EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

July 17, 2013

Officials push to restore sand funding

Costello: $300K budget cut by governor was 'very shortsighted'

(Continued)

But, Costello added, it could also be that Salisbury Beach was caught between political forces.

“The second reason could be that the governor vetoed the money because I didn’t support his $1.9 billion tax increase plan,” Costello said. “(The Legislature is) in a heated debate over that because we gave him $500 million for his tax plan. He could be using his vetoes as leverage.”

At the start of budget season, Patrick announced an ambitious tax plan that would provide almost $2 billion in additional state dollars to be used to augment education and transportation funding, calling it his “legacy.” Patrick also announced he will not be running for re-election.

Salisbury Beach Betterment Association President Ray Champagne expressed dismay Monday when he heard Patrick had vetoed the money for Salisbury Beach, as did SBBA member John Housiantis.

“I’m very disappointed in Gov. Patrick,” said Housiantis, an active member of Salisbury’s Town Democratic Committee. “I worked on the governor’s re-election. I made calls for him; I held signs. We have to make calls to our legislators to get an override of that veto.”

Costello said that’s exactly where it stands.

“I’ve been on the phone the whole morning about this,” Costello said. “I’ve been speaking with (House Ways and Means Committee Chairman) Brian Dempsey’s office to tell them how much we need to take this up for an override vote.”

The Ways and Means Committee has been meeting to discuss the vetoes and will make recommendations to the House on the which of the vetoed items the committee will recommend for an override. According to Costello’s chief of staff, Adam Martignetti, Dempsey, from Haverhill, has been sympathetic to Salisbury Beach’s needs, he said, due to the relationship Haverhill residents have with the beach.

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