, Salem, MA

October 29, 2013

Letter: Keep 'toxic' politics out of mayor's race

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Recently I, like many Beverly residents, received a mailing from mayoral candidate Wes Slate (it should be noted, this was Mr. Slate’s first mailing of the campaign). Excited to learn more about a candidate who (full disclosure) I did not vote for in the primary, I began reading the two-sided card. After about a paragraph of reading paint-by-numbers statements about the candidate’s goals (”opening” the already-under-construction T garage, “building” a middle school that looks increasingly likely to be approved by the dtate before the next mayor even enters office), I was disappointed to see that Mr. Slate’s tactics in this election appear to amount to no more than unleashing ad hominem attacks against his opponent.

Wouldn’t Mr. Slate’s campaign funds be more appropriately spent telling the voters what issues he is passionate about, rather than by making gossip-like accusations against his opponent?

However, as I turned the mailing over, and saw the beaming face of Mayor Bill Scanlon endorsing Mr. Slate, these childish attacks suddenly made sense. Beverly residents have observed many years of Mr. Scanlon’s questionable tactics, both electorally and in managing the city. In fact, these have been on full display in recent months with the Brimbal Avenue controversy, and were quite noticeable the last time Mr. Scanlon ran for reelection.

Now, it is clear that Mr. Scanlon has chosen his successor as much based off of personal animosity for Mr. Slate’s opponent as anything else. I for one am tired of these tactics, and think Beverly could do better. I hope both Mr. Slate and Mr. Cahill run positive, issues-based campaigns about what is best for Beverly, rather than allowing Mr. Scanlon’s toxic brand of politics-as-usual to rule the day.

George Gomes