SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

May 31, 2013

Benton: How things are done in the Valley of the Sun

(Continued)

All that shiny new equipment in Peoria’s public works yard can be explained, at least in part, by the fact taxpayers don’t have to pay a cop a minimum four hours’ overtime each time someone cracks open a manhole cover — another Bay State anachronism. Those road details so commonplace in Massachusetts are a rarity here.

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One has to wonder about Peabody Councilor-at-large Anne Manning-Martin’s motives in questioning a $325,000 state grant that will be used to prevent childhood asthma among residents of several North Shore communities including hers.

At a recent council meeting, Manning-Martin whined about Peabody having been “elbowed out” by Salem’s health department as lead agency for the worthwhile initiative.

“As a kid from Peabody, I find that hard to accept,” she said. Peabody Health Director Sharon Campbell (one of several excellent holdovers from the Bonfanti administration) assured councilors it was no big deal and reaffirmed her support for the program.

As one of the bolder and more innovative thinkers on the council, one would hope to find Manning-Martin promoting, rather than discouraging, efforts at regional cooperation. It’s long past time cities and towns cast off the Colonial-era chains of parochialism that have bound them for so long.

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