EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 6, 2013

Councilor at-large candidates cite top issues

By Mark E. Vogler

---- — LAWRENCE — Six candidates running the three City Council at-large seats in the Sept. 17 preliminary election cited public safety, improving the city’s tax base, addressing quality of life matters and increasing recreational opportunities for the city’s youth as the top issues facing the city.

There are 12 at-large candidates on the ballot, and the top six vote-getters will move on to the Nov. 5 general election. Half of the field appeared at last night’s candidate’s forum sponsored by the Lawrence City Democratic Committee at the Lawrence Public Library.

Former City Councilor Modesto Maldonado cited “providing the services the citizens need without picking their pockets” as his top concern.

Attorney Cara Martinoli said public safety was her chief issue, particularly the hiring of a new police chief to replace Chief John Romero, who retired earlier this week.

Veteran City Councilor Roger Twomey said he has a passion for “quality of life issues,” particularly a clean appearance for the city.

Former school teacher Maria de la Cruz cited the availability of recreational programs and facilities for the city’s youth as her top concern. Vocational Technical School Committeewoman Denise Perrault said she was most concerned about using too many of the old mill buildings for new housing and limiting the potential space of future companies moving into the city.

Former City Councilor Nilka Alvarez-Rodriguez referred to numerous projects she tackled during a decade on the council.

“I’m going to be about making sure we make change,” she said.