Write-in Candidate for Methuen School Committee, Ken Willette


Former City Councilor and School Committeeman Kenneth Willette now IN the West End Council Race.Kenneth Willette (10 Burnham Road, Apt. 506A) officially announced his campaign today as a write-in candidate for the Methuen School Committee. Willette previously served six years on the Methuen School Committee and six years as a Methuen City Councilor at Large.

“Based upon positive feedback from family and friends, I wanted to offer my experience and extensive public service to a position that is important to the education of our future generation. I look forward to running a constructive and fact-based campaign,” Willette said.

During his six years on the Methuen School Committee, Willette successfully achieved the following goals:

  • Drafted the strongest residency enforcement policy in Methuen’s history, which has removed hundreds of out-of-district students and saved the community millions of dollars.
  • Recommended a police officer in every school.
  • Installed cameras on school buses to deter student mischief.
  • Organized an effective grassroots campaign to win support for the renovations at Methuen High School.
  • Introduced policy that banned counterproductive technological devices at schools.
  • Recommended that every School Committee meeting be televised for openness and transparency.

During his six years on the Methuen City Council, Willette also promoted the following: —

  • Introduced the strongest Sex Offender notification and enforcement policies in the Merrimack Valley.
  • Suggested that speeding fines in school zones be doubled like construction sites.

Willette concluded: “When considering my policy decisions over 12 years of public service, I have always endeavored to keep the future of our children in mind. I have always sought the betterment of our community. I hope the voters will entrust me once again to directly serve their valid interests.”



Willette proposes the elimination of the student parking fee at Methuen High School. Students would still need to complete the online application in order to receive their parking decal, according to the student handbook, but Willette wants to forgo the current tiered student parking fee structure. The present fee system could potentially cost students $100.

“The student parking fee is regressive and unnecessary as a school budget funding tool. Families in Methuen pay enough in taxes each year to be saddled with fees, especially since we really don’t charge fees for other student activities.”

Willette highlighted that the nearby community of Haverhill only charges a replacement fee of $10 for their student decals. Willette would tailor Methuen’s policy to match Haverhill’s.

“The student parking fee is a relic of a misguided effort to balance the budget during a prior fiscal crisis. There is no justifiable purpose for it now.”


Proposed Voluntary Outreach Program Would Be Called “Biz for Kids”

Willette recently offered a proposed new partnership between local businesses and the Methuen Public Schools called “Biz for Kids” which is designed to tackle the problematic literacy rates of students. If elected to the school board on November 7th, Willette envisions three goals for “Biz for Kids” —

1)  On a voluntary basis, local businesses would be encouraged to purchase books for at-risk students. In exchange, the businesses could include a flyer or an attached sticker promoting their individual businesses. No businesses involved in the sale of liquor, vapes, cigarettes, cannabis and/or adult entertainment would be allowed to participate.

2)  Students who participate in a book club and successfully read a certain number of books, which could be verified by teachers, would be rewarded with a booklet of free items offered by cooperative businesses. Again, the same restrictions on adult theme businesses would apply.

3)  A display Wall of Achievement could be showcased at each school highlighting both the sponsoring businesses and the students who ‘read to succeed’ and received the booklets.

“This partnership could truly be a win-win situation for everyone involved. Students would have books that they otherwise would not be able to obtain. In turn, the businesses gain foot traffic and positive promotion from the booklets.”

Willette concluded: “There are so many examples of local business owners already engaging in charitable and civic outreach to local groups who would love the opportunity to play a meaningful role in addressing student literacy on the frontlines.”


Changes Needed to Create Firewall in Charter to Avoid Ethical Conflicts and Violations

If elected to the Methuen School Committee on November 7th, Willette promised to recommend the filing of a home rule petition by the City Council that would mandate a cooling off period of two years for any elected official in Methuen to be hired for a full-time position in either the school system or municipal government. The changes are needed to create a firewall in the Methuen City Charter to avoid potential ethical conflicts and violations.

“During my 12 years of public service, I have witnessed too many examples of elected officials, who voted favorably on budgets and contracts for certain departments, who were then hired to work in that department, as the current charter language is weak, contradictory, and nebulous.

Having a cooling off period of two years will remove the decision-making process of elected officials during budget and contract negotiations, especially if the ulterior goal is to be hired full-time.”

Currently, elected officials, who are compensated, cannot work concurrently in the school department or municipal government. However, once a resignation takes effect or an official retires from office, the former official can be hired to work in the Methuen municipal government because the City Charter language is not legally binding on the subject. Previously, positions were created or augmented during budget debate that resulted in elected officials subsequently being hired for those newly created positions. This reform measure removes that past practice.

“If elected to the School Committee, I look forward to joint meetings with the City Council to work on meaningful and tangible budgetary, regulatory, and ethical reforms for the City of Methuen. We must continue to restore trust and integrity in our interactions as elected officials.”

On November 7th you can write in Kenneth Willette for Methuen School Committee and always include the address 10 Burnham Road, Apt. 506A or the vote will not count. ◊