The Andover Townsman
---- — Editor, Townsman:
Many of us are turned off by negative campaigning, but there is a clear contrast in the 18th Essex State Rep race.
Jim Lyons sends out materials that attack Barbara L’Italien, seeking to divert attention from his record in office. L’Italien’s eight years of State House experience and record of accomplishment were solid qualifications for her hiring by Treasurer Steve Grossman, and she has drawn kudos for what she achieved there in less than two years.
Lyons says he favors rolling back the sales tax and cutting the income tax, while supporting increased local aid. It doesn’t add up. Every reduction in state revenues in recent years has led to local aid cuts, resulting in cutbacks in local police, fire, education, and public works services. To help protect these important functions and diversify revenue sources, it was the Andover Town Meeting that voted to increase the meals tax and hotel/motel tax, not the state legislature, which Lyons would know if he ever attended local meetings.
L’Italien, by contrast, is running a positive campaign. In her materials and statements, she emphasizes her clear record of working with both Republicans and Democrats to increase local aid for special education, to provide health-insurance coverage for autism, to reform the pension system, and to improve care for senior citizens.
As state rep., L’Italien worked across the aisle on key local issues, such as helping one neighborhood’s successful fight against a cell tower and getting the state to take responsibility for a salt shed that contaminated well water. She was an active participant with local officials on key issues such as securing state aid for rebuilding Bancroft Elementary School and pushing for approval of a new Interstate 93 interchange to open up major development and employment opportunities for Andover, Wilmington and Tewksbury.
Where has Jim Lyons been for the past two years? Busy attacking others on Beacon Hill when he could have been working with others to pass legislation and improve conditions and services to our towns.
Two different approaches to the job, and the record shows L’Italien’s full-time representation on Beacon Hill produces far greater results.
3 Robandy Road