By: Tom Duggan – July 27, 2013
Methuen School Committeeman Evan Chaisson says he is dropping out of the West End City Council Race and endorsing former councilor and school committeeman Ken Willette and incumbent Councilor Sean Fountain to fill the two seats up for election in November. Also a candidate in that race is School Committeeman George Kazanjian.
Councilor Jeanne Pappalardo cannot run again because of term limits.
“I met with my bosses at work to talk about my situation if I were to win the city council seat in November, and they cannot guarantee me I won’t be switching shifts come Jan 1st ,” Chaisson said.
Chaisson said that it breaks his heart to drop out of the race as he was convinced he had a good chance of being victorious on election day, but he may have to chang shifts at work from first shift to second shift when most council meetings take place and it wasn’t fair to the taxpayers and voters.
“After talking to some of my campaign staff, friends and family I have to announce that I cannot run for city council, because I don’t know for sure I can give 100% of my time to the city.”
Chaisson is a signal technician for Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail.
“Right now I am on an apprenticeship, my two year apprenticeship is up in January and at that time I have to start bidding jobs, I was told that most jobs I’ll be bidding on are second shift jobs. So, I think it is in the best interest of the city that if I can’t give 100% to the citizens of Methuen,I shouldn’t be running for city council.
Chaisson says he does anticipate he will be very vocal as a private citizen and will make sure to continue to fight for taxpayers, and bring to light anything his constituent bring forward that he doesn’t think is being addressed properly.
Former Councilor and School Committeeman Kenneth Willette took out nomination papers for a West End City Council seat a week ago, and Valley Patriot sources say that he has already collected enough signatures to put his name on the ballot.
“I am very proud and honored to have received Evan’s endorsement,” Willette told the Valley Patriot late Saturday evening.
“One of the main reasons that I am running is because of the proven inability of the city council to limit spending over the past two years and a real failure to implement major structural reforms– joining the GIC health care, outsourcing the IT department, participating in a regional 911 center, which would collectively save the community millions of dollars. The city council approved massive spending measures without enacting any major reforms. There must be a better choice for Methuen residents in November, because they cannot afford to maintain the status quo.”
Councilor Sean Fountain is out of town for the weekend and could not be reached for comment.
“Kenny will be great for the district, he has a strong background in politics and is a strong fiscal conservative like myself,” School Committeeman Chaisson said.
“I know Ken personally. He is a go-getter, I know he will tackle the tough issues like the GIC program, taxes, and police and fire. I don’t’ know where George Kazanjian stands on any of those issues. I don’t think anyone does. So, I am endorsing and I will be telling my friends and family that my two votes will go to Kenny and Sean. I think they will be best for the city.”
Chaisson says that his goal is to help the city in any way he can as a private citizen, and when the next election rolls around in two years, he will run if he knows he can give it 100%.
The deadline for returning nomination papers for all municipal offices is Monday, July 29, 2013.