EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

November 1, 2013

Editorial: Rivera has the skills Lawrence needs

There’s no denying that Mayor William Lantigua is popular in Lawrence. Lantigua, the first Latino elected to a full term as mayor, has a strong base among the city’s Dominican population.

But the people of Lawrence, Latino and Anglo alike, can do better.

The people of Lawrence would do better with a mayor who serves all residents of the city, not just his political friends and allies.

The people of Lawrence would do better with a mayor with the education and professional background needed to meet the challenges the city faces.

The people of Lawrence would do better with a mayor who has the courage to tackle the city’s problems head-on, who will not hide from tough questions, who is not afraid to face the people of Lawrence and defend his record in a setting he cannot control.

Lantigua talks a good game at rallies organized by his political supporters. But when called on to debate his political challengers, Lantigua runs and hides. When television cameras roll or when reporters approach, he falls mute, as if his silence is a show of strength. It is nothing of the sort. It is nothing but cowardice.

Lantigua will not speak to a general audience because he is afraid. He fears tough questions because he has no answers. He will not debate because his record cannot withstand scrutiny.

The people of Lawrence need a mayor who will first stand up for himself before he stands up for the city. Lawrence needs Daniel Rivera to be its next mayor.

Rivera, 42, is a two-term city councilor who lives in Lawrence’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. He is an Army veteran who saw service in the first Gulf War. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a master’s degree in business administration from Suffolk University. He works for a shipping consultant in Andover. Prior to joining the private sector, he handled economic development issues for former Congressman Martin Meehan.

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