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Full Peabody Election results

7 Nov

resultsI’ll do some analysis, and some juicy election day tidbits later this week. But for now, here is a link to the full results from yesterday’s Peabody City Election.

Click here to view the complete results

It’s all up to the voters now

7 Nov

voteBy Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

When you are a candidate, who has spent several months burning shoe leather knocking on doors, standing on street corners waving at cars, and spending the kids’ college fund on palm cards and mail pieces, today is the most-humbling day of your life.

Suddenly, you are no longer controlling your own environment. I know that’s always  been a somewhat horrifying feeling for a control freak like me. But candidates always need to just accept that this is one of those wonderful reasons why America is still, and always has been great:

Today, the voters of Peabody get to decide.

And while come 8 p.m. tonight many of us will not like some of the results, it’s just too damn bad. 🙂

Polls are now open and will be until 8. Please be a good American and go out and vote for the candidates you feel will do the best job for you and your family the next two years. It’s not about a trite, meaningless phrase like “Pride in Peabody,” it’s about ensuring your quality of life.

For a rundown on who is on the ballot, click here for this handy guide.

 

 

It’s official: Gov. Baker wants Chalvire to win in Ward 4

6 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP publisher

There are some interesting races citywide for city council and school committee, but the spotlight in tomorrow’s Peabody City Election is brightly shining on the Ward 4 Councilor race.

There it’s been a hotly contested race between first-term incumbent Ed Charest and promising newcomer Bukia Chalvire.  And while the incumbent is still considered a slight favorite, you have to wonder if Charest has a sick, sinking feeling tonight after the state’s most-powerful and best-known politico gave a ringing endorsement of the challenger.

That’s right, Governor Charlie Baker officially endorsed Chalvire today, following some mud-slinging by the Charest and his associates.

Coming so late in the game, it’s hard to figure what impact such an endorsement might have on tomorrow’s results, so I won’t even try to predict the outcome. But there’s no denying that Baker’s praise for any candidate can carry some major weight.

After all, a recent poll rated him the most-popular governor in the country with a 70% approval rating. Closer to home, Baker carried Peabody by 2,600 votes when he ran against Martha Coakley in 2014. And even closer to this race: Baker beat Coakley by almost a whopping 300 votes in Ward 4 three years ago.

In a very smart move the Chalvire campaign made sure everyone knew of the Baker endorsement by dropping the campaign flier below today at homes all across the ward.

Should be very interesting on Tuesday! Polls are open until 8 p.m. Here’s a rundown on all of the races.

Get out and vote.

bukia

 

 

Gov. Baker supports Chalvire in Ward 4 Councilor race

5 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

An already wild final weekend before Peabody’s city election on Tuesday just got even more interesting when it comes to the race for Ward 4 Councilor.

bakerFollowing a controversial Facebook comment by Mayor Ted Bettencourt’s campaign chairperson in support of incumbent Ward 4 Councilor Ed Charest, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker felt compelled this evening to put his support behind challenger Bukia Chalvire.

In her Facebook comment, the Mayor’s campaign chair began with criticism of a Chalvire campaign flier, but then wrapped up by saying that the Ward 4 challenger “has no place here.”

Since then, there’s been a heated Facebook debate over what she meant exactly by the comment. Was is racial since Chalvire is black and was born in Haiti before moving to the US and becoming a citizen? Or, was it more likely just another example of how those in power in Peabody treat new candidates like dirt?

In any event, the governor — who knows Chalvire well from her work on his campaign –came to her aid tonight, saying “Bukia is a wonderful person. She belongs anywhere and everywhere.” See the screen shot below. Could be the first time ever that the most-powerful politician in our state endorsed a candidate for a Peabody ward councilor seat:

bukia

The double standard continues with Teflon Teddy B

3 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

The hypocrisy continues!

The “outrage” over Ward 4 Council challenger Bukia Chalvire using a photo of Mayor Ted Bettencourt just got a little more interesting. And it might indeed be time for the Mayor and Ward 4 Councilor Ed Charest to apologize to Ms. Chalvire for their smear of her good name over this “fake” controversy.

That’s because — after learning that Charest was using photos of himself and the mayor on his campaign Facebook page without the endorsement of his honor — we now see that Teflon Ted himself recently sent out a campaign flier with pictures of at least two elected officials, who have NOT endorsed the mayor, nor given permission that their likeness be used on campaign materials.

As a late, great Peabody newspaper editor would say in this situation — yikes!

Take a look at the campaign flier below: in it are images of Councilor At-Large Anne Manning Martin and outgoing Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz, both well-known elected officials. Well, my moles tell me that neither Manning Martin nor Sinewitz gave the Mayor permission to use them in his campaign flier, which was mailed to households across Peabody. Personally, I don’t think it’s a big deal at all, but if you are going to criticize Ms. Chalvire for doing the same thing, you’re a gigantic hypocrite! Or, you are indeed trying to do a political hit job on a candidate who has a chance right now to beat your lackey in Ward 4.

The images are small, so it’s not that easy to see here, but Manning Martin and Sinewitz, who have not endorsed Bettencourt this election cycle, are in two of those shots.

Borrowing from Bill Shakes, me thinks that Teflon Ted doth protest too much over Ms. Bukia using his image without permission.

BTW, if you live in Ward 4, think about that after you get another hit piece this weekend from the Charest campaign, where they further attempt to drag Bukia Chalvire’s good name through the mud. You definitely know that’s what is coming next.

Ted

 

Hypocrisy and dirty politics; Charest needs to apologize

3 Nov

CharestYesterday, Ward 4 Councilor Ed Charest, who is in a close race with up and coming challenger Bukia Chalvire, accused his opponent of using a photo of her and Mayor Ted Bettencourt on campaign materials without permission.

Just to show you Mr. Charest’s hypocrisy, here’s a photo that we found on Charest’s very own CAMPAIGN Facebook page. What? It’s OK for him to put this on Facebook, and deceive people into thinking HE was endorsed by the mayor?

Or, will the mayor run cover for his boy again, and say Charest got permission here in triplicate? 🙂

And . . . here’s one on Ed’s CAMPAIGN Facebook page with the mayor and State Rep Tom Walsh. Did he get permission to use this on his campaign site?

Charest2

These “hit jobs” on new people wanting to run for office in Peabody need to stop!

Now that these photos have surfaced, Mr. Charest owes Ms. Chalvire an apology.

Dirty political tricks continue to prevail in Peabody

2 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP publisher

How can you tell when a hack incumbent politician is nervous he’s losing the week before an election? He comes up with a sleazy dirty trick, and then enlists help from his powerful establishment pals to smear a citizen who had the “nerve” to want and serve her community.

Thus is the case in Peabody’s Ward 4, just six days before another biennial city election.

bukia

Vote for Bukia Chalvire on Tuesday

A newcomer to Peabody elections, a woman named Bukia Chalvire, has for the past several months been working hard to unseat first-term incumbent Ward 4 Councilor Ed Charest. You may also know Ed from his days on the school committee, where he and the rest of the gang helped bring our public education system to the brink of state receivership.

But today Chalvire, an immensely likable candidate, who has for months run an immensely positive campaign — powered by door-knocking and lots of shoe leather — learned why new people, with great ideas for our city and a desire to serve, don’t even bother getting involved.

If you go to the online version of the Salem News this evening, you’ll see an article that would make you think that Robert Mueller was about to expand his investigation to include a Peabody mom, who just wanted to be your Ward 4 Councilor.

While likely coercing an inexperienced Snooze reporter into thinking that this was actually some sort of scandal, Charest’s buddies planted a story that questioned Chalvire’s character, integrity and ethics.

So what did Chalvire do to get that kind of negative press in the dying days of the campaign? Well, she had the “nerve” to post a photo on a campaign piece of her, her lovely family and a smiling Mayor Ted Bettencourt, taken at a recent campaign fundraiser.

Now, please keep in mind that Teflon Ted was in no way forced to pose for this photo with the Ward 4 challenger. From what we can tell, he wasn’t held at gunpoint or tied up and gagged. He wasn’t ambushed. Candidates do this with each other all the time. Sometimes these photos end up on Facebook pages, sometimes in campaign flyers.

And BTW, candidates – including this former one — post pictures of themselves and this mayor all the time on their campaign Facebook pages following fundraisers. Yet, I’ve never heard Teflon Ted, who wants to be everyone’s “friend” and says he never endorses anyone, decry candidates – including Charest – for doing this on social media.

But now Charest has tried to turn it into a major scandal, claiming that his challenger lacks integrity because the flier photo makes it look like Teflon Ted is endorsing Chalvire. As a part of Peabody’s hack political establishment (if ever there was a swamp that needed draining, this is it), he even got Teflon Ted to jump on board in the smear campaign.

“I certainly have not endorsed Bukia Chalvire for councilor,” Bettencourt told the reporter he probably helped dupe too. “Nor did I give her permission to use my picture on her campaign literature piece.”

Then the mayor, who never endorses anyone added: “I have worked with councilor Ed Charest in city government for the past 10 years. He has always impressed me as a hard-working, dedicated person who cares deeply for the residents of Peabody. I think he is doing a great job for Ward 4.”

First off, Chalvire has never said that Bettencourt is endorsing her. But if this mayor – who continues to build his kingdom by fleecing the taxpayers with never-ending series of unnecessary patronage jobs – is really upset about this, maybe he should not purposely pose with the candidates he doesn’t want to see get elected.

Besides, why is this mayor commenting at all on foolish articles like this one? I mean, with traffic gridlock, no real plan to revitalize a decaying downtown, a school system in crisis, and another resident tax increase coming next month, you would think that Teflon Ted had plenty of other things to keep him occupied.

But I digress, since the real culprit for the smear of this truly good woman is Mr. Charest himself, who after planting the article whined: “My integrity is very, very important to me and I’ve worked with the mayor for 10 years.”

Integrity is important to him? Oh, is that why he also smeared his last opponent when he first ran for Ward 4 Councilor two years ago?

So, I’m sitting here this evening, having not written in this space for months, and thinking again what a truly sick political culture we have in the City of Peabody.

I mean, isn’t Bukia Chalvire the type of candidate we’ve been clamoring for in days when people are disturbed and disgusted by establishment politicians? For those who don’t know, she is an epitome of the American Dream, having immigrated from Haiti in her 20s, working hard and becoming an American citizen, and then settling to raise her family in what she figured was the friendly community of Peabody, MA.

But what she gets instead is victimized.

And we wonder why.

Is it because she is a woman and not one of the mayor’s good ole boys? 

Or, is it because she is an immigrant and a minority? Peabody politics, after all, is fairly devoid of both female and minority elected officials. Despite our great diversity as a community, there is just one woman on the city council, and not a single person of color.

And the one woman on the Council, a fighter for the people named Anne Manning Martin is treated like the proverbial skunk at a picnic. In other words – along with outgoing Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz – she’s the only one who’s not a rubber stamp for Teflon Ted, and because of that she’s considered by all the Mayor’s Men as a troublemaker who refuses to go along to get along. That’s right, Manning Martin instead tries to always and only represent the interests of the people who elected her. How dare she!

You know, I had planned not to have this space endorse anyone this campaign season. But if you’re reading this and live in Ward 4, please do the right thing on Tuesday and vote for Bukia Chalvire.

It’s time to push back once and for all on the political goon tactics that always seem to go on in our fair berg.

 

Anonymous commenator sums up the situation in Peabody

1 May

Publisher’s note: After reading the article in today’s Salem News in which the Mayor talks about all of his “successes,” I was almost compelled to post this morning. But then the following “anonymous” comment came in. It pretty much sums up how a lot of us are feeling right now. There are indeed dark clouds on the horizon for our fair berg, and people need to know this. So … I am re-posting the anonymous comment I reference above:

From anonymous, 5/1/17:

I read the fluff piece on Salem News regarding the updates to the races in Peabody and I’m very disturbed that no one feels they can beat the Mayor. All he has done is spend our money and when he wants more he just raises taxes.

bettencourt

Everything is definitely NOT beautiful in Peabody these days.

Where is the effort for bringing in new streams of income for the city? The farm!?! Our biggest stream of taxes, aka the mall, is limping and when Macy’s and Sears finally decide to call it quits in Peabody, we are all going to be wrecked. Businesses are leaving faster and faster to towns that border us. Lynnfield and now TJ Maxx to Middleton. This city is going down fast and he is spinning how great he is with spending all our money with ZERO rate of return.

The fact that he tries to own the middle school as a huge achievement that all started with the previous mayor, is laughable. The other laughable items that need to be mentioned are that he has not been able to get a true superintendent for the schools, and he as the Mayor and Chair (of the school committee) have not led the high school out of its Level 3 status that turns the entire city into a level 3. Also, the AP courses to the max do not fix that!

When the Salem News released all the salaries for the city, as always our city employees are doing almost 4 times the household average in Peabody (btw the average went down). How is the Chief of Police not being scrutinized for all the OT/details that are being paid above their base salary?

I respect the police and fire for what they do, but you can’t tell me that someone that made over 75K in OT is effective in their normal shift. Maybe we need more officers to have a better control on spend. At least we know what they will need to budget for instead of asking for another million. The Mayor made some comment it had partially to do with Crystal Lake, and honestly the project just got started and is moving at a snails pace.

The other night the Mayor wanted to reduce the requirements for parking to make them (the spaces) more valuable. He should want to do the opposite to control these larger developments building more of those Avalon style apartments. If they have low parking requirements they will build as high and wide as they can. He is turning Peabody more and more into a Lawrence and Lynn. The school system is going to be overwhelmed in the next few years if you see more and more of these units coming into play. The taxes generated on these buildings does not support the amount of money necessary to educate families with multiple children in these units.

For someone that allegedly has all this power, why has he not been able to persuade business to come to Peabody? Why isn’t he partnering with Simon to help correct the outflow of the retail spaces in the mall. They are just throwing out liquor licenses to get restaurants to come, but there is no real future thinking of what the city needs to survive.

The city is in for a lot of hurt in the near future, if the city doesn’t find someone that is going to be proactive and seek out businesses that want to invest in its future then our current Mayor will just continue to spend to make himself look good and take more of our taxes via property. Has anyone seen the actual bill for all these Centennial celebrations?

2 open councilor at-large seats: Your chance to run, baby, run!

24 Apr

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Pssst …

Hey kid, over here. Yeah, you. Wanna run for councilor at-large? Now’s your chance.

Just don’t let all the insider political rump swabs know that I told you.

You see, they want a clear path for their boy, who we’ll call “Waldo,” who wants to take his “scary” political “talents” to the council after several years of doing damage on a different elected board.

This just in …

waldoWe have learned that there likely will be two open seats for councilor at-large in this fall’s city elections. One, State Rep Tom Walsh, you already knew about.

But now comes word that long-time Peabody pol Mike Garabedian is telling people he won’t run again.

Now, the “cool kids,” who think they run Peabody, don’t want anyone to know and are keeping this a secret so Waldo breezes to victory. In fact, we’re hearing that they’re trying to convince Garabedian not to announce his retirement until July, which would then limit the number of new candidates, since nomination papers with signatures are due back in late summer.

Here’s hoping now that we get multiple competitive candidates to run at-large. With two open seats, your odds of winning just went up dramatically. And, isn’t it time to break up Peabody’s good-ole-boy political establishment?  Haven’t these people already done enough damage?

If you run, give me a call and I’ll even find you some sign locations.

Or, encourage as many people as you know to pull papers. Please, I beg you. Keep our little berg from becoming the Kingdom of Moronica.

But remember … you didn’t hear it from. 🙂

Make a final pitch for your Peabody State Rep Special Election candidate

30 Jan

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

voteAfter just over three months of wintertime campaigning the five party-affiliated candidates in the special election for State Representative in the 12th Essex District, will leave it up to the voters in Tuesday’s two primary run offs.

Call it the Battle of Groundhog Day!

Today, as a public service I’ve put this post here for you to comment on the race. Who will you vote for and why? And, if you want, please feel free to make a final pitch for your chosen candidate. All I ask is that you keep the conversation focused on candidate qualifications and key issues, and not lob any personal attacks.

Please go out and vote!

But first, here are the vitals:

  • 12th Essex District primaries, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016
  • Polls are open 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • You are eligible to vote in this election if you live in Peabody, Wards 1-4 and Ward 5-Precincts 1 and 3
  • If you are enrolled as a Democrat or Republican, you must choose your party’s ballot
  • If you are unenrolled in a party, you may choose either ballot
  • The winners on Tuesday will go onto the March 1st final election ballot, along with unenrolled candidate Chris Gallagher

Tuesday’s contestants!

DEMOCRATS

Moutsoulos

James Moutsoulas

walsh

Tom Walsh

welton

Craig Welton

REPUBLICANS

corriveau

Jaclyn Corriveau

Peach

Stephanie Peach