Monday, May 2, 2011



Tickets and tables are now selling quickly for the Essex Heritage Hero Dinner on May 19, 2011, and we urge you to act now to make your reservation for the event that will honor Mayor Driscoll, North Shore Community College President Burton, and Danvers Town Manager Marquis. The event will be one of the premier events in the region this year, and you will not want to miss the evening of fun and good fellowship all to benefit the programs of Essex Heritage. For more information contact Deb Payson at 978 740 044 or at


Beginning in early May, The City of Newburyport will start to charge visitors for parking in that communities parking lots. Parking will still be free for residents who apply for a parking sticker. We certainly understand the needs of every community to consider every possible way to increase revenue, but it will be interesting to see how this action will impact visitors who come to this regional destination to visit the many interesting shops in that community.


Joseph M. Gibbons, President of the mutual savings bank headquartered in Salem since its founding in 1855 recently announced that the corporate by laws will be changed to make it substantially more difficult for present or future management to change the form of ownership from mutual to stock. The changes will likely insure that the 156 year old bank will remain mutual into the future, and unlike public companies that operate for the benefit of stockholders, mutually owned banks operate for the benefit of depositors. The directors of a mutual bank are typically elected by corporators chosen to represent the community. The new rules call for an 80% approval vote of a merger by the corporators vs. the old 80% threshold. Also the new rules bar bank employees and overseers from personally profiting from a conversion by prohibiting them from receiving any stock within five years of the change. They can never profit from a conversion if these new bylaws are changed or repealed. The announcement went on to point out the bank is well capitalized and being mutual allows the bank to plan long term instead of having to meet projections every quarter. In addition to the Salem location, the bank has 22 branch locations is about the open two new locations in the immediate future. The bank earned $17.6 million last year and has 450 employees. Gibbons ended his announcement by stating ”community banks serve a critical role in the community for customers of the bank and the employees’

I believe that in light of some of the conversions that have taken place across the country and in this region, these changes are great news and a wonderful commitment by the Salem Five to be an important and meaningful financial partner with the communities and customers it serves into the future.

For the record, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I was an operating officer of Salem Five for almost four decades until my retirement in 1999, and I still serve the bank as a Corporator today,


Similar to other communities, the Town of Danvers was pleased to learn recently that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will release substantially more chapter 90 funds that are used to refurbish roads in the Community In 2011 the State has awarded $911,912 that is an increase of 29% over the amounted provided in 2010. The Town is now making plans regarding which streets will be repaved.


In the last couple of days, the Danvers Family Festival Selection Committee has both contacted me, and made public an announcement that I have been selected to receive the prestigious Baron Mayer Award given each year to someone in the community who demonstrates a commitment to volunteerism and community service as did former Selectman Baron Mayer for whom the award is named. The award will be presented at the champagne reception that “kicks off” the annual Family Festival series of events. The reception is scheduled for June 24, 2011 at Glen Magna Farms in Danvers. I am pleased, honored and humbled by my selection, and I am pleased to be added to the list of former winners. I want to take this opportunity to thank the people who took the time to offer my name in nomination. The letters of nomination from Town Manager Wayne Marquis, St. John’s Prep Principal Dr. Edward Hardiman, Executive Director of Essex Heritage, Annie Harris,
Danvers Council on Aging Director Ms. Pam Parkinson was very complimentary, very flattering, and I am grateful for their support. I also want to thank the committee that selected me for this wonderful honor. I look forward to the reception in June, and hope to share the evening with many friends and associates. Tickets for the event will be available soon, and announcements will be made in the local media and on the Family Festival website at


Speaking of annual awards, The Salem Award committee has announced that the annual Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice has chosen, Jonathan Shay to receive this year’s award. The award is provided each year to keep alive the lessons of the Salem Witch Trials, and to recognize those who are speaking out and taking action to alleviate discrimination and promote tolerance. This year’s recipient is staff psychiatrist at the Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Boston. The award will be presented on May 7, 2011 at Salem High School. Tickets for the awards event that can include a buffet dinner can be obtained at

Olde Salem Village Activities Committee

Earlier this week, a full house of residents attended a presentation at the complex clubhouse provided by Danvers Town Archivist Richard Trask. Dick took us all back in time 300 years and provided facts along with supporting exhibits, that painted a picture of what the people who lived in this region might have been like. The exhibits he offered provided his audience with a mental picture of how the people from Salem Village lived and died at that period in the region’s history. He provided documents, grave stone rubbings and artifacts gained from archeological digs in the area. As always Dick’s presentation was interesting, articulate, and left everyone wanting more. I am proud to serve with Dick on many local organization’s boards, and he is a wonderful recourse to the Town of Danvers and this entire region. Dick also serves s a Commissioner of Essex Heritage and has served with distinction.


It was wonderful news that a collection of funds in excess of $60,000 from varied resources have been pledged to be sure to keep the Beverly Homeless Shelter open evenings this summer. Congratulations to the group that organized on very short notice to complete this task.

Danvers Primary Election Day on Tuesday

If you are a resident of Danvers, remember that there is a primary election in town on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Get out to vote. It is such an important role we all must play.

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