Tag Archives: Barry Sinewitz

It’s the small things that add up to create quality of life for Peabody’s residents

9 Apr

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

We at Eye On Peabody often find ourselves pointing it out when elected officials don’t act in the best interests of the taxpayers. So today, I’m very happy to report on an elected official who seemingly always does the right thing.

It’s a small example of what it means to be an effective Peabody ward city councilor. But all of these small examples eventually add up into one giant, and necessary thing we call quality of life.

Barry Sinewitz

Barry Sinewitz

Just a few hours after being called yesterday on what many would consider a small quality of life issue on the Independence Bikeway between Russell Street and the Middleton line, Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz again did his job for those he represents.

Resident calls and informs that there’s a potential safety issue for those who use the bikeway. Councilor Sinewitz immediately reaches out to the Department of Public Services, and has a giant fallen tree removed from the bikeway. Here today, gone in a few hours (See the photos below).

Sinewitz, to his credit, is not only the most-independent member of Peabody’s City Council, he also recognizes that doing the job of ward councilor means understanding that there are no quality of life issue are too small for his attention. Removing that tree from the bikeway or fixing a giant pothole in front of someone’s home, are just as important to him as the dredging and beautification of Crystal Lake, or standing by the neighbors in their ongoing tussles with the Aggregate Industries quarry.

Sinewitz’ approach to being a public servant is refreshing. I only wish the ward in which I live – Ward 5 – had a councilor who cared more about resident quality of life than he does about the needs of greedy Route 1 developers.

treeIMG

Sighting a local hero and some curious political creatures at re-scheduled Ward 6 party

21 Jul

 

Sgt. Steve O'Hara, wife Jessica, and their children accept the Ward 6 "Heroes Among Us" award, flanked by Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz (left) and Mayor Ted Bettencourt

Sgt. Steve O’Hara, wife Jessica, and their children accept the Ward 6 “Heroes Among Us” award, flanked by Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz (left) and Mayor Ted Bettencourt. (Photo submitted courtesy of Doug Finnegan).

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

The re-scheduled Ward 6 Fourth of July party at Symphony Park this past Saturday featured a huge crowd, the traditional patriotic bike parade, the honoring of a local hero, and much more.

But it was also a day of some interesting sightings of local elected officials, and other political wanaabes.

Please read on, and we’ll get to the political stuff, but first it was wonderful to see a local hero honored for the work he’s done as a police officer.

West Peabody resident, and MBTA Transit Police Sgt. Steve O’Hara was acknowledged for his work in the areas of hostage negotiation/crisis intervention.

O’Hara, who received praise and a certificate from Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz and Mayor Ted Bettencourt, was recognized for talking a suicidal man out of jumping  from the top floor of an MBTA parking garage, and his work helping the family of a fellow officer, who was seriously wounded during the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombers.

When Officer Richard Donohue was shot, it was O’Hara who was charged with informing the fallen officer’s wife, Kim. Kim later, in an emotional Facebook post, talked about how O’Hara’s wonderful approach to informing her, brought great comfort to the family.

Honoring O’Hara was part of an annual tradition of honoring a local hero at this ward party. It’s an awesome moment at what is always a terrific, well-organized event hosted by the Ward 6 Councilor.

But as I wrote off the top, it wasn’t only about bike parades and ceremonies for heroes.

***

As local politicos know, Ward 6 these days has one of the largest voter turnouts in the entire city, and showing up at Symphony on July 4th (or in this case, July 19th), is a must.

Here were some of my observations and sightings …

  • The biggest battle for the hearts and minds of Ward 6 voters will come in the race for State Rep in the 13th Essex District, and it wasn’t surprising to see both Democratic incumbent Ted Speliotis and his challenger, Republican Tom Lyons, in attendance. Both men thoroughly worked the crowd. Speliotis, who didn’t make an appearance at this ward party last year, seems to suddenly be shifting into campaign mode. Lyons may have held a slight home park advantage on Saturday, since he lives in the ward.
  • Good to see Congressman John Tierney in attendance. I say “see,” since he wasn’t doing a lot of mingling, and it was definitely noticeable when he didn’t say hello to party host Sinewitz. Wonder if that has something to do with the Ward 6 Councilor endorsing Tierney’s opponent in September’s Democratic primary, war hero and Marblehead businessman Seth Moulton? Moulton, who had planned to be at the party on July 4th, couldn’t attend the makeup date because of a family wedding.
  • Even though it’s not an election year for city councilors, it was nice to see Councilor At-Large Tom Walsh come to the party.
  • State Rep candidate Beverley Dunne shows off her basketball skills

    State Rep candidate Beverley Dunne shows off her basketball skills

    It was also nice to see candidate for State Rep Beverley Dunne show up, especially when you consider she’s running in the 12th Essex District, which doesn’t include Ward 6. The long-time school committee member clearly thinks community first, but it’s a good thing that she’s running for state rep and not hoping for a career in the WNBA. Her performance in the women’s free throw shooting contest was, well … let’s just say that at least she didn’t do any worse than fellow school committee member Brandi Carpenter. They both tried their hardest, even if they didn’t win the prize.

  • Showing off some nice basketball skills in the free throw contest was a Bettencourt. No, not the Mayor himself, who once starred for the Holy Cross basketball team. Peabody’s First Lady, Andrea Bettencourt, used a smooth follow through to take second place in the women’s free throw shootout.
  •  Finally, for those who care, I did have a “reunion” with an old political foe. Ward 5 Councilor Joel Saslaw chased me down across the basketball court to say hello, and give me an indication that he’s a big fan of this blog. “Bobby, Bobby, just wanted to say hello, even though you keep taking pot shots at me (in The Eye),” said Mr. Saslaw.

…  Oh, did I also mention that Curious Creatures brought some snakes to show the kids?

 

Stonewood owner asked to play by rules; Councilors Manning-Martin, Sinewitz shine

14 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

The Peabody City Council – at least two courageous members – told the owner of the Stonewood Tavern last night that he just had to follow the rules. Sal Palumbo had originally planned to go before the council to “amend” his entertainment license to allow him to play host to bands at a nightclub he built as an addition to his successful restaurant on Lynnfield Street.

Councilor Barry Sinewitz

Councilor Barry Sinewitz

Problem was, he was looking to expand an entertainment license for a nightclub that he erected without city council approval. The city council back in July of 2011 approved a special permit for a 95-seat restaurant, which since opening had been a welcomed addition to the neighborhood.

But suddenly, several months ago, Mr. Palumbo added on a nightclub and began rocking the foundations of South Peabody with 8-piece bands. Last night, after understanding that his attempt to amend his entertainment license was going to fail, Palumbo requested that his petition be withdrawn without prejudice. The council agreed 9-0 to allow him to withdraw his petition, but not before Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz, and Councilor At-Large Anne Manning-Martin gave him a little rock performance of their own.

Councilor Anne Manning-Martin

Councilor Anne Manning-Martin

“You went wild over there. Wild,” Manning-Martin said while addressing Palumbo, and … she was just only warming up. “You’re a businessman doing business in Peabody, who in the near future needs to be kept on a short leash.”

Manning-Martin went on to say that she would like to ask the licensing board whether Stonewood had also violated it’s liquor license by opening the nightclub. “You should be fined,” she added.

Sinewitz was a little kinder, yet still made sure to let Palumbo know that his end-run around the process and the city council won’t be tolerated.  “What I wonder is whether he’s going to have bands there this Friday and Saturday night,” asked Sinewitz, who later made a motion for an emergency preamble for Mayor Ted Bettencourt to sign,  which requests that the police department visit the Stonewood this weekend to ensure that no live bands will be performing.

While Manning-Martin and Sinewitz handed out what seemed like the perfect response in this situation. other councilors leaned more toward sending Mr. Palumbo for a timeout in chair in his dining room. Ward 1 Councilor Barry Osborne, who really owns some of the responsibility here for not letting Palumbo know that he needed to bring his nightclub plans before the city council, sounded at times like he wanted to give the Stonewood owner a hug while telling him to please be good from now on.

Most of the other council members were totally silent.

Great work by Manning-Martin and Sinewitz.

As Sinewitz put it perfectly: “This isn’t a witch hunt. It’s about following the rules.”

Quick response in seeking to make St. Adelaide Church crosswalk safer

1 Feb

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Lately, we’ve been seeing more action by our elected officials to ensure that they are indeed doing the peoples’ business when it comes to quality of life issues in Peabody’s neighborhoods.

A few weeks ago, Mayor Ted Bettencourt ordered a cease and desist order on a Route 1 developer who is destroying residents’ property near Winona Street, and yesterday – after hearing the concerns of City Councilors Anne Manning-Martin and Tom Gould – the Mayor ordered a cease and desist on a billboard monstrosity on Lowell Street near Route 1 that might violate the terms of a special permit.

Councilor Barry Sinewitz

Councilor Barry Sinewitz

Now, we add to this list some quick action on a safety issue in front of St. Adelaide’s Church.  After an elderly parishioner was tragically hit by a car in the crosswalk and died while leaving mass, parish leaders – including Ms. Colleen Derrivan – reached out to Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz.

Doing what a ward councilor is supposed to do and recognizing this as a safety issue for those residents he represents, Sinewitz immediately asked City Council Safety Committee Chair Mike Garabedian if he could convene a meeting at City Hall to talk about ways to make the crosswalk on Lowell Street in front of the West Peabody church safer.

The public meeting at City Hall will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m., and while it’s unfortunate that it took such a tragedy to make everyone realize that something needed to be done about that crossing, it’s great to see immediate action by our elected officials yet again.