SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

September 10, 2013

Toomey: Ready to ask questions

By Alan Burke
Staff writer

---- — PEABODY — If elected to the City Council, Bill Toomey will have no trouble finding his way to City Hall.

“I served 26 years without interruption,” he said. He was a Ward 3 councilor and then a councilor-at-large for 11 terms. He also ran for mayor in 2002.

Now Toomey, 81, is running again for the Ward 3 seat. He recalls his early days in office dealing with traffic issues, “and here we are 20 years later and the same issues are coming up,” he said. He wants an end to the bus storage on Pulaski Street, he said, and improved traffic flow through the downtown.

Toomey describes himself as a councilor willing to ask questions. He laments that the council recently approved a $146 million budget “and not one question was asked of where that money was going. ... They never say no. They never question.” He describes himself as supporting education, but questioning the spending.

“I’m a person who wants to protect the homeowning taxpayer. ... I am a visionary. And I will work with the mayor,” he said.

Born in Peabody, Toomey worked at the A.C. Lawrence Leather Co. as a kid. He is a U.S. Army veteran — he trained to be a ski trooper — with a bachelor’s degree from Merrimack College. He worked two decades in purchasing at GTE Sylvania. In recent years he’s worked closely with the Friends of the Council on Aging.