SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

August 1, 2013

Now you tell me

(Continued)

“Obviously,” he says, “it’s a little bit of a relief. Although I enjoy campaigning.”

It won’t keep him off the streets, where he walks regularly as part of a fitness program that’s seen him drop a significant amount of weight. He hopes to keep in touch with Ward 1 voters along the way. The lack of an opponent, he says, gives councilors more time, much of it to be spent on issues.

The councilor is honest enough to admit that politicians often cannot help but take it personally when someone tries to usurp their position by running against them.

“You try not to. But to say you don’t take it personally is probably not true,” he says.

It’s best to separate the politics from the personal and keep it all in perspective, he believes. He notes that he’s run campaigns against people who are friends.

“There are always people who are going to disagree with you,” he says.

Having an opponent can create benefits, Osborne adds, causing a politician to assess what he’s doing and how he’s doing it. “You start doing some soul searching.”

No such thing as a free lunch

Bettencourt also lacks an opponent for November, but it never hurts to raise money. His re-election committee will hold “an old-fashioned Summer Picnic ... at the Kennedy Field in W. Peabody on Sunday, August 11th, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ... Everyone is welcome!” according to a press release. Food will be “available for purchase.”

Sarge more in charge

New Peabody police Lt. Thomas O’Keefe was promoted in a ceremony at City Hall yesterday.

O’Keefe has served nearly 20 years in the department as a full-time officer, winning a spot in 1994 and taking a promotion to sergeant in 2001. Bettencourt saluted his commitment to “public service. ... His promotion to lieutenant reflects that commitment and underscores his qualifications for this new role.”

Staff writer Alan Burke can be reached at aburke@salemnews.com.

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