SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

May 10, 2013

Benton column: A good man for the job

Nelson Benton
The Salem News

---- — Congratulations to retired Appeals Court Judge David Mills for topping the ticket in Tuesday’s election for the Danvers Board of Selectmen.

Mills should be a moderating presence on the board and will no doubt live up to his pledge to lend a careful and unbiased ear to all who come before it. He will also bring a good sense of history, being the son of a former town moderator and a former town moderator himself.

His election, along with the re-election of veteran member Dan Bennett, constitutes a clear endorsement of Town Manager Wayne Marquis and his administration, who over the past three decades have gained Danvers a reputation as one of the best-managed communities in the commonwealth.

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He wasn’t interested in running for Fred Berry’s state Senate seat, but Beverly’s Michael Cahill is clearly not tired of politics, announcing this week that he will take another run at the mayor’s seat. And this time he won’t have Bill Scanlon as an opponent.

Cahill mounted a formidable challenge to Scanlon two years ago and had the incumbent sweating the results right up until the final polling places reported. With former Councilor Tim Flaherty out of the race and Council President Paul Guanci on the fence, Cahill would have to be considered the favorite unless “American Idol’s” Angie Miller announces her candidacy.

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House Minority Leader Bradley Jones, R-North Reading, is not impressed with the $34 billion budget for the next fiscal year approved recently by his Democratic colleagues.

“Unfortunately, as adopted, the budget demonstrates the House Democrats’ continued willingness to rely on revenue found in the recently passed transportation finance bill. While the taxpayers of Massachusetts have avoided the enormity of Gov. Patrick’s $1.9 billion tax hike, our state’s residents should find no comfort in the $500 million tax increase approved by my colleagues across the aisle,” Jones declared. The Senate is expected to pass its own version of the budget sometime this month.

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Treadwell’s Ice Cream in Peabody is fast becoming a mandatory stop for those seeking statewide office. Long a favorite of state Treasurer Steve Grossman, the local shop was on Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Ed Markey’s itinerary as he made his way from the annual Democratic brunch in Gloucester to downtown Salem last Sunday.

It’s probably no coincidence that the place is owned by Peabody City Council President Tom Gould, who’s considered a rising political star on the North Shore.

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From here, it seems rather ludicrous for Markey and Bay State Democrats to expect neophyte Republican Gabriel Gomez to sign the so-called “People’s Pledge” that requires candidates to donate campaign funds equal to 50 percent of the amount spent by outside groups on ads attacking their opponent. Markey, who has represented the 5th District since 1976, has been at this game a lot longer than the Cohasset businessman, which gives him a significant advantage in terms of both visibility and the ability to raise money.

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Datebook: Joel Saslaw, a 1981 PVMHS graduate who is seeking the Ward 5 seat on the Peabody City Council, will kick off his campaign with an event on Thursday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Toscana’s Ristorante in West Peabody. ... William Legault, chosen by the Salem City Council to fill Sen. Joan Lovely’s seat on that body, is running for a full-two year term as councilor-at-large and will hold a campaign event on Monday, May 20, at 6 p.m. at 217 Essex St. (the former Naumkeag Trust building on the pedestrian mall).

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Nelson Benton spent 40 years covering politics on the North Shore before retiring from The Salem News. Contact him at nelson.benton3@gmail.com.