By Alan Burke
---- — PEABODY — “We’re going to have to sit down and make some plans,” said a triumphant Leah Cole after Tuesday’s victory in the Republican primary for state representative.
Cole is preparing to face off against School Committee member Beverley Ann Griffin Dunne, the unopposed winner of the Democrat primary, and City Councilor Dave Gravel, who is unenrolled, in the April 2 special election.
But what of Greg Bunn, who failed by 52 votes in his race with Cole for the nomination? He quickly threw his support to Cole, but when asked if he plans to run for another office, Bunn begged off answering.
“It’s difficult,” he said, gesturing to his understandably glum volunteers and explaining that it wasn’t a decision he could make on this grim election night.
Republicans have shown a spark of life in Peabody — running counter to the rest of the state, for example, and voting for U.S. Sen. Scott Brown last November — which might explain why the state representative race attracted enough interest to inspire the all-but-unheard-of phenomenon of a Republican primary.
Lapsed Republican Dave McGeney is a school board member, former candidate for mayor and keen pol watcher whose journey took him to the Democratic Party and then to an independent status. The test for his former party, McGeney said prior to Tuesday’s contest, is whether viable candidates like Bunn have the fight necessary to get back in there and run again.
He rattled off the names of several popular city officials, Gravel included, who didn’t give up after losing their first race.
I think that I shall never see ...
A legal notice about a tree.
City councilors were gratified to learn that Peabody is fortunate to have tree-loving citizens who will come to the defense of our leafy companions when they are condemned under a quirky state law that allows people to demand the destruction of even healthy trees. Dubbed “tree-huggers,” these defenders monitor the legal notices for word that a tree has been slated for execution, then step in to try to stop the “treeicide.”
“And how many people read the legal notices?” asked council President Tom Gould, impressed at their dedication.
When councilor Dave Gamache promptly raised his hand, Gould cracked, “Just in case somebody leaves you money.”
All about the ice cream
Gould, the owner of Treadwell’s Ice Cream, was still in a needling mood when police officers and firefighters arrived at City Hall last week to explain their proposed memorial to public safety employees. It would be financed, in part, by selling engraved bricks meant to surround two life-size statues of a police officer and firefighter.
Those interested can check out their website at www.peabodymemorial.org.
Gould nodded to member Mike Garabedian and said, “Garabedian’s got the money. He’ll buy a brick.”
“Yeah,” Garabedian shot back. “I’ll get a loan from Treadwell’s.”
“It’s all about Treadwell’s,” Gould lamented.
Have one for the voters
Elections have traditionally been held here on Tuesdays, but City Clerk Tim Spanos had a practical suggestion when he heard that the winner of the Republican primary for state representative, Cole, was having her victory party at Champions Pub.
“Too bad the election wasn’t Thursday,” he said sympathetically. “It’s Mai Tai Night there on Thursdays.”
There goes the judge
If you meant to attend last Tuesday’s hearing at Superior Court on the controversial Total Outdoor Corp. billboard on Lowell Street, well, you were disappointed. The hearing was rescheduled to March 18 because Judge Howard Whitehead was ill.
The city wants the billboard taken down and moved, saying that it was constructed in the wrong place.