, Salem, MA

October 28, 2013

Letter: Slate cares about the job, not notoriety

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

“This is the time for a generational change in our city” was the catch phrase used by Mike Cahill in his win after the primary election in September. His brother was also quoted as saying Mike “brought his big-city Boston get-out-to-vote know-how to Beverly.” Does this mean that the best manager for the city of Beverly, with a budget exceeding $106 million, is a lobbyist — Mike’s profession for the past several years — and political tactician? The current turmoil in Washington, D.C., is a direct result of politicians and lobbyists putting partisan politics ahead of the interest of its citizens.

The Beverly mayoral race should not be a popularity contest. It should be a referendum on who will best manage city finances and oversee the vital infrastructure projects currently in progress. I am voting for Wes Slate, because he has the business and municipal background Beverly needs, has shown in numerous instances in his service to the city during his tenure on the City Council that he is dedicated and diligent — he’ll “do the work” and will keep the interests of Beverly and its residents at the forefront of his administration. Wes has extensive experience managing multimillion dollar budgets, in negotiating complex contracts, and is adept at working with opposing factions to reach mutually agreeable outcomes.

Wes Slate is a proven entity. His wife, son and their home have kept him grounded for the last 30 years on Lothrop Street in Beverly. Not a flash in the pan, the six-year veteran city councilor has shown leadership by serving as vice president of the City Council, chairman of the public services and legal affairs committees, and chairman of the ordinance review board. Wes is a dedicated “workhorse” who will be at the office every day to do the work, and he will make his decisions based on input from his department heads and committees. He has already experienced those “no end in sight” public hearings, weathered all-night winter snowstorms, spent what would ordinarily be family time in a police cruiser on patrol, and attended a Conservation Committee meeting out in the bush. With a straight-faced Bill Belichick aura (made for New England) about him, celebrity status has eluded Wes in all these many years and is likely to continue. Wes doesn’t care about notoriety, only about getting the job done and doing what is best for Beverly!

The Cahill family, past and present, has been a positive cornerstone of this community for 50 years, but we are not electing his family. The citizens of Beverly cannot afford to repeat past mistakes by electing a ghost-like mayor who shows up late, doesn’t take the time to prepare for meetings and just rubber-stamps the city’s department heads’ and committees’ decisions without taking an active role. His past performance as part of the City Council and unsuccessful run for state treasurer suggests both to be the case. The next mayor of Beverly must participate and work hard on a daily basis, not just use the mayor’s office as a stepping stone into the lights and cameras of the Boston political scene.

On top of all this, one of Mike’s top campaign donors has cost the city thousands of dollars in legal fees delaying the Black Cow development at the waterfront. What does this tell the citizens of Beverly about his judgment? Should we expect more delays? How would his decisions affect the traffic repairs required as part of the Brimbal Avenue overpass project?

Wes has the credentials and the common sense to “do the work” for all “generational groups” and all income levels, and you will not have to check to make sure that the corner office at City Hall is occupied!

Ron Costa