SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 8, 2013

McGinn: Downtown flooding, property taxes are priorities

Editor’s note: Peter McGinn and Arthur Athas are both candidates for Ward 2 city councilor. The election is Tuesday, Nov. 5.

PEABODY — Peter McGinn has a tough job ahead of him — as a novice candidate, he is trying to unseat a longtime incumbent and win the seat of Ward 2 city councilor. On the other hand, he boasts impressive political bloodlines as the brother of John McGinn, campaign manager for the legendary former Mayor Peter Torigian.

At 50, Peter has helped to raise four children while participating in roughly a dozen groups like the Community Preservation Committee, Habitat for Humanity and the St. John the Baptist finance committee. Public service “is a bit of bug” in the McGinn family, he said.

Running for office had to wait, however, until his children were older.

“And we’re working hard to win it. We definitely know what we’re up against.” McGinn added, “It’s really not about my opponent (Councilor Arthur Athas). I have no ax to grind.”

Working in electronics for Avnet, McGinn believes his technical background will be an asset for the city. He has long been interested in the downtown, a part of his district, working previously on a committee for development formed by Torigian. Likewise, he’s a booster of Mayor Ted Bettencourt’s efforts there, praising the increase in safety.

“Myself, my wife and children are down there daily,” he said.

Preventing downtown flooding and relieving Peabody of the poor public relations that comes with it would be a priority, he said. He embraces the city’s traditional low tax approach but seeks to balance that against the need to accomplish some projects. State and federal money could be sought in such cases, he believes.

Peter McGinn

  • Address: 8 Park St.
  • Age: 50
  • Employment: Director of local business operations, Avnet
  • Education: Peabody High School; Bachelor of Science, University of Vermont; Master of Science, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
  • Family: Wife, Jeannette, four children ages 21, 20, 17 and 13
  • Elected office: None
  • Community: Mayor's downtown advisory committee, Community Preservation Committee, Downtown Planning Committee, St. John the Baptist finance and school committees, Boy Scout Troop 119, Knights of Columbus, Ancient Order of Hibernians and Peabody Historical Society
  • Health: Will not take city health insurance
  • Pastimes: Likes to ski and hike

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