PEABODY — In a contest that drew only 13 percent of registered voters, former City Councilor Jim “Demo” Moutsoulas and second-time candidate Thomas Serino were the two top vote-getters for the seat of Ward 3 councilor.
Moutsoulas scored 315 votes, and Serino won 243, while the third candidate, former 26-year City Councilor Bill Toomey, finished out of the money with 148. The two top finishers will face off in the November final.
“We put the work into it,” Moutsoulas said last night. “We dropped every home — I’m not going to say we knocked on every door — but we got our literature in every home.”
Moreover, he added, the fliers stressed his 12 years on the council in the 1980s and 1990s and his work on projects like saving the Tremont Street fire station and drawing business to the ward.
“I was selling my experience,” he said.
For the final, Moutsoulas expects to deal with Ward 3 and Peabody issues like the nuisance of buses parked on Pulaski Street and bringing development to the downtown.
Serino, a salesman for the Lynn Item, visited City Hall to get the results, where he told reporters his previous run for the office, against the now-retiring Rico Mello two years ago, had helped get his name out to voters. And this time, “I just went out and introduced myself and told people what I want to do. ... We did a lot of knocking on doors. We were a little more aggressive.”
He promised to offer voters “a new approach” to the ward and its problems, which he feels are things like traffic, water main breaks on Gardner Park, under-used “brown fields” on Walnut Street, finishing the Riverwalk and the disruptions caused by buses on Pulaski Street. For November, Serino added, “We do have a lot of work to do.”