SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

January 24, 2014

Benton: Charter sets high hurdle in Beverly

(Continued)

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It was a big week for a couple of North Shore legislators.

Veteran Danvers state Rep. Ted Speliotis, now one of the most senior members of the lower chamber, was named to represent Speaker Robert DeLeo on a panel that’s been tasked by the governor to devise way of keeping our students and school staffs safe. The appointment was particularly appropriate given the recent tragedy at Danvers High School that resulted in the death of a beloved teacher.

Of one thing you can be certain: The task force will not be recommending the arming of teachers, at least not if Speliotis has anything to say about it.

Lynn Rep. Steve Walsh, like Speliotis, is among DeLeo’s most trusted advisers. But now he’s hanging up his legislative hat to become executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals. His expertise in the field of health-care financing will no doubt be valued by his new employer. But it likely marks the end of what was once a promising political career.

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Congratulations to Sean O’Brien, who was recently elected chairman of the Salem Republican City Committee. The GOP needs more like him if it’s to regain viability here on the North Shore.

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A new MassINC poll shows GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker leading all Democratic contenders with the exception of Attorney General Martha Coakley. Baker may want to call in Scott Brown from New Hampshire for some tips on how to handle the state’s top law enforcement official.

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Who will Gov. Deval Patrick side with in the battle over a natural-gas plant in Salem: his friends in the environmental lobby or pal Kim Driscoll, Salem’s mayor?

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