BY ALAN BURKE
---- — PEABODY — Ward 5 council candidate Bob Croce has made a mark in Peabody with regular appearances on the Peabody Access TV’s “You Make the Call.”
“I like to take the contrary opinion,” he jokes of his interaction with veteran host Dick Jarvis. His decision to run for a council seat involves concerns over Peabody’s “quality of life,” a worry he’s heard repeatedly in months of campaigning. His children in college, Croce, 51, ran for at-large councilor two years ago, finishing sixth. “There was no other challenger when I got in. And I really wanted to give people a choice.”
This time Croce competes with Joel Saslaw. He promises constituents, “I’ll always be on their side when it comes to neighborhood issues. And I’ll always call you back.” Taxes are a concern, he says. “We need money. But we have to get it without putting a burden on the residents. ... We can’t afford to keep raising taxes. We’ve had 12 straight years of tax increases and we have to draw a line in the sand.”
To find revenue Croce advocates encouraging business. “I’m a very pro-business guy. ... To responsible businesses and responsible developers.” A member of the city’s Centennial Park development group, he says, “I will bring all my business experience to bear to help expand the city’s tax base.”
While praising retiring Ward 5 Councilor Dave Gamache, Croce says he would have differed on voting to allow a 92-foot billboard on Lowell Street. Further, he will oppose projects like digital billboards, though lawyers warn of lawsuits. “Sometimes lawsuits are worth fighting.”
Even as he supports development along Route 1, Croce promises strong support for people like the Winona Street residents damaged by Richard Marchese’s nearby project. “I will stand with the people and make sure that gets resolved.”
Bob croce Address: 128 Goodale St. Age: 51 Employment: Product director, Wellesley Information Services, Dedham Education: Peabody High, Class of 1980; bachelor of science degree from Northeastern University Family: Wife, Maureen; daughters Erin and Ashley Elected office: None Community service: Spent 18 years as a youth sports coach and administrator; member of Mayor Ted Bettencourt's Economic Development Council Centennial Park task force; former Board of Directors member at Nazareth Academy in Wakefield. City health insurance: No. Pastimes: Spending time with family, travel, following Boston pro sports, cooking, and exploring new restaurants with his wife.