SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

July 2, 2013

Councilors explain meeting absences

(Continued)

“We all miss meetings occasionally,” Gamache said. In this case, he had alerted the clerk ahead of time, he said.

“I called Tim, and I told him I wasn’t going to make it,” Gamache said.

Meanwhile, Ward 1 Councilor Barry Osborne was in Fort Worth, Texas, on a business trip. He, likewise, had given warning that he would not be able to attend. Even so, there has been a backlash from constituents over the missed meeting, he noted.

“People aren’t happy, but they don’t want to listen to explanations,” he said.

Two other absent councilors could not be reached for comment. At-large Councilor Jim Liacos and Ward 3 Councilor Rico Mello have already announced that they will retire at the end of the year. Gamache has also declared his intention to retire.

Spanos agreed that the canceled meeting was something of a freak incident. Attendance has not been a problem in Peabody, and councilors are kept busy with a biweekly regular meeting, subcommittee meeting and neighborhood meetings. Having even as many as three councilors miss a regular City Council meeting is a rare occurrence.

The next council meeting is scheduled for July 11.

Staff writer Alan Burke can be reached at aburke@salemnews.com.

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