Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Municipal Breakast Update, New Essex Heritage Trustee, Salem Rotary Meeting, Sheriff Cousins Provides Update

Essex Heritage leadership Updated on Municipal Breakfast Plans

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, the Executive Committee of Essex Heritage met in a regularly scheduled meeting. In addition to the usual operational reports that are provided to that body, an update on the upcoming Municipal/Legislative breakfast in Peabody on January 25. 2010 was provided. A report on the agenda for that meeting was outlined and an overview of what is expected to be accomplished in the presentation to a group of municipal and other elected officials in the region we serve was reviewed. It was also reported that reservations for this event are running ahead of expectations, and there will be strong representation from over the entire region. We have positive responses from large City Mayors, Town Managers and Administrators from both medium and smaller communities and the leadership of Essex Heritage is looking forward to the opportunity to provide an update on past, present and future activities of Essex Heritage to that group.

New Essex Heritage Trustee Appointment

Another important issue considered by the Executive Committee was the appointment of a new Essex Heritage Trustee. That matter was discussed and a positive recommendation was unanimously made to present the appointment of Mr. Bruce Whear, the President of Wire 4 Hire, a Salem businessman and a Swampscott resident, as a Trustee to the full board at their next regularly scheduled meeting. We were recently made aware that due to a very busy schedule, David Hall of Newburyport who has served on the Essex Heritage Board of Trustees since the middle of 2010 has asked to step down from that post. David has agreed to stay on as a Commissioner and has been and will continue to be a strong advocate and financial supporter of the work of Essex Heritage. We are most appreciative of the past commitments of David Hall, and we look forward to continuing to work with him as we pursue the Essex Heritage mission in the future.

This resignation has opened another spot on the Essex Heritage Board of Trustees and a recommendation will be made to fill that vacancy by adding Mr. Bruce Whear of Swampscott and Salem to fill that spot. I have had the pleasure of working in many capacities with Bruce Whear for a number of years, and have served with him on several boards including the Salem Rotary Club, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem and the North Shore Community College Foundation Board. Bruce has been an Essex Heritage Commissioner for many years owns and operates, Wire for Hire a most successful electrical contractor business in Salem and in that capacity provides a link to Essex Heritage to a broad array of professionals in the building and home improvement trades. Bruce has been a licensed electrical contractor for the last three decades and has built his business, Wire 4 Hire into a most successful electrical contracting company. Bruce has served as an Assistant Governor of the Rotary District that serves this region, and is the founder and administrator of the Contractors Consortium. In addition to his electrical business, Bruce is a part time actor and has appeared in a number of local TV commercials and has acted in local plays and comedic performances. We believe that Bruce Whear will make strong contributions to the work of Essex Heritage and we look forward to early February 2010 when he will officially join the board of Trustees,

Salem Rotary Club Meeting

Yesterday, as I do on most Tuesday’s at noon, I attended the weekly meeting of the Salem Rotary Club at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem. I have been a member of the Salem Rotary for about sixteen years, and continue to enjoy the fellowship offered each week at lunch, and also find that the speakers who impart information to us each week provide me with a continuing stream of information about the City and the region where I live and work. I had only been a member of the Rotary for about six years when I retired for Salem Five, but felt that I would stay a couple of years longer, on my own, and now after an additional ten years, I find that I still active and participating in the work of the club. It is clear to anyone that comes in contact with the work of the club, that what the membership of this and other Rotary Clubs in the area do for this region is superlative. The fundraising efforts of the Salem club are herculean and the beneficiaries are broad and varied. Some of the most important beneficiaries are the Salem schools and the youngsters they serve. At yesterday’s meeting four of those young people were honored for their leadership efforts, and the presentations that each of them provided was inspiring. There were two young women for the Salem Academy Charter School and two equally talented and articulate young women from Salem High School. Note that all four recipients of the Rotary awards were women.

Sheriff Frank Cousins Provided Information on the Efforts of his Office

Yesterday the primary presenter at the meeting was Sheriff Frank Cousins representing the many correctional institutions that he manages. Sheriff Cousins provided an update on the work of his office to not just incarcerate prisoners but to provide programs to help rehabilitate them before they once again rejoin society. He brought us up to date on the activities and the population at the House of Correction in Middleton and on several other facilities in Lawrence for transitional prisoners and in Salisbury for a group of woman who are receiving treatment and then the receiving the opportunity to participate in work release programs. In response to a final question from the audience, the Sherriff indicated that if he had more money suddenly in his budget that he would allocate those funds to the development of more educational programs and to provide more attention to drug treatment and education. Like most of the speaking programs offered at the Salem Rotary Club, I came away from lunch with more knowledge that I had when I arrived.

Tragedy in Haiti

The news overnight from the Island of Haiti painted a most difficult picture for the residents of that country. The earthquake and the damage that was sustained on that island seems to be almost unbelievably severe. The buildings on the island are flimsy at best, and the devastation appears to most complete. There certainly is a large Haitian population located in this region, and we certainly feel badly for those that cannot even make contact with their family members still on the island to learn of their plight. We can only hope that the loss of life on the Island will be less that originally thought, and that the rescue and humanitarian efforts of the American Government soon to be launched will have some impact on the those now suffering in that region.

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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