EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Election Connection

October 13, 2012

Candidates for legislature clash over issues at breakfast

(Continued)

Lyons took L’Italien to task for taking a $100,000-a-year job in the state treasurer’s office a few days after she was defeated for re-election in 2010. He also said L’Italien “sat by” when the Legislature raised the sales tax from 5 percent to 6.25 percent.

L’Italien said the tax hike was necessary because the state faced a multi-billion-dollar deficit. As for the job in the treasurer’s office, she said she helped a “green staff” learn how to work with the Legislature.

L’Italien also said the small business/banking partnership she started in the treasurer’s office has lent $362 million to people starting businesses. Five Andover banks received $27 million of that lending capital, she said.

Taking a swipe at Lyons, she said some people find it “more fun to throw rocks and poke people in the eye.”

“I don’t poke anyone in the eye,” Lyons shot back. Countering L’Italien’s assertion that she believes in “working together,” Lyons said, “the Democrats work together to raise taxes.”

The candidates for register of deeds, Republican Jack Wilson, Democrat Paul Iannuccillo and independent Brian Corrigan, did not criticize each other. All three promised to improve the Northern Essex Registry of Deeds website and streamline the operation.

They also said they will do the job full time. Robert Kelley, the incumbent register whom Iannuccillo knocked off in the Sept. 6 primary, was criticized for not showing up at his office.

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