Local Government and Politics, News

The race is on in Peabody’s Ward 6

PEABODY — The revitalization of Crystal Lake, a proposed Birch Street subdivision, and the relationship with Aggregate Industries are among the big issues West Peabody voters will consider when they head to the polls Tuesday.

The Ward 6 City Council primary will narrow the field from three to two candidates for the Nov. 7 general election. Michael Geomelos, Mark O’Neill, and Margaret Tierney are looking to fill the shoes of Barry Sinewitz, who is stepping down after a decade as the ward councilor.

Michael Geomelos.

Geomelos is the part-owner of Travel Leather, a 60-year-old, family-owned and operated business and the last remaining leather tannery in Peabody. He is a graduate of Peabody Veterans Memorial High School and has a BA in Business Management from Merrimack College.

“When Councilor Sinewitz recently announced that he would not seek reelection after his 10 years of serving on the City Council, I was determined to make sure that the residents of Ward Six would continue to have a strong advocate for the issues that are important to them such as keeping real estate taxes low, preventing overdevelopment, providing top quality services to our seniors as well as to our children, and work continuously to improve the quality of life for the constituents, ” Geomelos said.

Geomelos said the biggest issues facing the ward are the proposed 23-home subdivision off Birch Street and how it will impact the quiet enjoyment of the surrounding neighbors, water runoff and the class sizes at the Burke School, the Crystal Lake Restoration Project, and the ongoing and often volatile relationship with Aggregate Industries.

Mark O’Neill.

O’Neill has lived in Ward 6 for 45 years. His wife, Tracy, works at the Burke School and his two children have gone through the Peabody school system.

He has worked for the Lexington Insurance Company for the last 13 years and currently manages its Transportation Department.

Like Geomelos, O’Neill points to the Birchwood Development as an issue concerning Ward 6 residents due to the potential impact on traffic, noise, and flooding in the area.

“The planning board is currently reviewing this matter but I intend on working to ensure that the development does not have an adverse effect on the surrounding community, ” O’Neill said.

Making sure damaged streets in the ward are repaired in conjunction with other city projects is also a priority, the candidate said.

Tierney is serving her 15th year as an elected library trustee in the city.

The current revitalization of Crystal Lake offers a number of opportunities for Ward 6 and the city, she said.

Margaret Tierney.

“(This will) soon provide a beautifully landscaped area for all to enjoy with a proposed gazebo and walkways allowing families to gather in the community and enjoy this precious green space, ” Tierney said.  “I’d like to also use this area for money-making events such as cookouts and various outings to create substantial scholarships for our PHS students, events to honor our Peabody police, fire, EMT and teachers who often don’t get the support or well-deserved recognition. “

Tierney said she will also pay close attention to the issues surrounding the Birch Street development and the continuing relationship between neighbors and Aggregate Industries.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

Polling locations for the primary are the West Memorial School for Precinct 1 and the Burke School for Precincts 2 and 3.

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