EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 2, 2013

Letter: Methuen council botches simple business of governing

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

For years, Methuen residents were forced to see our city’s name splashed across the front page of the paper. We were specifically subjected to a seemingly endless battle between our police chief and mayor, a battle that left many of us regular Methuenites both jaded and disappointed.

Last week, Methuen finally saw substantial progress made when Mayor Stephen Zanni — who inherited a lawsuit with the police chief — was able to hammer out an agreement with our chief that left everyone, including taxpayers, feeling relieved.

As the mayor was working on this settlement that treated taxpayers fairly, the Methuen City Council was botching what should have been an easy search for a new city solicitor.

Now, because of secret meetings, accusations of corruption, and even stray text messages, the Methuen City Council has landed Methuen once again on the front page of the paper. The council’s inability to conduct simple business is disappointing, but that they think the solicitor search process has been acceptable is absolutely appalling. What is perhaps most ironic is that one of the councilors on the inept search committee thinks she would do a better job as mayor than Steve Zanni.

I think the City Council would do well if it took a page out of Mayor Zanni’s play book — set aside politics and work towards moving Methuen forward — instead of marring us in yet another embarrassing scandal.

Jim Moriarty