BEVERLY — Mayor Bill Scanlon officially endorsed Wes Slate for mayor yesterday, calling the city councilor “a serious man pursuing a serious job.”
In prepared remarks delivered on the lawn outside City Hall, Scanlon announced his support for the Ward 2 city councilor, while at the same time criticizing Slate’s opponent, Mike Cahill, without mentioning his name.
“If he says he will do something, he will do it,” Scanlon said of Slate. “If he says he will be somewhere, he will be there — on time and well-prepared. He readily makes himself available to constituents and is well-known for returning all calls and messages promptly.”
The praise for Slate highlighted by contrast what is likely to become one of the major issues of the campaign — the contention by Scanlon, and now Slate, that Cahill did not put in the necessary time and effort during his two years as president of the City Council.
Scanlon, who is not running for re-election, made that criticism two years ago when he survived a strong challenge by Cahill for the mayor’s office. Slate repeated the theme yesterday, saying he was “very disappointed” in Cahill’s work ethic as council president in 2010 and 2011.
“The council president has a lot of responsibility, not just running a good meeting,” Slate said. “It’s a lot of preparation, homework, and time and effort. If you don’t put that time in and just come in cold and follow a pre-set script, it’s much more difficult to get things done.”
To emphasize his point, Slate is using “Wes will do the work” as his campaign slogan and calling himself “Wes the workhorse” on his campaign website and literature, accompanied by a picture of a horse pulling a wagon.
Cahill could not be reached for comment. He left a voice mail message saying, “For over 20 years I have worked hard to serve the people of Beverly well. I have always invited people to the table and valued the public’s right to participate and contribute to our community.”