SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

February 14, 2014

Benton: A big change

(Continued)

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The surprisingly large turnout at last Saturday’s special election at Beverly High School and the experience in Danvers, which has experimented with a single polling place at its high school, may have other communities, including Peabody, considering a similar change.

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker’s proposed “community contract” — providing municipalities with a guaranteed percentage of state revenue growth — is likely to be a hit with mayors and town managers who have grown tired of making the annual trek up Beacon Hill, hats in hand, to beg the executive and legislative branches for a reasonable amount of local aid.

Meanwhile, Baker may receive another boost if, as predicted by several media outlets this week, Attorney General Martha Coakley — whom polls identify as the most formidable Democratic candidate — is called to testify in an upcoming court case involving the scandal-plagued state Probation Department.

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Say what you will about Kerry Healey’s skills as a politician, the Beverly Farms resident is a shrewd judge of talent.

Now president of Babson College, Healey has chosen Katherine Craven, former head of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, as her chief administrative officer. Craven won high praise from local politicians, like former Senate Majority Leader Fred Berry and former Beverly Mayor Bill Scanlon, for her efforts on behalf of critical capital projects such as the new North Shore voke campus and the renovations to Beverly High School.

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Datebook: State Rep. Leah Cole, R-Peabody, will kick off her re-election campaign with an event Thursday, Feb. 27, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Red’s Kitchen & Tavern on Route 1 north. Suggested donation is $50.

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