EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Latest News

December 27, 2013

Jajuga won't run for council chair

METHUEN — Councilor-elect James Jajuga pulled his name from consideration for chairman of the City Council next year, leaving two candidates in a potentially close contest.

Jajuga, who was elected to his first term last month, said business at his consultancy has been picking up and he did not feel he could apply the time and attention to chairing the nine-member council. As of now, that leaves councilors Jamie Atkinson and Sean Fountain, who served this year as chairman, lining up votes.

“I’ve been very busy and getting busier and I don’t see a let up, so I can’t devote the time I need to the chairmanship,” Jajuga said yesterday.

Jajuga, who owns Jajuga Associates, had lobbied for support after the election last month, but said yesterday he sent an email to councilors bowing out of the race for chairman. He said he has decided whom to support, but declined to divulge the name.

Atkinson, who will start his second term when the council is inaugurated Jan. 4, said he has reached out to councilors asking for their votes for chairman, though he would not say on the record how many have committed their support.

“I would say I’ve gotten a good response,” he said.

Fountain did not return a phone message seeking comment yesterday.

Atkinson currently has four councilors – Ron Marsan Thomas Ciulla, Daniel Grayton and himself – who have publicly announced their support.

“The only person who has asked for my vote is Councilor Atkinson, and I said I would consider it,” Marsan said. “And I guess I will back him. No one else has asked for my vote.”

Grayton said he was looking for a change of tone from the last two years. “He’s going to be a strong leader. As chairman he’s going to promote respect, civility and debate. It’s something that’s been lacking over the last couple of years,” Grayton said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Photos of the Week