The face of municipal government in Beverly will change significantly next year.
Gone will be Mayor William Scanlon — one of the most senior and highly regarded civic leaders in the commonwealth — along with one of the North Shore’s most senior and highly regarded city councilors — Ward 1’s Maureen Troubetaris.
Both have served the Garden City with honor and integrity over the course of several decades.
Nor is that the only loss the city will suffer. Scott Dullea, a promising councilor at-large, opted not to seek re-election in order to devote more time to family and his law career.
Meanwhile Ward 2 City Councilor Wes Slate, a six-year veteran, is risking a safe seat in order to run for mayor. He faces a formidable foe in former council president and state representative Mike Cahill who very nearly unseated Scanlon two years ago.
The Peabody and Salem councils are also losing well-respected at-large members in Jim Liacos and Kevin Carr respectively. But both those cities will start 2014 with the same mayors they’ve had for the last two years or longer.
Beacon Hill Republicans will take on the gas tax increase, while various business groups including the North Shore Chamber of Commerce, will tackle the tax on computer services. The goal: repeal of both by voters in 2014.
All this region’s Democrats voted to override the governor’s veto of the transportation finance bill that allowed the tax hikes to go forward. Of course, they’ll tell you those tax increases might well have been higher had Deval Patrick been allowed a second bite of the apple.
You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.
Salem’s Kim Driscoll has cracked plenty of heads over the years in pursuit of her vision for the city.
Consider the turmoil commuters are being forced to endure as a result of the work underway at the MBTA station. Driscoll is convinced the final result in terms of rail and bus accessibility will be well worth a year’s worth of inconvenience.
And contrary to what some predicted, she’s more popular than ever, according to those interviewed by reporter Bethany Bray in Monday’s Salem News story on the Witch City’s irrepressible mayor. Notice that none of the most prominent naysayers have chosen to take her on this fall.
State Rep. John Keenan will be in Atlanta this weekend attending the national Conference of State Legislatures’ Energy Policy Conference. He has plenty of expertise in the field as chairman of the House committee that regulates Bay State utilities and one of the leaders of the effort to see Salem Harbor Station convert from coal to gas.
And we’re certain he’s received an earful on how to find a suitable location for those messy transmission lines.
State Rep. Ted Speliotis was full of praise for new U.S. Sen. Ed Markey for making Peabody one of the first stops on his tour of Massachusetts cities this week.
And he even presided over a reunion between Markey and an old friend from his native Malden.
Datebook: Salem School Committee candidate Rachel Hunt will talk about her campaign at an event on Thursday, Aug. 15, 5 to 7 p.m. at Winter Street Architects, 209 Essex St. ... Rep. John Tierney, D-Salem, is determined to make a challenge to his incumbency an expensive proposition. His campaign is hosting a garden party on Sunday, Aug. 25, 4 to 6 p.m., at John Archer’s home in Danvers. State Sen. Joan Lovely, D-Salem, will be introducing the candidate. Suggested donation is $50.