Tag Archives: Bob Croce for Ward 5 Councilor

Grateful for family, friends, and supporters met along the way

7 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

SUNRISEIt’s tough losing an election. The months of hard work puts major stress on not only the candidate, but his family and friends too. When things don’t work out on election night, there is shock, followed by disappointment, and then some frustration.

But if you did it right, and still lost, if you truly ran a campaign where you put the focus on helping people and sticking up for neighbors and neighborhoods, election night’s disappointment fades as quickly as that next day’s sunset.

Today, I have reached that point. The sun came up this morning, just as it always does, and with it came satisfaction for this former candidate. Despite battling money and power, we lost the election for Ward 5 Councilor by just 89 votes. Despite having what seemed like the entire Ward 5 political and business establishment against me because I promised to always be on the side of taxpaying residents, our underdog campaign almost pushed it across the goal line in sudden death overtime.

We fell short, but we’re not disappointed anymore. Why? Because we had the right message and we put a scare into those whom are more interested in making a buck than they are with protecting the quality of life of residents. We scared them so much that they filled my opponent’s campaign war chest with thousands of dollars, and helped with a massive get out the vote effort on election night.  Their GOTV effort was just better than our GOTV effort, and they made sure since they wanted no part of this independent-minded Ward 5 Councilor candidate.

But I know as well as anyone that this will always be the nature of politics, and at the end of the day, people get to choose who they want based on what they hear and who they like. That’s America at its finest, and I believe in the system. We lost. That’s just the way it is.

Mr. Saslaw and his team were just able to convince a few more people than we could. He now says he’s with the residents, and I wish him well in his pursuit. I expect, though, that it’s going to be hard to say no to developers who just covered you in cash, and carried you across the finish line.

As for me, I’m just not sure where the political winds will blow me. It’s too soon to do anything other than thank those family members and friends whom I love, and tell them how much I appreciate everything they did for me. There are too many names to name here, so I anticipate writer’s cramp from so many thank you notes in the coming weeks.

I’ll also never forget the people who supported me because they liked my message when I came to their doors during the long campaign. Today, just as I was starting to feel down again, an elderly woman from my neighborhood — who I didn’t even know before meeting her on Election Day — called to tell me it was a “pleasure voting for you.” And then, she told me a story that inspired me to start thinking about my next step.

It was a story about her son, who was diagnosed with dyslexia back in the 1950s, only at first they didn’t know what it was, and because of it he began failing in school. Persistence and a mother’s love and determination forced this son to not give up.

He somehow made it through the Peabody Schools, and kept working hard enough to make it into college. Despite several setbacks along the way, the son — pushed by his wonderful mom — not only graduated from college, but went on to grad school and then got his PhD in education. He just recently retired from his job as Superintendent of Schools for a South Shore community.

His mom, meanwhile, despite being 87-years-old, legally blind and needing a walker, made it to the polls at the Kiley School on Tuesday after our campaign was able to give her a ride.  When I thanked her for going above and beyond to support me like that, all she said to me was:

“You’re a good guy. You deserved it. I didn’t give up on my son, and I wasn’t going to give up on you.”

You know, maybe I did go down to defeat because I said I would always take the side of residents like this great lady who is my neighbor. But … I think I can live with that, and even start sleeping through the night again.

Here’s to another beautiful sunrise.

Why I want to be Ward 5 Councilor: I’m in it to be a serious public servant for you

30 Oct

(Please vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5th. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

By Bob Croce, Ward 5 Councilor Candidate

Why am I running?

Well, it’s simple: I want to represent the people of Ward 5, and be on their side no matter what. It’s not complicated being an effective ward councilor: People call you with a question or concern, and you help them.

I’m not in this to take campaign contributions from attorneys of notorious developers, or to put campaign signs on the properties of some developers and some business owners who could care less about the rights of taxpaying residents. You’ll never see one of my signs on the Golden Banana either.

I love where I live. My wife Maureen and I raised two beautiful daughters right there on Goodale Street. We actually know that the little neighborhood elementary school the girls went to is spelled K-I-L-E-Y. It was named after two brothers who grew up in the neighborhood, joined the military, and paid the ultimate sacrifice to their community and their country.

I’m not running to be one of the “cool kids” either. This is about becoming a serious and dedicated public servant, and not “Sophomore Class President.”

There are a lot of issues that pose serious threats to quality of life, and these issues need the attention of a serious public servant, who will always return your phone calls, and always seek a solution to every issue no matter how large or small.

In the past seven months, I’ve visited over 1,000 homes in Ward 5, and I’ve listened. It’s these visits that taught me what the job of ward councilor is all about. It’s all about people who pay their taxes on time, and expect their quality of life to be protected, not trampled on. You learn these things not by waving at cars on a street corner, or by putting multiple signs in front of abandoned buildings, or gas stations. You learn these things by actually talking to voters.  On these visits to many of your homes, it amazed me to learn that I was the only Ward 5 candidate who visited to learn about what you felt was important.

This isn’t about “grasping at straws.” It’s about listening, and then making sure that I make it clear that it’s all about the residents, and not about me. This wasn’t “a good opportunity for me to run.” It was an opportunity to try and give back to a community that has given so much to my family and me.

No, I’m not in this attempting to win elective office to become one of the “cool kids” in town.

I’m in this always and only for you. I’m in this to serve.

If that’s the kind of Ward 5 Councilor you want, then the choice is pretty clear, and I would be honored to have your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Sincerely,

Bob Croce, Your Candidate for Ward 5 Councilor

Companies putting up new, giant electronic billboards on Route 1 bear watching

9 Apr

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

What the Peabody City Council approved unanimously back in December,  could become a reality this week when Clear Channel Communications goes before the Mass. Office of  Outdoor Advertising (MOOA) to seek four electronic billboard permits on Route 1.

billboardThe new signs are at 71 Newbury (near Santarpio’s Pizza)  and 201 Newbury (a little South of Lowell Street).  It’s two polls, but Clear Channel needs four permits, since the signs have both South facing and North facing sides. At this point, we don’t have a true indication of what affect these billboards might have on this Ward 5 neighborhood.  But considering the battle we are in with another outdoor advertising company, Total Outdoor Corp, over a misplaced billboard on Lowell Street near Route 1, it’s important for the city to be vigilant on these new signs.

In any event,  we continue to have an issue in Ward 5, particularly on Route 1, when it comes to intrusive and excessive development, including the destruction of property on Winona Street due in part to a project by developer Richard Marchese.

The billboard issue needs watching. Although there is only so much we can do legally to stop these roadside eyesores from going up, we need to ensure that theses companies abide by the terms of their special permits.  In many cases, there are appropriate places for these billboards, and it’s a nice piece of revenue for the city coffers.  But none of these giant advertising vehicles should be erected in areas where it has a negative affect on resident quality of life.

The city did a great job of that in shutting down Total Outdoor Corp when they placed their 90-foot billboard poll close to Lowell Street, and not where it was supposed to go. Now, we need to keep an eye on Clear Channel, a company with a reputation for not exactly caring about how their giant signs affect quality of life of people who live in the affected neighborhoods.

Today, I was contacted by the environmental group Scenic Massachusetts, which lobbies to ensure that billboard companies do not violate state regulations.

Scenic Mass wanted to thank me for my stance on billboards as a Ward 5 Councilor candidate, and inform me that the MOOA would hold a hearing on these new electronic signs on Thursday, April 11, 11 a.m., at the Transportation Building (10 Park Plaza, Boston). The public is welcome to attend, but I’ll also try to update everyone where on what happens in regards to Clear Channel’s permit request.

Stay tuned.