Tag Archives: peabody elections

Peabody should be proud of its chief elections official for doing the right thing

10 Sep

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

We spend some of our time in this space pointing out when those on our public payroll don’t do the right thing when it comes to the public trust.

So, it’s only fair that we also point out when public officials do the right thing. Today is one of those days.

I’ve always known Peabody City Clerk Tim Spanos to be both professional and honorable, and my positive opinion of the job he does as the city’s chief election official was affirmed last night when my wife Maureen and I went to vote at the Kiley School polling place.

Following some very bad behavior by poll workers at the Kiley when I ran for Ward 5 Councilor in last fall’s city election, Mr. Spanos not only took my complaint seriously, but he also acted to ensure that no candidate would ever have his or her bid for office jeopardized by unprofessional, and potentially illegal activities by supposedly unbiased election officials.

Simply put, he cleaned house at the Kiley. Poll workers who participated in campaigning for my opponent, Joel Saslaw, while on duty as election officials, are no longer working the polls.

Saslaw’s margin of victory was less than 90 votes, and the behavior of these rogue poll workers immediately questioned the validity of the outcome. Spanos also banned the use of cell phones inside polling places across the city, since the bad actor poll workers in question used their phones for their illegal electioneering activities.

This is the first time I’ve written about the episode, choosing instead to file official complaints with the Secretary of State, State Ethics Commission, and Mr. Spanos. I initially thought about legal action against the city, but Tim Spanos’ responsiveness and professionalism during that time gave me the confidence that I could trust him to take care of the situation.

He did, and now any future candidate who decides to run against Mr. Saslaw can expect a level playing field on Election Day.

It’s nice to know that Peabody voters can be secure in the knowledge that we have an honest and professional man as our chief elections official.

Hats off to Tim Spanos.

Follow Bob on Twitter @eyeonpeabody

Poll: How do you feel about taking voting out of the schools

14 Nov

Some members of the Peabody School Committee, citing student safety and disruption of the educational process, would like ban the city from using schools as polling locations on Election Day.

How do you feel about the issue?

5 candidates beat deadline, qualify for the State Rep special election ballot

22 Jan

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

I’ll have more on this in the coming days, including some more polls, but ladies and gentlemen, the following candidates made today’s deadline to qualify for the ballot to run in the special election for State Rep in the 12th House District.

There will be both a Republican and a Democratic primary on March 5, followed by the final election on April 2.

Unenrolled canddiate Dave Gravel

Dave Gravel, unenrolled, on final ballot

Democrat James Moutsoulos

Dunne

Democrat Beverley Griffin Dunne

Republican Gregory Bunn

Republican Greg Bunn

Republican Leah Cole

Republican Leah Cole

Dates finally set for Peabody State Rep special election

3 Jan

By Bob Croce, Eye on Peabody

stateThe entire process will be over in just 13 weeks as the dates have been set for the special election to fill the Peabody State Rep seat left vacant with the passing of Joyce Spilliotis.

The Mass. Secretary of State’s office reports that the primary election in the 12th Essex District will take place on March 5, followed by the final election on April 2.

And there is not much time to get into the race, since nomination papers, with no less than 150 certified signatures, must be submitted to the Peabody City Clerk’s office by no later than 5 p.m. on Jan.22.

So far, the only declared Democratic candidates known to the Eye are School Committee member Beverley Griffin Dunne, and former Ward 3 Councilor Jim Moutsoulas. If both Dunne and Moutsoulas return their papers, it would necessitate a Democratic Primary.

Councilor At-Large David Gravel, who has official organized a committee through the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) , will need to run as an independent. To run as either a Democrat or Republican, you would have had to been an enrolled member one of those parties as of Oct. 31, 2012.  Gravel is currently listed as “unenrolled,” and all he or any other independent candidate would need to get on the final ballot is at least 150 certified signatures.

You must also live in Peabody Wards 1-4, or Ward 5 (Precincts 1 and 3 only)

Other candidates who have been speculated about on the Democratic side include Peabody attorney John Slattery, who held the 12th Essex seat before Spilliotis.  Slattery recently made an unsuccessful bid to beat  Salem’s Joan Lovely in a special election to replace retiring State Senator Fred Berry.

Ward 5 resident Gregory Bunn, has entered the race on the Republican side, registering a committee with OCPF on Dec. 24th.  Kosma Evangelidis told the Boston Globe earlier that he was running, meaning there would be a primary on the Republican side if both he and Bunn entered the fray.

There has been speculation that Peabody Councilor At-Large Anne Manning-Martin might jump into the race as an independent, but so far she has not told the Eye whether she is in or out.

Poll: Who would you support for Peabody State Rep seat?

12 Dec

Note to all those who would still like to vote in our poll. We’ll be announcing the latest results tonight on the “You Make The Call” show, 8-9 p.m.,  on PAT Channel 99.

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

I’ve had people ask me to do this poll so we can, at this stage, measure the electability of candidates and potential candidates for Peabody’s open State Rep seat. This poll is not scientific, but it has been set up so people can only vote once.  I’ve been asked by some influential Peabody politicos to conduct this poll, so it’s important that we get as many people to vote as possible. The results here could end up influencing, in a big way, who will end up supporting who.

If you live in Ward 6 or Ward 5, Prec. 2, I respectfully ask that you don’t vote here, so we don’t skew the results.

If you are a candidate or a potential candidate, spread the word with your supporters. I have left out both Tom Gould and Sean Fitzgerald, since both recently said that they would not run for the seat.

If your candidate is missing here, please list your choice in the comments section. Your vote is TOTALLY anonymous. Even I can’t tell who is voting.

New ‘You Make The Call’ show tonight on PAT Ch. 99

12 Dec

phoneJoin us tonight for a new live “You Make the Call Show.”

We’ll be talking about the State Rep special election, the city council’s decision to ban pot shops, and more!

Show is on PAT Channel 99. 8-9 p.m.

Gould says he’s definitely not running for State Rep

8 Dec

Take our poll on your choice in the State Rep special election

Bob Croce, EOP Publsher 

Follow on Twitter @EyeOnPeabody

Tom Gould

Tom Gould

Peabody City Councilor At-Large Tom Gould told me this afternoon that he has decided not to run in the special election to replace late State Representative Joyce Spilliotis. Gould said he made the decision this week after talking with his family, and after evaluating how running a campaign this spring might affect his focus when it comes to his Peabody business, Treadwell’s Ice Cream.

“I’m out. I’m definitely not in,” said Gould, who after topping the ticket at-large in his first run for office in 2011, was being a considered a very strong candidate to replace former Rep Spilliotis. “I’m flattered that so many people thought highly enough of me to ask me to run, but I have a lot of things on my plate right now, including running my business.”

Gould’s departure from the race leaves just Beverley Dunne as the only candidate right now on the Democratic side. Sources are telling us that Councilor At-Large Dave Gravel will seek the seat as an independent. If no other Democrat steps forward, both Dunne and Gravel would be on the final ballot. All independents need to do is get the required 150 signatures, while Dunne would face a primary challenge should another Democrat step forward.

So far, no candidates have shown interest in running as Republicans, although Councilor At-Large Anne Manning. who is registered as unenrolled, is said to be considering a run. Manning lost to Spilliotis twice in Democratic primaries, but there’s a chance she could enter the race either as an independent or a Republican.

No date has been chosen for the special election, and according to Peabody City Clerk Tim Spanos, those dates are up to the State Legislature to decide.

Spilliotis passed away less than two weeks ago after losing her battle to cancer, and after serving the people of Peabody as a library trustee, then councilor at-large, and then state rep since the early 1990s.

The Eye will continue follow developments here, so please be sure to check back regularly.

Want to run for State Rep? Here’s your chance

6 Dec

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

I’m beginning to hear some things around town and through my social media channels that lead me to believe that this special election to fill the State Rep seat vacated by our friend Joyce Spilliotis, is going to be like no other election in recent memory here in our sometimes politically apathetic burg.

stateAlthough we’re hearing interest from several people with electoral pedigree,  I’m also hearing from some unknowns and political neophytes, who tell me they would like to run.

That’s right. You might actually see some totally grassroots candidates on the final ballot.

The requirements for making it to the final ballot are not that daunting. Essentially, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be a registered voter
  • Must be a US citizen
  • Must be a resident of the district for one year preceding the date of the election
  • Must get at least 150 certified signatures from registered voters.

If you live in Wards 1-4 and part of Ward 5 (the city hall clerk’s office can let you know if you qualify here), that’s ALL you need to do to get on the final ballot as an independent candidate.  If you want to run as a Democrat, you definitely need to win a primary against some better known, better financed candidates. But not if want to run as “unenrolled.”

This could set up some interesting scenarios on the final ballot. Conceivably, we could end up with one Democrat, one Republican, and several “independents.”

So … if you have always wanted to run for office, here’s your chance. City Clerk Tim Spanos says it’s up to the State Legislature to decide on the election dates, and that hasn’t happened yet. When it does, though, we’ll be sure to let everyone know when nomination papers will be available.

By the way, if you’d like to announce your candidacy here on EOP, just let me know.

Dunne, Gould, and Gravel positioning for potential run for open State Rep seat

5 Dec

Gould says he has decided not to run for state rep. See the updated version of this story by clicking here.

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Beverley

Beverley Dunne (left), meeting here with Mayor Ted Bettencourt, will run to fill the seat left open by late State Rep Joyce Spilliotis

The race to succeed late State Representative Joyce Spilliotis is unofficially underway, with at least three potential candidates already making calls to line up support.

EOP has learned that School Committee member Beverley Dunne, who was a close friend and supporter of Representative Spilliotis will run for the seat in a yet-to-be-announced special election.

Others who have been calling around  town seeking out early support include current Councilors At-Large Tom Gould and David Gravel. Dunne and Gould would run as Democrats, meaning there will be a primary sometime after the first of the year, likely in March. Contrary to what we reported earlier tonight, EOP is now not able to confirm if Gravel would also run as a Democratic. A Facebook friend source told me tonight that he heard Gravel would run as an independent.

EOP has also learned that former Rep John Slattery, who recently lost in his bid to replace retiring Senator Fred Berry, is unlikely to run for the state rep seat, which was held by Spilliotis for 10 years until her death a week ago. The district includes Peabody Wards 1-4 and part of Ward 5.

Tom Gould

Tom Gould

Dunn is a very popular member of the school committee, who would have been up for re-election this fall. Gould in 2011 topped the ticket during the Councilor At-Large race in his first run for public office, and Gravel has served on both the school committee and city council.

As for pure speculation, I wouldn’t be surprised if Councilor At-Large Anne Manning, who lost twice in state rep races against Spilliotis, might also be considering another run.

So far, there seem to be no candidates on the Republican side, but if we were to simply speculate, it wouldn’t be outrageous to wonder if former Governor’s Councilor Mary Ellen Manning might be

Dave Gravel

Dave Gravel

interested.  Mary Ellen Manning recently finished third to Joan Lovely and Slattery in the Democratic primary for Berry’s seat, and right after that loss left the Democratic Party by changing her voting status to “unenrolled.” Of course, if her sister Ann Manning is in on the Democratic side, it’s highly unlikely that Mary Ellen will run.

Then again, is it also possible that Anne Manning might run as a Republican, since she was a  supporter of Republican Richard Tisei in his unsuccessful recent run against Democrat Congressman JohnTierney.

Speculating even further, another Republican with a track record for winning citywide is School Committee member and attorney Jarrod Hochman. But a source told me tonight that Hochman said today he would not run.

Definitely more to come on this story …