In the Methuen City Council At-Large race, voters are asked to elect three city councilors to represent the entire city. With At-Large City Councilor Jen Kannan running for mayor and Mike Condon announcing his retirement from politics, there is only one incumbent seeking re-election in the At-Large race:
JOYCE CAMPAGNONE – Campagnone says she is proud of her record on both the School Committee and the City Council with the expansion of the elementary schools, the new high school project, and the library renovation. Campagnone is an elected member of the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District Retirement Board. She also says that one of her proudest accomplishments was to be a councilor and participating in the buy-back of the Searles Building.
Campagnone has served intermittently on the School Committee, the City Council, and raises money for our veterans through organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
She is a staple at events in the community to help veterans and seniors, and works at the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District.
SHARON BIRCHALL – Hailing from Lawrence, this is Sharon Birchall’s first run for public office. She is the president of the Lawrence Exchange Club, works for the Metro Federal Credit Union, was the official hostess of the Valley Patriot’s 9th Anniversary Bash and says if she is elected, constituent services will be her number one priority.
“Obviously the budget is important, and making sure that the cops and firefighters are fully funded is always a priority,” Birchall said. “But, to me this job is about serving the voters. Making sure there is someone to answer people’s questions and represent their concerns at the council table, paying attention to the issues in their neighborhoods…that’s what I think a city councilor is supposed to do and if I am elected, that is what I am going to do.”
“Methuen needs new blood. I don’t owe anything to anyone and I am my own person. I know if the people of Methuen give me a chance to represent them on the council they will be happy with the service they get from me.”
DANIEL GRAYTON – “Honestly, the way I do it is, good old fashioned politicking; going door-to-door to people’s homes. I have been doing it since June. I’m trying to meet as many people as possible and let them know I am a different kind of candidate in this race and I can provide them with some new ideas and a fresh face. You know Mike Condon in your article (that he is retiring from politics) said it best. He said it was time for new blood and some fresh faces. That’s what I bring to the table in this race and people have been very receptive so far.”
“Some of my opponents, I always say they are trying to have an alumni reunion at City Hall. You know,the represent the past, they are all part of the Methuen political machine. Not all of them, but there are more than a few that are trying to get back in the game and I am making the case as I go door-to-door that I am really the only new candidate. I am the new guy on the scene of Methuen politics. So they can all echo it but at the end of the day, only a few of us can actually make that case.”
JAMES JAJUGA – Jajuga is a former state senator, former state commissioner of public safety, a former Massachusetts state police officer, and a former United States Marine.
Jajuga says if he is elected, he will make drugs his number one priority. “I provide a different kind of leadership than what you have on the council now,” Jajuga says.
I’ve spoken to many law enforcement folks and they will tell you it starts with abuse of prescription pills. And when they can’t get the pills, it leads to the purchase of heroin.
If you read the arrests on a daily or weekly basis, you see tons of out-of-state people coming to our region to sell or buy their heroin.
So it makes sense to have a regional approach to this problem. There are folks in Methuen addicted who need help. We need to look at regional treatment facilities, intervention facilities; we need to look at law enforcement treatment and intervention as a region. We can possibly get some grants to help these people.”
ROBERT LEBLANC – A former Methuen town manager under the old form of government, Leblanc is an attorney and no stranger to controversy. His is the former assistant city manager of Cambridge, former town manager of Salem, NH, and city auditor of Fitchburg.
Leblanc also hosts a radio program on 980WCAP in Lowell and is a Democrat insider who campaigns for, and promotes only Democrat candidates for state and federal offices.
Leblanc says that there is enough fraud, waste and abuse in the city budget that he believes taxes can be lowered and services can be increased by going through the budget line by line and slashing duplication of services, and trimming city expenses with a regional approach to purchasing goods and services for the city.