, Salem, MA

October 30, 2013

Latter wants to stay involved in Ward 3


---- — Editor’s note: Incumbent Jim Latter and challenger Scott Hunt are vying for the Ward 3 City Council seat. The election is Nov. 5.

BEVERLY — Two years ago, Jim Latter was the youngest elected official in the city. If he wins re-election on Nov. 5, he’ll be at least third in terms of seniority on the City Council.

Latter’s ascension in the ranks is a reflection of the recent turnover on the City Council and also of his continued presence in Ward 3. He served two terms as the ward’s School Committee representative and is now seeking a third two-year term on the City Council.

“I’ve enjoyed serving people. I’ve enjoyed helping people,” he said. “Being able to help people, that’s why people run for City Council. It’s the ability to understand where to go for people when they’re in need or when they need help.”

Latter recalled becoming involved in politics when his mother was president of the teachers union in Peabody and the union backed Mayor Nick Mavroules in his campaign for Congress.

Latter served in the Air Force for four years as an electrician in the civil engineers. When he returned home, he got back into politics by working on statewide and congressional campaigns and serving as a delegate at Democratic state conventions.

“A lot of people usually go from local politics to party politics,” he said. “I kind of came the other way around.”

With the retirement of Mayor Bill Scanlon, a Navy veteran, Latter said his status as the only military veteran on the City Council will be even more important.

“It’s important for somebody to be able to identify with the real sacrifice of our combat and wartime veterans,” he said. “Even though I didn’t serve in harm’s way, I take it as a distinct honor to keep their issues on the forefront.”

Latter, who has endorsed Mike Cahill for mayor, said he would like to continue to serve on the City Council as it moves into a new era with the retirement of Scanlon.

“I have no reason to think the relationship (with the next mayor) won’t be anything other than cordial and complementary,” he said.

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



Address: 145 Park St.
Age: 48
Employment: Assistant vice president of IT operations at Bank of New York Mellon
Education: Attended University of Maryland and Community College of the Air Force; licensed electrician
Family: Son Matthew, 22
Elective office: Ward 3 city councilor, 2009 to present; Ward 3 School Committee, 2005 to 2009
Community involvement: U.S. Army New England Community Advisory Board; Beverly Homecoming Committee; Ward 3 Civic Association trustee; former Beverly Youth Soccer coach and board of directors
If elected, will you take the city's health insurance?: No, but does not rule out taking it in the future.
Favorite pastime: Being active outdoors