BY ALAN BURKE
---- — Editor’s note: Margaret Tierney and Russ Donovan are two of nine candidates running for five councilor-at-large seats in Peabody. The other candidates will be profiled in the coming days. The election takes place on Nov. 5
PEABODY — At-large council candidate Margaret Tierney, 46, is hoping to provide city government with what she sees as two vital qualities.
“I think people want change, and I also think they need a committed Democrat. ... We need to focus on that in Peabody. For years, it was a Democratic city.”
While at-large councilor is a nonpartisan office, Tierney is the cousin of Congressman John Tierney (D-Salem). Her family ties also extend to her late mother, Mary “Lovey” McNiff Tierney, and her late aunt Maggy McNiff McBreen, who both served memorably on the Peabody School Committee. She’s already gotten campaign help from the congressman, who attended a recent rally. It’s her second try for the council as previously, “I got some good numbers, but I did not get in.”
After two six-year terms as a library trustee, Tierney is eager to bring some variety to the council, which currently includes only one female, Anne Manning-Martin. “Women have a different way of thinking,” she said
For example, she noted that it’s largely women who support the Parent Teacher Organization. “A woman is a good thing to have on the council.”
She supports Mayor Ted Bettencourt’s efforts to revitalize the downtown, recalling times she felt her life in jeopardy crossing Main Street to the library. An attractive downtown, she said, is vital in getting families to live there.
As a councilor, Tierney would also focus on downtown flooding. She is generally supportive of recent council spending programs, construction of the new Higgins Middle School, repairing the City Hall roof, and restoring the roof and windows at the Peabody Institute Library.
“I’m not in favor of raising taxes,” she says. “But nothing comes free. ... The tax rate has always been good because we’ve let some things slip over the years.”
Margaret Tierney Address: 6 Scott Drive Employment: sales and marketing for All Care VNA, Hospice & Private Duty Education: Peabody High School; Bachelor of Arts, Fitchburg State Elected office: Library Trustee, two six-year terms Community: Friends of Peabody Institute Library, worked for campaign of Rep. John Tierney Health: Won't take city health insurance Pastime: Raises dogs, enjoys nieces and nephews