EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

April 9, 2013

Two more join race for Lawrence mayor

Eighth candidate enters council race

(Continued)

At least five of the seven remaining incumbents —Roger Twomey (at large), Sandy Almonte (District A), Estella Reyes (District B), Eileen Bernal (District E) and Marc Laplante (District F) — are seeking new terms. Councilors Kendrys Vasquez (District C) and Oneida Aquino (District D) did not return phone calls or emails seeking to learn their plans.

In addition, former councilor Modesto Maldonado last week picked up petitions for an at-large seat, as did Francisco Surillo, a member of the Lawrence School Committee; Denise Perrault, a member of the Greater Lawrence Technical School Committee; Samuel Reyes, a former school committeeman who ran for the council in District D two years ago; Peter Polito, who picked up petitions to run for the council in 2009 but did not make it to the preliminary election; and Francisco Brea, a former member of the city’s Human Rights Commission.

After picking up petitions yesterday, former Councilor Alvarez-Rodriguez said she wants to return to the help it resolve issues that have languished for years.

“I think we’re rehashing a lot of the things we were going through when I was on the council,” she said, including the ongoing debate about what to do with the 100 or so alleys that were abandoned by the Essex Co. 20 years ago, which have become magnets for vagrancy, drug use and prostitution. “I’d like to see them move onto other issues. It seems if we had more institutional knowledge on the council, we could move a lot faster.”

Two candidates have picked up petitions to run for the city’s School Committee, a body that was stripped of its powers last year when the state took over city schools and appointed a receiver to run them, citing chronic underachievement.

Incumbent James Blachford will run for a second term, representing District F. Homayoun Malli is running in District E, now represented by Patricia Mariano.

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