SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 18, 2013

Mayor wants interim rep

Peabody: Bettencourt petitioning to temporarily fill Joyce Spiliotis' seat

Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt is petitioning Gov. Deval Patrick for the right to appoint an interim state representative to fill the seat of the late Joyce Spiliotis until the winner of a special election scheduled for April 2 can be sworn in.

Bettencourt foresees a process similar to Patrick’s plan to appoint an interim U.S. senator to replace John Kerry, who is under consideration to be the new U.S. secretary of state. Under state law, the interim senator would serve until a special election can be held.

In a letter to the governor, the mayor stressed that the interim state representative, like the proposed interim senator, would pledge not to run for the seat.

“This individual would be someone with familiarity with the state budget process, as well as constituent service,” he wrote.

No names are suggested, however.

The mayor believes that without a sitting state representative, the city will have a diminished voice at a time when the state budget is being formulated. He wrote, “Particularly during the early portion of the legislative session when your budget proposal is released and district budget priorities articulated, I feel the city of Peabody will be at a significant disadvantage.”

State Rep. Ted Speliotis’ district includes a ward in Peabody but mainly encompasses Danvers.

The mayor does not cite any precedent for giving him the power to make such an appointment nor any law that would allow it.

“I think it’s a very good try,” Speliotis said. “You lose nothing by trying.” But even if Patrick desires to make it happen, he added, “I don’t think the governor has the authority.”

Speliotis pointed to the separation of powers and the fact that the Legislature controls the special election process.

“This letter may need to be resubmitted to the speaker (of the House of Representatives),” he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
Comments Tracker