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February 7, 2013

Heard Around Peabody: Watch out for the black and tans

(Continued)

The idea came to him, Heafey said, after he was parked at a meter and the time expired before he could return to feed in more nickels. A ticket resulted. He thinks the idea would serve in two ways. It would be good for those who have borne the battle, particularly those who are disabled, Purple Heart winners, Gold Star families and former prisoners of war. It would also give the city good public relations.

“It’s really not too much to ask,” he wrote, “small pocket change for years of training and service.”

Because we said so

Much of government spending comes courtesy of mandates from both Boston and Washington. At a recent City Council meeting Dave Gamache reached his breaking point after Mayor Bettencourt called for $1 million in improvements to the city’s water treatment plant.

It’s a federal mandate, the mayor explained.

“We can’t afford these mandates anymore,” Gamache said. “When I hear the word mandate, it’s Big Brother.” Others make the demands, he complained, but never kick in any money. The localities are expected to pay for them instead.

“When I was on the school board, Dave,” replied collegue Jim Liacos, “it was worse. Everything came down and none of it was funded.”

State Auditor Suzanne Bump recently released a survey showing the cost of unfunded mandates statewide at $11 million.

Gamache urged contacting the city’s delegates on Beacon Hill and in Washington to complain.

Bye-bye senator

Long time John Kerry backer Mike Schulze had a front row seat as the U.S. senator made a farewell to his constituents at a Faneuil Hall rally last Thursday. Kerry is moving on to a job as the nation’s secretary of state.

“There was a group of us there known as the Kerry Alumni,” said Schulze, who has backed his fellow Vietnam vet throughout his political career. “He acknowledged us from the stage.”

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