glasses post, than the article itself.

  10. Anonymous November 5, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

    Diane, how can you say that Peabody has never had a good school system. In the 70,s 80’s and 90’s we had great schools. Something changed along the way and we excepted mediocrity. I don’t blame just Charest for the failure of the current school committee. After all he was there for 8 years and getting into a physical altercation with the ex super is really pathetic. The current school committee works as a team, just ask Joe Amico. I don’t want a go along to get along team that hurts the education of our children. Please vote for change on Tuesday. We desperately need it here in Peabody.

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