SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

April 9, 2013

The real winner in Peabody: Mr. Apathy

To the editor:

The final results are in, and the victory goes to Mr. Apathy in a landslide. None of the seasoned political observers could have predicted such a lopsided win for Mr. Apathy in a race with so much at stake. And yet, Mr. Apathy received support from 4 out of 5 registered voters.

The abrupt vacancy of the 12th District state representative seat due to the untimely death of Joyce Spiliotis, combined with the retirement of state Sen. Fred Berry, created a leadership void the size of the Grand Canyon. For this reason alone, Mr. Apathy was considered the longest of long shots. Finishing in a very distant second place was newcomer Leah Cole, who, by virtue of her simple-yet-appealing “Just Say No to Taxes” pledge, garnered a meager 7 percent of the potential votes. Leah has the support of moderate Republicans Charlie Baker and Scott Brown, as well as radical Republican Ron Paul, who advocates to abolish Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and to deny a woman’s right to choose.

Rounding out the field with a combined 12 percent of the potential votes were Beverley Ann Griffin Dunne and Dave Gravel. Griffin Dunne is a mother of four, longtime School Committee member and wife to Lt. Robert Dunne, who recently returned from duty in Baghdad. Beverley has long been a champion for education and was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. She’s a consistent advocate for responsible spending, as demonstrated by her lone vote on the School Committee in opposition of joining Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School and her consistent opposition to state and federal unfunded mandates imposed on public schools.

Gravel is the founder of his 20-year-old, family-owned and -operated technology consulting business located in downtown Peabody. He began his career in the public sector providing direct services to migrant worker families living well below the poverty line. From there, he went to work for a startup technology company, where he rose to the position of chief financial officer. Dave is a current councilor-at-large and past School Committee member. Dave and his wife, Cathy, have more than two decades of active participation in countless community nonprofit programs that assist the residents of Peabody. Like Griffin Dunne, Dave is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees and also, like Griffin Dunne, was against Gov. Patrick’s proposed tax increase.

Mr. Apathy was unavailable for comment.

Dave McGeney

Peabody

Dave McGeney is a member of the Peabody School Committee.

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