Monday, January 11, 2010

Essex Heritage Municipal-Legislative Breakfast, Danvers Town Meeting, St John's Prep MLK Award, Patriots Season Ends with a Thud

MONDAY, January 11, 2010

Essex Heritage Regional Municipal/Legislative Round Table meeting Scheduled for January 25, 2010

Over the last several months the leadership and the senior volunteers of Essex Heritage have been examining the activities and focus of Essex Heritage to identify a restated vision for the organization. This effort has been ongoing and most rewarding as all aspects of the work of Essex Heritage has been considered and an updated vision has been established and strategies to accomplish the goals outlined by the vision have been enumerated. The primary purpose of the exercise over these last months was to insure that Essex Heritage can continue to be a resource to the communities that it serves at a time when those resources are needed more than at any other time in recent history. Clearly the economic times and the uncertainties that are facing the local communities in the region we serve are difficult and each individual community is identifying specific strategies to address specific problems, but we believe that this is the time to act in concert with others. We believe that there is a lot that has been accomplished in this region by Essex Heritage that “flies under the radar”, because so many of our collaborative efforts are designed to highlight partners in the region and subvert the spotlight from the Commission. We will take some time at this event to highlight some of those initiatives that are regional in nature and truly cooperative efforts accomplished with one or a coalition of our many partners in the region.

Two weeks from today that new vision and an outline that will examine how Essex Heritage will enhance its already positive image in the region will be expanded and presented at a Municipal, Legislative breakfast meeting at the Marriott Hotel in Peabody. Invitations to that round table discussion have been extended to every Mayor, Town Manager, and Town Administrator in the thirty-four communities that are served by Essex Heritage. In addition to the local municipal leadership, invitations have also been extended to the entire twenty-five member legislative delegation that represents this region on Beacon Hill in Boston. We expect to see a broad representation of the leadership of the region in attendance at the session, and we are most pleased that Congressman John F. Tierney a long time staunch advocate for our work will be a keynote presenter at the breakfast. This will also be a wonderful opportunity for the regional leadership in the area to meet with the volunteer leadership of Essex Heritage and the vast majority of the Board of Trustees of the Commission will attend the meeting and be available to discuss the mission of Essex Heritage with the regional leadership. The members of the Essex Heritage Board of Trustees are a wonderfully diverse mix of local businesses, educational institutions and local not-for-profit service and visitor related organizations.

We believe that there has never been a more important time for regional dialog and problem solving than right now, and we will take the time that morning to provide perspective on how specific Essex Heritage strategic initiatives can help drive regional collaboration and provide economic opportunities. The primary presenters at the meeting representing Essex Heritage will be the current President of Essex Heritage, Kevin M. Tierney, the President and CEO of Saugus Bank, and Nancy Huntington Stager, immediate past President of Essex Heritage and the Executive Vice President of Eastern Bank, who over the last months have been the driving force behind the effort to update the strategic vision for Essex Heritage. The presentations will include some pertinent history of Essex Heritage through its initial years of operation, and an outline of the role of Essex Heritage in the future as it convenes collaborates and advocates on behalf of the communities, and sites of this region.

Town of Danvers Will Conduct another Town Meeting Later this Month

On the same day as the Essex Heritage Municipal and Legislative breakfast on January 25, 2010, the Town of Danvers town meeting members will once again gather for another Town Meeting. This meeting will cover a number of zoning matters, and a couple of other topical issues that are making there way through the Selectmen, including a Town texting ban while driving. A general Town Meeting means another session or two for the Finance Committee. Since I am a member of that body we will be gathering this week on Thursday evening at the Town’s senior center to once again hold discussions on Warrant Articles.

St John’s Prep to Celebrate Martin Luther King Day with an Award.
On Martin Luther King Day on Monday, January 18, 2010, St John’s Prep will be hosting a luncheon to help celebrate the holiday. At the luncheon that will be held in the Milano Dinning Room on campus, the first annual Martin Luther King Award will be provided to Ray Carey '67. During Ray’s time on the Danvers campus he has been instrumental in leading a wide range of justice and diversity efforts at St. John’s Prep and in the wider community. Ray Carey was an innovative social studies teacher at the “Prep” for nearly three decades before retiring from the classroom in 2006. He continues to coach the very successful three-season track program at the school, and also serves on the board of directors of Healing Abuse Working for Change, a Salem-based agency that provides services for people affected by domestic abuse.

New England Patriots Season Ends with a Thud and a Dud

On a cold and raw day in Foxborough yesterday, the up and down season of the New England Patriots came to a most unusual end. After winning all of their home games this year and carrying a multi-game home playoff winning streak into the game with Baltimore on Sunday they were beaten in every phase of the game played yesterday. Certainly for fans of the team, and their large season ticket holder base, that includes me, the disappointing loss was difficult to watch, and there will most certainly be many changes to be made before we see the team again at Gillette Stadium in September 2010. But I can not lament a single season loss or even a single season that did not live up to expectations. The last decade of Patriots football has been a joy to watch and enjoy. For someone who sat through the very lean years, and this team has most definitely had their share of lean years, the 1990’s were a most enjoyable decade, and I truly enjoyed the three world championships and the competitive nature of this team throughout the decade just ended.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts at Thanks. Tom Leonard

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