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Chalvire takes on Charest for Ward 4 seat



Bukia Chalvire has challenged incumbent City Councillor Edward Charest for the chance to bring adequate representation back to Peabody’s fourth ward.

“After meeting and listening to Ward 4 residents express their dissatisfaction with the current councillor’s overall performance and his lack of visibility in the ward, I feel I can provide the representation that they are looking for,” said Chalvire. “I am grateful for the warm and enthusiastic reception from the Ward 4 residents.”

New to the political arena, Chalvire said her background is in sales, marketing and self-employment, providing “great insight in terms of negotiating, problem solving, interpersonal, critical and creative skills which are a prerequisite for any political office.”

Chalvire said she and her campaign staff have been out talking to voters for the past four months. “We are listening to voters’ concerns, taking notes and working towards solutions already, not waiting until I am elected,” she said.

At this point, Chalvire said Ward 4 is in need of a fresh start. “There appears to be a communication gap between voters and the current Ward 4 councillor. When elected, I will regularly schedule office hours to give residents the opportunity to meet with me face to face to discuss their concerns and encourage input,” she said. “I believe we need to foster a new vision and create a path forward for Ward 4, all the while maintaining the quality of life we enjoy and ensuring Peabody remains affordable for seniors, hardworking families and our small business community.”

If elected, Chalvire said, addressing infrastructure problems, such as poor water pressure as well as deteriorating roads and sidewalks, would be at the top of her list.

In response, Charest said Chalvire’s statements regarding his performance and visibility are simply inaccurate. “I’m surprised to hear that,” he said. “I’m out there more than the average ward councillor; people actually know me.”

In addition, Charest said he has always made it a point to return phone calls. “I’m a big believer in getting back to people,” he said.

Charest said some of his accomplishments during the past 19 months include moving an MBTA bus stop out of a residential neighborhood on Forest Street, preventing solar panels from being installed on Jill’s Way and Wahtera Road, improving water pressure in the Brooksby Farm neighborhood and thwarting off overdevelopment on Richardson Road and Mount Pleasant Street. “I know my ward, I’m pleased with what I’ve been able to accomplish,” said Charest. “I’ve always worked very hard; I’ve never taken things laying down.”

A Ward 4 resident for 28 years, Charest said he served on the School Committee for eight years and was a coach for the city’s youth soccer program for 12 years. He was also a member of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) when his daughters were in elementary school. “I was one of the few fathers in the elementary school PTO,” he said.

In the 2015 City Council race, Charest defeated Jarrod Hochman by an incredibly close margin of 655-651.

By Christopher Roberson

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