EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 9, 2014

Possible candidate pulls papers to run for Selectman

By Bill Kirk

---- — ANDOVER — Kevin Cuff, who ran for state representative last year but lost to the Lawrence candidate, may be running for a seat on the Board of Selectmen.

Cuff, 49, of 265 Beacon St., picked up nomination papers from the town clerk's office yesterday. He has until Feb. 4 to turn in 50 signatures of registered voters in order to get on the ballot for the March 25 election.

"I pulled the papers, I'm going to take a look at it and talk to a couple of people," he said. "I got the papers because I am thinking about it."

He said he would be talking to his family, including his wife and young daughter, about whether to move forward and actually run for the seat.

Cuff ran last year as an Independent for the state representative's seat in the 17th District, which represents three precincts in Andover, part of Lawrence and Methuen. Last fall, he won the Andover precincts but lost heavily in Lawrence to former City Council President Frank Moran, which caused him to lose the election.

The seat had formerly been held by Republican Paul Adams, also an Andover resident, who ran but lost for state Senate against Barry Finegold, a Democrat.

"I've run before, the timing looks good," Cuff said. "This looks pretty good for me."

Selectman Mary Lyman announced this week that she would not be running for re-election, leaving the three-year seat open to challengers.

Cuff runs a non-profit organization, the Professional Risk Managers International Association, comprised of risk management professionals, mostly in financial services, but also in health care and energy. The organization has almost 100,000 members worldwide.

He already serves on the town's Affordable Housing Committee.

"I have lived here 20 years, I'm a pretty good citizen, I have run for public office before," he said. "It's not because I was driven on a particular issue, but I am driven. My academic and professional background lends itself extremely well to this kind of work. I can hit the ground running."

He said the main issue in town is skyrocketing property taxes.

"Anyone living in Andover has to be concerned with the level of property taxes we pay," he said, adding that the recent push by the Board of Selectmen to collect fees in lieu of taxes from non-profit schools like Phillips Academy, Pike School and Merrimack College would be a good way of increasing revenues for town coffers.

"All of this revenue side of the equation in Andover ought to be looked at as closely as possible," he said. "Property taxes will never go down although values have gone down. ... The management of all that I find interesting."