Tag Archives: politics

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.

 

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

Mayor asks governor if he can appoint an interim State Rep

18 Jan

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

It may be an unwinnable situation and a little too late, but it’s good to see that Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt is petitioning Governor Deval Patrick for the right to appoint an interim replacement for deceased State Representative Joyce Spilliotis.

The Mayor wants to ensure that, until a new rep is seated following the April 2nd special election, Peabody has its fair share of representation on Beacon Hill. The problem is that there is no precedent or law giving a mayor such powers to appoint, and it might end up taking an executive order from Patrick to allow this.

Bettencourt appointing an interim rep presents another potential sticky situation: Although Mayor of Peabody, he doesn’t even live in the open seat’s 12th Essex House District. A Ward 6 resident, Bettencourt is represented on Beacon Hill by Ted Spelliotis.

The Mayor says he would only appoint as the interim someone who is not running in the special election. So far, Democrats Beverley Dunne and James Moutsoulas, unenrolled candidate David Gravel, and Republicans Greg Bunn and Leah Cole have pulled nomination papers to run for the right to complete the final 19 months of Spilliotis’ term. The deadline for returning their petitions with at least 150 qualified signatures is Tuesday, Jan. 22. The 12thEssex seat represents Peabody Wards 1-4, and precincts 1 and 3 in Ward 5.

Let me know what you think in the comments section, and be sure to take our poll.

Two Republican candidates pull papers to run for state rep

16 Jan

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Gregory Bunn

Gregory Bunn

Been hoping for some new candidates?

Well, it  looks like you’ll get some, and as a result,  we could now have a race on the Republican side in the special election to replace Joyce Spilliotis for the 12th Essex State House seat.

Both Gregory Bunn and Leah Cole, who haven’t run for office in Peabody before, have pulled nomination papers.  If they each get 150 qualified signatures by Jan. 22, there will be a Republican primary fight on March 5, with the winner going on to the final election ballot on April 2.

Bunn, a Ward 5 resident,  is part of the management team for the North Shore Career Centers.  He is a former social worker with the Department of Mental Health.

Not many details on Cole yet, but Bunn has set up a Facebook page.

More details here from a story in today’s Patch.

And … there’s still time to pull papers for additional candidates who might be interested. To be eligible, you must live in Peabody Wards 1-4, or Ward 5,  Precinct 1 or 3.

Word on the street is that the former holder of this seat, attorney John Slattery, might be the next to jump in on the Democratic side, which already includes declared candidates Beverley Griffin Dunne and James Moutsoulas.

Councilor At-Large David Gravel will be on the final ballot with no party affiliation, since he’s seeking the office as an unenrolled candidate.