, Salem, MA

Local News

November 6, 2013

Gould tops Peabody council race, Walsh returns


Ward 1 Councilor Barry Osborne, Ward 4’s Bob Driscoll and Ward 6’s Barry Sinewitz had no opposition.

Other office holders able to skate to re-election unopposed included three sitting School Committee members: Jarrod Hochman, Beverley Griffin-Dunne and Tom Rossignol. Dunne, who ran for state representative in last winter’s special election, was the high scorer with 6,355 votes.

Bettencourt, in his first try at re-election, proved popular enough to scare off any opponent. Stepping in for the retiring Michael Bonfanti two years ago, his first term was marked by the decision to build a $92 million middle school (the state is paying about half that) and a strong start toward the rehabilitation of the downtown. More recently, he won votes to appropriate $7.6 million for improvements that include restoring West Peabody’s Crystal Lake and installing a turf football field at the high school.

Supporter and longtime Democratic party official Mike Schulze credits Bettencourt’s energy and ideas with his ability to discourage opposition.

“He’s been straight out from the day he got in. You can hardly get to him, he’s so busy. And he’s got a lot done,” he said.

Schulze was likewise not surprised by Walsh, noting that he’s seen large crowds at all his events. “Because he’s a known factor. He’s been around a long time. A councilor, school committee member, state representative and funeral home director. He’s a guy everybody knows.”

He also noted the popularity of Tom Gould across the city. “I guess people like ice cream,” he joked — Gould owns Treadwells.

Victory came easy for the lone candidate to sit on the Peabody Municipal Light Plant board, incumbent Charles Bonfanti, brother of former Mayor Mike Bonfanti.

The six candidates running for four seats as library trustee included winners Jean Ahearn and Donald MacAllister, both incumbents, and Stephanie Najjar and Paul Misci.

Alan Burke can be reached at




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