, Salem, MA

Local News

September 6, 2013

YMCA has eye on mayor's race

BEVERLY — The Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs is looking for a new executive director, anticipating that the man who currently holds the job, Mike Cahill, will be the next mayor of Beverly.

The organization, which represents all of the YMCAs in the state, began advertising for a new leader this week.

“We’re trying to be proactive,” said Lenny Mercier, executive director of the Danvers Community YMCA and chairman of the state alliance’s executive committee. “We don’t want to have Mike win his election in November and sit back and say, ‘Oh, gosh, what are we going to do?’”

Cahill, a former city councilor and state representative, is running for mayor against City Councilor Wes Slate and U.S. Army veteran Euplio “Rick” Marciano.

Cahill has been executive director of the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs since 2005. The alliance lobbies state legislators on public policy issues of concern to the YMCAs.

Mercier said Cahill would remain with the alliance if he doesn’t win the election. The organization is planning to add a second position that Cahill could fill, he said.

“If something falls through and he doesn’t get his job (as mayor), of course we’ll have something for him,” Mercier said.

Mercier said Cahill has done a “remarkable job” for the state Ys, including helping to secure state grants to combat childhood obesity and assist at-risk kids.

“We’re hating to see him go, to be frank,” Mercier said. “We all have dreams that we really want to do in life. He’s been looking at that (mayoral) seat, and he deserves it.”

Mercier said the alliance is planning to add the position of director of public policy. He said Cahill could remain as executive director or assume the new position if he does not win the election.

Cahill will remain as executive director while he is campaigning for mayor.

“We’ve never had a question about Mike not being able to fulfill his duties (while campaigning),” Mercier said.

The salary for a new executive director is being advertised at between $80,000 to $110,000. Cahill made $117,788 in salary and other compensation in 2011, the latest year for which public filings are available.

Cahill said he understood the board’s decision to advertise for a new director.

“They have to make contingency plans,” he said. “That would put them in a position to be ready to move and not have a period where they can’t pursue their mission in the way they need to.”

If he doesn’t win the election, Cahill said he would like to remain with the alliance. 

“I enjoy my work with the Y very much, and I’d want to continue doing it,” he said.

The preliminary election is Sept. 24; the final election is Nov. 5.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or




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