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City Council approves more than $3K to combat opioid epidemic

 By Christopher Roberson

 

The City Council, during its Oct. 25 meeting, voted unanimously to invest $3,500 in the ongoing effort to thwart the opioid crisis.

Councillor-at-Large Anne Manning-Martin, chairwoman of the council’s Drug Education and Awareness Committee, said $1,500 will go to the Citizens Inn Transition Residential Recovery Program, $1,000 will go to the Peabody YMCA Family Recovery Program and the remaining $1,000 will go to the Colton Buckley Foundation. Manning-Martin said the money was “raised privately through donations.”

In addition, the council worked with the city’s Health Department, Fire Department, Atlantic Ambulance and the Colton Buckley Foundation to arrange for Narcan training from 4:30-5 p.m. on Nov. 10 at the AOH Club on Lowell Street.

In addition to the initial $3,500, Manning-Martin said, the council donated $1,500 to purchase Narcan units for the training session. “We called together some interested parties, and after some brainstorming, we thought it would be a good fit to offer the training at the pasta dinner held the evening before the annual Colton Buckley 5K Road Race,” she said. “Given the stigma and actual cost of purchasing Narcan, we thought it would be helpful to provide units of Narcan to the training participants to take home with them if they wish.”

The race itself, which will be held on Nov. 11 this year, is in memory of Colton Buckley, who at 22 years old passed away from an overdose on April 6, 2014.

“The Buckley family has been very selfless and courageous in sharing their tragedy in hopes of helping other families who may be facing this battle,” said Manning-Martin. “As a community, we are thankful for their efforts and encourage others to reach out for help.”

 

New Facilities Director

In other news, the council voted unanimously to appoint Gloucester resident James Hafey as the city’s new facilities director. Prior to the vote, Mayor Edward Bettencourt said Hafey was chosen to replace former Facilities Director Timothy Healy, who recently retired after “almost four years.”

Bettencourt said Hafey was Gloucester’s first facilities director and held the position for eight years. During that time, Hafey was responsible for 40 employees as well as all municipal and school buildings. In addition, Bettencourt said Hafey also has experience working with the state Department of Conservation & Recreation and with the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

Hafey said is looking forward to working for the city. “There are some challenges and what I like – I like fixing things,” he said, adding that his greatest challenge is managing personnel. “It’s going to take a while to get to know these people.”

In addition, Hafey said one of his top priorities will be to develop a “comprehensive plan” detailing the current condition of Peabody’s buildings.

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