SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

January 18, 2013

An era of stability

Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt’s announcement that he will seek a second term came as no surprise, and the guessing here is that he will face only token opposition, if any.

An attorney and former councilor, Bettencourt has brought stability to a city long known for its rough-and-tumble politics. Even meetings of the School Committee, which the mayor chairs, once known as the best show in town, have been surpassed in entertainment value by the frolics of the City Council next door in Salem.

Typical of Bettencourt’s pragmatic style are plans now under way to improve the marketability of Centennial Park, the city’s premier business destination. Excellent highway access alone is no longer sufficient to lure hoteliers and high-tech entrepreneurs. They also want the kind of creative energy that comes from having lots of smart people eating, playing and thinking within close proximity of each other.

Indeed, while Bettencourt ponders the future of Centennial Park, he might also cast his eyes toward the North River canal corridor running through downtown Peabody. There’s plenty of opportunity there for both residential and business growth as long as members of his City Council can tolerate change and are willing to entertain new ideas.

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Citizens for Limited Taxation and its allies are bracing themselves for a new fight over state taxing and spending policies.

“In just one day, we’ve seen calls for increases in ‘revenue’ of two or three billion dollars in this year and years to come out of the pockets of just those of us who struggle to work for their survival and their family’s — those of us who pay the government’s entire freight,” Marblehead’s Chip Ford wrote to CLT members this week. “We’re going flat-out here trying to keep up with just the Takers’ offenses on so many fronts. It’s overwhelming to say the least: mind-blowing audacity.”

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