City Council candidates

Beverly City Council candidates, from left to right, Hannah Bowen, Euplio Marciano, Rich Tabbut, Steve Crowley, Estelle Rand, Brendan Sweeney, Dominic Copeland, William Cosmas, Julie Flowers and Matt St. Hilaire at Friday’s candidate forum at REV Kitchen & Bar.

BEVERLY — Ten candidates for City Council on Friday made what will likely be their only joint public appearance before voters decide their fate on Nov. 2.

The candidates took part in a breakfast forum held by the Greater Beverly Chamber of Commerce at REV Kitchen & Bar on Enon Street. It included candidates for contested City Council races in wards 2, 3 and 6 as well as for the three councilor-at-large seats.

The forum featured little, if any, disagreement on issues, but gave the candidates a chance to introduce themselves and explain why they are running.

Candidate Brendan Sweeney noted this is a particularly important race for the at-large seats because of the fact that longtime councilors Paul Guanci and Tim Flaherty are not seeking reelection. Five candidates — Hannah Bowen, William Cosmas, Julie Flowers, Richard Tabbut and Sweeney — are competing for the three at-large seats. Flowers is the only incumbent.

“This is a big transition point for the City Council,” Sweeney said.

Bowen described herself as a “policy and government nerd” who wants to put her experience in the Peace Corps and international development to use at the local level. She is executive director of the North Shore Community Mediation Center.

“My job is to help people talk to each other,” Bowen said. “That’s a very relevant skill.”

Cosmas is an attorney who runs his own law practice out of the Cummings Center and lives in downtown Beverly with his family, including his two children who attend the Beverly Public Schools. He said he became interested in running for office after assisting neighbors in North Beverly with the ongoing Varian environmental cleanup.

“That really showed me I could use my skills as a litigator to serve the community, and that’s why I’m running,” Cosmas said.

Flowers, who is seeking a third two-year term on the City Council, said she grew up in Ward 3 on Lyman Street, where her parents still live, and now lives in Ward 4 near downtown. She has a fifth-grade son at Beverly Middle School.

“I believe firmly in the role of the City Council to be a voice for the people,” Flowers said.

Sweeney noted his experience working for the state in the executive financial management office, where his duties include helping cities and towns recover from the pandemic. He previously worked for the town manager in Reading.

“I’m passionate about local government because I believe it is the level of government where you can have the most positive, tangible impact on the lives of your friends, your family and your neighbors,” Sweeney said.

Tabbut said he decided to run because his daughter could not afford to buy a house in her hometown.

“She grew up in Beverly and went to Beverly Public Schools and she could not afford to live in Beverly,” he said. “I thought that was wrong.”

The candidates for ward councilor who attended the forum were Estelle Rand for Ward 2, Euplio Marciano and Steven Crowley for Ward 3, and Dominic Copeland and Matt St. Hilaire for Ward 6. Ward 2 candidate Kim Peckham could not attend due to a work commitment. Chamber Executive Director Leslie Gould read a statement from Peckham.

Salem News Editor David Olson served as moderator.

Staff Writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2535, by email at pleighton@salemnews.com, or on Twitter at @heardinbeverly.

Staff Writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2535, by email at pleighton@salemnews.com, or on Twitter at @heardinbeverly.

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