This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Most Officials Support Scanlon

While most elected officials are off the record on their views in the Mayor's race, it seems that most unofficially support Mayor Scanlon's reelection. Excerpts of a few key endorsements, or near-endorsements follow:

School Committee President Annemarie Cesa, in an email to school advocates yesterday stated:

John Burke and I began our terms in office on the same day in 2004. In the ensuing six years I have attended a myriad number of City Council meetings to make sure that I have had accurate and necessary information so as to make informed decisions for the Beverly Public Schools. How many School Committee meetings has John Burke attended over that time? Not one. ... John Burke says that he supports education in Beverly. He has had 6 years to show any interest, and that hasn't happened. ... When you vote on November 3rd, vote smart and vote for Bill Scanlon.

Ward Two Councilor Wes Slate was the first City Councilor to publicly endorse Scanlon, saying

"Unlike his opponent whom I know well and have served with for these past two years, Mayor Scanlon is a proven leader, someone whose support is City-wide and not focused on pockets of voters in particular areas."

We take Bill Coughlin's A+ rating and Paul Guanci's A rating of the Mayor's performance as endorsements, as well as current City Council President Tim Flaherty's statement in today's Salem News that

voters who don't like Scanlon will have to decide if they want to risk turning over the city to "an inexperienced individual." "A lot will come down to, are people going to make their decision based on who will be the best mayor, or are they making a decision because they don't like Bill's personality?"

While it's easy to look at the archives of this site and find many statements from officials and school advocates critical of Scanlon's style of management, it doesn't seem like any of that is translating into support for Burke. In fact, we have not heard a single endorsement of Burke from any elected city official.

Still, his grassroots support is strong, as a survey of yard signs in the city will show, and as today's Salem News story reports, an upset is clearly possible.

Make sure you get out and vote tomorrow for the future of education in Beverly.

2:00 UPDATE: The Beverly Citizen has just posted its endorsement, also of Mayor Scanlon, saying:

...Scanlon has shown prowess in the financial sector. He has the dogged determination to get projects, such as the new Beverly High School, completed, and he’s not afraid to make less sexy tasks, like tackling the city’s drainage problems, a priority.

John Burke has demonstrated a deep commitment to his constituents and he has a vision for revitalizing the downtown and for preserving Beverly’s remaining open spaces. In addition, Burke is computer savvy and could bring his skills to bear in branding Beverly as a tourist destination to bring in much needed dollars.

We believe financial expertise, however, is the skill the city most needs at this moment, so we are endorsing Bill Scanlon for mayor.

Scanlon has said he wants to see the high school project through and we support him in that. He has shepherded the project along and should see its completion during the next term. ...

Let’s let Scanlon finish the high school. And, then let’s talk about how to build on what he has accomplished and take the city in some new directions.

Also,if you are still undecided, the Salem News has just posted videos of the interviews that BevCam held with both Mayoral candidates.