SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election

October 29, 2010

Beverly candidates battle over time they will devote to position

(Continued)

Schetzsle said Brown's job history is irrelevant to the people of Beverly, who he said deserve a full-time representative on Beacon Hill.

Schetzsle resigned from his job as a marketing manager at Gillette in August due to a company policy that prohibits employees from running for public office. As a full-time state representative, he said, he would attend all committee hearings, as well as formal and informal legislative hearings.

"I'd like to see (Parisella) look taxpayers in the face and say, 'I'm only going to do this part time,' particularly in this economic environment," Schetzsle said.

Massachusetts is one of 10 states that have what could be called a full-time legislature, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. About 43 percent of Massachusetts legislators hold other jobs, according to the NCSL. Among those who do, attorney is the No. 1 profession.

North Shore legislators have taken different approaches to holding other jobs while serving in the House of Representatives.

State Rep. John Keenan, a Salem Democrat, said he practices law on a "very minimal scale." He said working a second job keeps him "grounded" in the community and keeps his skills honed for the day when he is no longer a state representative and will return to the private sector.

"Many of my days start at 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning and go to late at night," he said. "I certainly don't have a problem with that."

Democratic state Rep. Lori Ehrlich of Marblehead, meanwhile, gave up her work as a certified public accountant last year to devote full time to her state representative job.

"I think it's an individual choice based on the demands of that second occupation," she said. "Bobby Fennell (a state representative from Lynn) runs a diner. It's a way he can keep in touch with his constituents. Certain jobs are OK."

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