SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

September 20, 2013

Ayles promises to bring long-range vision

BY PAUL LEIGHTON
STAFF WRITER

---- — BEVERLY — As the former chief financial officer and current deputy director of a nonprofit organization with a $20 million budget, Bryant Ayles said he knows how to plan for the future.

It’s the type of vision that can be put to good use on the City Council, he said.

“I want to make sure there’s somebody at the table with a finance background and has demonstrated a history of making long-term, strategic decisions,” he said. “We need more of a long-term vision and strategy for the city to get into the next 20 years.”

Ayles, a Beverly native, is the deputy director for the Massachusetts Children’s Trust Fund, which works to prevent child abuse and neglect. One of his jobs is to advocate for legislation on Beacon Hill that supports child safety.

“My organization wants to make sure the dollars we invest are investing in programs that have proven they can deliver the desired outcomes, so you’re not just throwing money at a program,” he said.

An accountant by training, Ayles has also worked for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue conducting municipal audits for school districts. He said his work has given him a strong knowledge of municipal and state budgeting.

Ayles said the city must make sure that the Ventron land near the Beverly-Salem bridge is developed in way that won’t harm the Goat Hill and downtown neighborhoods.

He would like to see a “longer-term strategy” for the waterfront that includes a mix of the working waterfront, retail and recreation. He would also keep his constituents informed about the progress of the scheduled Route 1A/Rantoul Street reconstruction project.

“I really view a council member as an advocate and a voice for people,” he said. “Having the ability to build a good, strong relationship with the mayor and city departments is only going to make good things happen in your ward. At the end of the day, you need to build consensus and have those relationships to rely on others to get things done.”

Bryant Ayles Age: 36 Address: 30 Hale St. Job: Deputy director of the Massachusetts Children's Trust Fund Education: Bachelor's degree in accounting from Bryant University Family: Wife, Ericka; daughters Bridget, 7, and Nola, 5; son, Thomas, 2 Community involvement: Advocating for child safety at state level Previous elective office: None