EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 18, 2013

Editorial: Some cheers, some jeers for recent newsmakers


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — CHEERS to those who care enough to go the extra mile.

Church suppers are not known for dishing up fine cuisine. They’re more about the spirit of community they generate than the food.

But one church supper in Atkinson is growing in popularity for a killer spaghetti sauce prepared by Chuck White. Last week, people were already anticipating the spaghetti supper at the Atkinson Congregational Church scheduled for last Saturday night. The dinner was postponed from the previous Saturday due to the blizzard. The meal usually draws a crowd of 300 or more.

White, a dentist in Atkinson who has been preparing the annual feast for 15 years, won’t divulge the secret of his spaghetti sauce. But he did tell reporter John Toole the key is preparation, not any special ingredients.

“We simmer and cook it for a long period of time,” White said. “That’s probably the sauce thing.”

White’s sauce is so popular, he’s stuck with the job.

“I’ve been told the only way I can get rid of the job is to pass away or move away,” White said. “I don’t plan to do either anytime soon.”

Congratulations to White and his crew for making the effort to produce the best spaghetti dinner they can. Enjoy the feast.

JEERS to public “servants” serving themselves.

Former Methuen Town Manager and Chelsea Housing Authority Director Michael McLaughlin plans to plead guilty to federal charges he falsely reported his salary to state and federal regulators.

McLaughlin, of Dracut, was charged with concealing his salary in housing authority budgets over several years. In 2011, authorities say McLaughlin reported his salary was $160,415, when his actual salary was at least $283,471 and his total compensation was at least $324,896.

If convicted, McLaughlin faced a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated matter, former New Hampshire state Rep. Ronald “Tony” Giordano of Salem has begun a one-year jail term on drug charges.

Giordano, who was once also the leader of Salem’s Zoning Board of Adjustment, pleaded guilty in Rockingham County Superior Court last week to selling the prescription painkiller Oxycodone. Giordano was arrested Dec. 30, 2011, after selling 139 Oxycodone pills to a Salem police informant. He resigned from the zoning board days later.

As Methuen town manager in the early 1990s, McLaughlin was derided by councilors as a “power hungry” and “ruthless” politician. He resigned under pressure in October 1992.

McLaughlin’s primary motivation was always himself. Giordano’s motives are less clear.

Both have betrayed the constituents they were expected to serve.