TOM DUGGAN’S NOTEBOOK (06-22) ~ Methuen’s Dysfunction, Haverhill Farmers Market, MORE!


Several races for State Representative in the Merrimack Valley will be decided in the September 6th primary as there are no Republicans running (so far) in those races.

In the newly carved Lawrence/Methuen district it will be Methuen City Councilor Jim McCarty – who has no job and lives in his mother’s basement – against Lawrence City Councilor Estela Reyes – who is a homeowner, a mother, and is gainfully employed. Whoever wins this primary will be the next state rep in that new district. Another race being decided in the September 6th primary is the race between Lawrence State Rep. Marcos Devers vs. Methuen resident Francisco Paulino. Running unopposed (as of now) is former Methuen Councilor Ryan Hamilton who will replace Rep. Linda Dean Campbell.


In the race for Diana DiZoglio’s open state senate seat, there are three Democrats running for the nomination: Lawrence City Councilor Pavel Payano, Methuen Councilor Eunice Zeigler, and Lawrence activist Doris Rodriquez. Whoever wins that primary will face Methuen Republican Kevin Freeman in the November final.


You would think that with a Methuen City Councilor running for state representative this year, that his colleagues on the council and other Methuen dignitaries would be lining up to support him against his opponent from Lawrence.

Yet, Methuen City Councilor Mike Simard – the most popular member of the Methuen City Council – is endorsing Lawrence City Councilor Estela Reyes. So too, is Methuen Councilor Steve Saba, former Councilor Ron Marsan, Methuen School Committee members Ryan DiZoglio and Jana Zanni Pesce, former School Committee Member Jana DiNatale, and former Methuen City Councilor Jen Kannan, just to name a few. I think it says a lot that so many movers and shakers in Methuen would rather have a Lawrence Councilor represent them in the State House than a current member of their own council. Maybe the next notebook item will explain why.


For the last four years I have spent a lot of time trying to ring the alarm bell in Methuen about how dysfunctional, dirty, political, and ineffective the Methuen City Council has become. At first, councilors themselves would publicly attack ME (as if I’m a fellow councilor) saying that I was just picking on them. WAAH! Anyone who watches these meetings will get a full dose of what I’ve been saying all this time. Councilors yell over each other at meetings, attack each other’s integrity, spend too much time on irrelevant issues while letting larger issues go ignored, and use the televised city council meetings to grandstand for their political supporters.

Now, years after attacking me for saying all this, councilors themselves are starting to say it – out loud at public meetings. Last month, Councilor Saba publicly said that the council is “weak and dysfunctional”. Councilor DiZoglio echoed that sentiment saying that the council wastes too much time on irrelevant issues. Councilor Finocchiaro said at that same meeting that the council was “ineffective and dysfunctional” following up with a scathing rebuke of her fellow councilors whom she says follow the policies and procedures when it suits them, and ignores them when it’s convenient.

So, now that councilors themselves are finally saying what I have been saying for four years, I wonder if there’s going to be an apology in the offing. I’m not holding my breath!


While the Eagle ~ Tribune tried to big foot us on our own story and jumped the gun last month with a front page story about TMF going back to the Buckley garage to feed the homeless on Wednesday nights in Lawrence, the fact is it was just two weeks ago when the Lawrence City Council voted 8-1 to give these homeless advocates a home on Common Street to feed the homeless for the next two years. I find it interesting how they conveniently left out of their story some pertinent information, such as who spearheaded the change and who was involved. Shoddy reporting as usual from the Trib, but we are happy to report that TMF now has a 2-year permit to service the homeless Wednesday nights on Common Street.


The Haverhill Farmers Market returns for its 44th season, beginning June 25th and running until October 29th at 51 Merrimack Street, in front of the Goecke parking deck. The market operates from 9AM to 1PM, selling a wide variety of local products, including farm-fresh fruits, herbs, eggs, vegetables, delicious baked goods, hummus, local wines, meads, honey, fresh breads, handmade soaps, doggie treats, and much more. In addition, shoppers can get knives and tools sharpened at On Edge Sharpening while browsing at the market.
This year, our partners and sponsors include; Jordan Financial & Insurance Services, Team Haverhill, Haverhill Bank, Haverhill Pavilion, Pentucket Bank, Creative Haverhill, Beth Israel Lahey Health-Anna Jaques Hospital, and the City of Haverhill.

Thank you for supporting the Haverhill Farmers Market for 44 years!
For more information please visit:, find us on Facebook/haverhillfarmersmarket, or email market manager Jeff Grassie at