To the editor:

I notice that Phil DeCologero, candidate for state representative, adopted the slogan "A Leader You Can Trust." His claim is that he will be "transparent." Well, I'm a taxpayer in Methuen who doesn't trust DeCologero.

"Why?" you ask.

While reading a recent article published by The Eagle-Tribune, Phil desperately went on the attack; pointing the finger at our current state representative for receiving the same compensation that is afforded to all qualified state legislators -- both Democrats and Republicans.

It turns out that while Phil was bashing the incumbent representative and talking about transparency, he wasn't talking about how much he made this past year as a taxpayer-funded employee in Methuen. He also didn't mention that he accepted nearly $400 per week in a taxpayer-funded pay-raise this past year from Mayor Stephen Zanni. Averaged out, that's over $20,000 extra per year.

If that number sounds familiar to you, it should. It's the same pay-raise that his boss, Mayor Zanni, tried to give himself in the last city budget! Even worse, Zanni gave this taxpayer-funded pay-raise to DeCologero shortly before he endorsed his run for state representative.

Had enough yet? Wait, there's more! DeCologero then took thousands of dollars more in paid sick time, vacation time and a severance package just before leaving the mayor's office to campaign full-time, all summer long. Mr. Transparency didn't mention any of this to us.

Most candidates work for a living and can't bankroll their political career by exploiting their taxpayer-funded job.

DeCologero isn't worried about taxpayers. He's fleecing them. He can spin the slogan "a leader you can trust" all day long. The only thing that is transparent is that he will be in the pockets of the same local politicians who have been lining his. We can't trust DeCologero. He's already proven that.

Jennifer Jones

Methuen

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