To the editor:

I am a candidate for Beverly Ward 3 councilor. As the current Plan Beverly 2030 initiative moves forward, I do not want the city to lose sight of the 2020 problems that exist right now. Ward 3 is the “heart of Beverly,” with many unique challenges in housing, traffic, schools, public safety and community services.

Beverly can do better for Ward 3, and can be a better city if we have an open and inclusive city government listening to and working with all Beverly citizens to solve these problems. That’s why I am running for the council.

I offer voters a combination of diverse community involvement, budget knowledge, business experience and independence necessary to be a strong advocate for Ward 3 residents at City Hall. I am committed to ensure Ward 3 issues receive the attention they deserve.

I run a small manufacturing company Salem. Running that family business for 40 years has taught me how to work with others, solve problems and implement effective solutions. I understand budgets and know how to create goals and achieve them.

I have never run for office before but have always been active in community affairs. I am on the board of the Beverly Education Foundation, which enriches and supports Beverly schools. I am also a Beverly Bank cooperator, enhancing communication between the bank and the community. I volunteer to help with Family Promise’s Cardboard Box City fundraising and other local causes.

I am a mother of a 19 year old UMass-Lowell student. As any parent can attest, this role has taught me dedication, compassion, patience and organization. While my son Ben was at Beverly High School, I played Momball and was a supportive football mom and wrestling team booster.

Since my days at Wheaton College, I have been interested in education, politics and public affairs. My first political mentor was state Rep. Fran Alexander. She set a high bar for public service. Local government works best when more people get involved. Leaving it up to the same select few is not productive. New, fresh voices can add a lot to the discussion and that’s what I hope to add to the City Council.

My priorities are what matters to residents in Ward 3. High traffic congestion creates problems throughout the ward, pedestrian safety issues are increasing with the traffic and a backlog of sidewalk repairs is evident in our neighborhoods. Some patched up side streets have not been paved in decades.

Maintaining the quality of our public schools continues to be a concern for Ward 3. Young families should not have to pay a “tuition” for full day kindergarten. The School Committee is years behind removing that unfair burden. If elected, I will fight the diversion of Chapter 70 “opportunity” funds.

Senior and veterans services also need special attention. And we need to support our public safety departments by ensuring an adequate work force and up-to-date equipment.

Managing Beverly’s growth is a major concern. New high-end developments add to the housing stock, but can be unaffordable for older citizens and young couples who want to stay in Beverly. I support new initiatives that help make housing available to people of all ages and economic backgrounds.

I would like Ward 3 voters to know they can count on me to listen, to respond and to take action on their behalf. I will work with other city officials to get things accomplished for Ward 3 residents and I will never be a rubber stamp or a go-along-to get-along office holder. Because what matters to Ward 3 families, children, senior, veterans, and neighborhoods will always matter most to me. It would be an honor to represent them.

Stacy Ames

Beverly

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