EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

March 6, 2014

Campbell, Lyons fight to keep Salem selectman seats

Incumbents selectmen face challenge from businessman

SALEM — Two longtime town officials are facing a challenge to hold on to their selectman seats.

Incumbents Stephen Campbell and Michael Lyons both want another three-year term on the five-member board.

But local business owner Michael Petrilli Sr. wants one of the two selectman seats up for grabs in the election Tuesday.

Petrilli, owner of Lighthouse Vending & Foodservice in Salem since 1997, said he believes his business experience is needed on the board to rein in spending and keep property taxes under control.

Although this is his first run for elected office, Petrilli is confident he’s the right person for the position after successfully starting and running his own business.

“For the last 16-plus years, I have been balancing budgets, securing capital and expanding my business service area,” he said.

Petrilli attracted attention seven years ago when he fought to change a town ordinance that prohibited business owners from parking commercial vehicles at their homes. Neighbors complained to the town after Petrilli parked his company truck outside his Granite Avenue residence.

He submitted a citizen’s petition warrant article, but it was soundly defeated by voters at Town Meeting in March 2008.

Petrilli encounters competition from two candidates with extensive experience in public office.

Lyons is seeking his fourth term as selectman and Campbell is looking for his second.

Lyons has served on the Planning Board and Conservation Commission. Campbell was a Charter Committee member and spent 16 years on the town’s Budget Committee.

Lyons and Campbell often disagree, and Campbell is frequently in the minority when the board votes on issues. They have refrained from making personal attacks in the weeks leading up to the election, opting to run solely on their own merits.

Campbell is a fiscal conservative who believes the town needs to do a better job controlling spending in the wake of rising taxes and local residents losing their homes to foreclosure.

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