To the editor:
I fully support the candidacy of Neil Perry for mayor of Methuen and encourage all fellow residents to support his candidacy.
I expressed my disdain for the corrupt politics in Methuen, making three appearances before the City Council in May and June 2017.
At that time I called upon the mayor and City Council to seek judicial review of the outrageous contracts they supported for police officers making the rank of police captain to receive a base salary more than the salary afforded the president of the United States.
I also recommended a responsible and transparent budget process that required practical revenue projections.
None of these suggestions were implemented, and it became very clear to me that conflicts existed amongst the city councilors, compromising their ability to perform their tasks.
The current council president is a candidate for mayor. She is unfit to serve due to multiple conflicts of interest and her inability to assume responsibility for egregious mistakes she has made.
If elected, she will be unable to participate in multiple collective bargaining responsibilities with employees because her son is a police officer, her brother is a firefighter, and her sister is a teacher. These three bargaining groups constitute over 70% of local employees, and her conflicts will remove her from serious bargaining responsibilities, from salaries to benefits.
In 2012, as a member of the City Council, she voted to inflate the base to be used for cost of living increases for retired Methuen municipal employees, raising it every other year until 2021, when it will be the highest amongst the state’s 104 retirement systems.
Today she states she didn’t know what she voted for, but her father directly benefitted because he was and is a Methuen retiree.
Neil Perry has not participated in local politics for 20 years. He has two master’s degrees, held a responsible management job at Raytheon, and spent most of his time as a single parent raising four children.
He has refused any and all financial contributions from local school and municipal employees, and is committed to cleaning up the mess in Methuen. He has detailed plans on how to accomplish same and has run an issues=orientated, decent campaign.
Recently his opponent has succumbed to a low-level smear attack, publishing personal information about a divorce from two decades ago. This kind of muckraking and despicable behavior - exhibited by a conflicted and confused city councilor – is a dirty political trick and should be ignored by all good people.
The vile that comes from this type of politics is another reminder of why many of us seek to build a new and better tomorrow for Methuen.
I hope that voters will join me in supporting Neil Perry for mayor.
Charles H. Lyons