Without a mayor’s race on the ballot, all the attention is on a handful of contested races on the Peabody City Council in Tuesday’s city election.
There’s a strong lineup in the at-large race, making it difficult no doubt for many voters to choose whom to support. Five seats are available among seven candidates, who each would make good councilors. We recommend returning incumbents Anne Manning-Martin, Tom Gould, Tom Rossignoll and Ryan Melville to office — they have all done good work in their time on the council and represent a good breadth of views — and Jon Turco with them. Turco has been an effective councilor in Ward 1 for the past four years and we believe he will continue to bring the same assertive and reasonable perspective for the city as a whole.
In Ward 1, we support Craig Welton, an administrator at Northeast Arc, who while not a Peabody native seems to have a good grasp of the diverse and competing interests in South Peabody and offers voters a well-rounded candidate who will strongly advocate on their behalf.
In Ward 2, Peter McGinn has been a solid, thoughtful and competent representative for his constituents for the past six years and has earned their trust to continue doing the job.
In Ward 4, Ed Charest has been an even-handed councilor overall and a strong voice for his constituents, in spite of the tumult over possible redevelopment of the former J.B. Thomas Hospital property earlier this year. We believe he has earned another term in office.
And in Ward 6, Mark O’Neill, likewise, has been a good representative for the ward these past two years, deftly balancing competing concerns from residents and businesses at times. He deserves a second term.
Mayor Ted Bettencourt is running unopposed for a fifth term on Tuesday. There are also no contested races in Ward 3 and 5, for councilors Jim Moutsoulas and Joel Saslaw, respectively, or on the School Committee, where Brandi Carpenter, Joe Amico and John Olimpio are up for new terms. Stephanie Najjar, Donald McAllister, Peter Bakula, Stephanie Dallaire and Morgan Yeo are also all unopposed as library trustees. The only other contested race on the ballot is between incumbent light commissioner Charles Bonfanti and challenger Raymond Melvin.