In general, Griffin Dunne is calling for a careful examination of state spending, prioritizing where the money goes. And she has no doubts about where public money needs to go in Peabody. “Correcting the flooding issue.” Doing it improves the city’s image, attracts new businesses and new residents, and improves the economic health of the entire city, she said.
“Bringing jobs to Peabody is very important,” Griffin Dunne says. “We are in the prime area for businesses. ... I have always advocated for Peabody as a great place to live and bring up your family.”
She speaks also of a need on the state level to “encourage people to use public transportation” by keeping those services up-to-date. “People need to be able to get to work.” Meanwhile, her long experience on the school board informs support for education spending.
Griffin Dunne quickly names friend Joyce Spiliotis as a role model. Her death in November left the seat vacant. Not surprisingly, Griffin Dunne hopes to follow in Spiliotis’ shoes by making constituent services a hallmark of her tenure.
“People come first,” she says.
Born in the J.B. Thomas Hospital, Griffin Dunne is thoroughly Peabody, attending city schools until she graduated from high school, Class of 1976.
“I actually designed our class ring,” she says, describing the image of “The Spirit of ’76” on its face.
She stresses that she had a happy childhood, her father, a welder, built his own company. For that matter, Griffin Dunne counts herself among the first generation of women able to dramatically break free of traditional gender roles. Taking a degree in public service from Northeastern, she later earned a law degree from the Vermont Law School, in 1983.
“I wanted to be a lawyer,” she said. “I went for what I wanted.”
Her introduction to public service included two years in the office of former Peabody Mayor and then-U.S. Rep. Nick Mavroules. Notwithstanding Mavroules’ subsequent corruption conviction, Griffin Dunne stresses his strengths and speaks well of her tenure.