ANDOVER — People who want to do business in Lawrence no longer have to worry about being strong-armed by corrupt officials, according to the newly elected mayor.
“You’ll be happy to know if you come to City Hall you won’t have to worry about someone shaking you down,” said Daniel Rivera, now on day 15 of his 4-year term as mayor. “We are cleaning house.”
Rivera, speaking to a record crowd of 300 people at the annual Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce mayors and town managers breakfast at the Andover Country Club yesterday, was frank in his comments to the movers and shakers of the region.
“Thank you for sticking with the city,” said Rivera. “We appreciate that you kept your business in Lawrence. We know it wasn’t easy.”
In the fall election, Rivera narrowly defeated Mayor William Lantigua, who was popular but whose administration was saddled with accounts of alleged corruption.
He stressed that Lawrence is “open for business again” and was ready to start working closely with neighboring communities to improve the economy of the region.
“It’s important for people in other communities to know that we are part of the family,” he said in a brief interview with The Eagle-Tribune. He said his comments regarding being shaken down were meant to show that he has an “above-board organization that plays by the rules.”
He said his biggest push since being sworn in Jan. 2 is on law enforcement. He said he spends 2-3 hours a day with the police chief.
“We are working to control crime,” he said, “so when you come down to dinner you’ll have a pleasant experience.”
Rivera, who received enthusiastic applause after being introduced by moderator Sal Lupoli, was one of a half-dozen local leaders to address the audience.