PEABODY — Tom Gould makes no effort to hide a natural optimism.
“There’s just a positive spirit going through the city,” he says. “I can feel it and I can see it. ... I always sound positive. But that’s me.”
Gould, 58, moved from 22 years as a machinist at General Electric to middle management to a new career as owner of Treadwell’s Ice Cream on Margin Street. All along he’s been interested in politics, and, with his kids grown, he realized he could run for office. “My wife gave me the OK,” he jokes.
He is seeking a second term as a councilor.
Gould supported the revitalization of downtown, voted to build a new Higgins Middle School and backed flood mitigation. At the same time, he urges care in spending.
“I want to see if we can keep the tax rate stabilized,” he says. To do that, “we should use some of the rainy day fund. ... I think the mayor would consider that.” He also sees revenue potential in Centennial Park: “Get it 100 percent occupied.”
Positive attitude notwithstanding, when asked what dissatisfies him in Peabody, Gould says, “I’d like to see us do a better job of keeping it clean. People need clean, safe streets and parks. ... And that doesn’t just take the city. It takes the residents, too. Everybody needs to get behind that.”
Gould married the sister of June Speliotis, whose husband, Ted, is the state representative for Danvers and West Peabody. The councilor acknowledges the veteran Democrat has imparted a few suggestions. “He’s been very supportive,” he says.
Earlier this year, Gould was rumored as a possible candidate for state representative. Instead he deferred to his spot on the council as Republican Leah Cole took the job in a three-way race. Asked if he might challenge Cole in next year’s contest, an effort to join his brother-in-law on Beacon Hill, Gould says, “I’m just concentrating on getting re-elected to the City Council.”