TOM DUGGAN’S NOTEBOOK (06-22) ~ Methuen Malfunction, Haverhill Farmers Market, MORE! – The Patriot of the Valley


Several races for state representative in the Merrimack Valley will be decided in the Sept. 6 primary because there are no Republicans running (so far) in those races.

In the newly sculpted district of Lawrence/Methuen, it will be Methuen councilman Jim McCarty – who is out of a job and lives in his mother’s basement – ​​against Lawrence councilwoman Estela Reyes – who is owner, mother and has a paid activity. Whoever wins this primary will be the next state representative in this new district. Another race decided in the Sept. 6 primary is the race between Lawrence State Rep. Marcos Devers and Methuen resident Francisco Paulino. Former Methuen adviser Ryan Hamilton, who will replace Rep. Linda Dean Campbell, is running unopposed (so far).


In the race for Diana DiZoglio’s Open Senate seat, three Democrats are running for the nomination: Lawrence City Councilman Pavel Payano, Councilwoman Methuen Eunice Zeigler and Lawrence activist Doris Rodriquez. Whoever wins this primary will face Republican Methuen Kevin Freeman in the November final.


You would think that with a Methuen councilman running for state representative this year, fellow councilors and other Methuen dignitaries would line up to support him against his Lawrence opponent.

Still, Methuen Councilman Mike Simard – the most popular member of Methuen City Council – is supporting Lawrence Councilwoman Estela Reyes. The same goes for Councilor Methuen Steve Saba, former councilor Ron Marsan, school committee members Methuen Ryan DiZoglio and Jana Zanni Pesce, former school committee member Jana DiNatale and former councilor Methuen Jen Kannan , to name a few. I think that says a lot that so many influential people in Methuen would rather have a Lawrence adviser representing them in the State House than a current member of their own council. Perhaps the next item in the notebook will explain why.


Over the past four years I have spent a lot of time trying to sound the alarm in Methuen about how the Methuen Town Council has become dysfunctional, dirty, political and ineffective. At first, the counselors themselves attacked Me publicly (as if I were a fellow counselor) saying that I was just picking on them. WOW! Anyone watching these meetings will get a full dose of what I’ve been saying all this time. Councilors yell at each other in meetings, attack each other’s integrity, spend too much time on irrelevant issues while leaving more important issues ignored, and use televised council meetings to defend their supporters policies.

Now, years after they attacked me for saying all that, the councilors themselves are starting to say it – out loud at public meetings. Last month, Councilor Saba publicly declared the council to be “weak and dysfunctional”. Councilor DiZoglio echoed that sentiment, saying the council is wasting too much time on irrelevant matters. Councilor Finocchiaro said at that same meeting that the council was “ineffective and dysfunctional” following a scathing rebuke from fellow councilors who she said follow policies and procedures when it suits them and ignore them when it suits them.

So now that the advisers themselves are finally saying what I’ve been saying for four years, I wonder if there will be an apology in sight. I’m not holding my breath!


While the Eagle~Tribune tried to give us a big foothold on our own story and took the plunge last month with a front-page story about TMF’s return to Buckley’s Garage to feed the homeless on Wednesday nights. in Lawrence the fact is it was only two weeks ago when Lawrence City Council voted 8 to 1 to give these homeless advocates a home on Common Street to feed the homeless for the next two years. I find it interesting how they conveniently omitted some relevant information from their story, such as who led the change and who was involved. Poor quality reporting as usual from the Trib, but we are happy to report that TMF now has a 2 year license to serve the homeless on Wednesday nights on Common Street.


The Haverhill Farmers Market returns for its 44th season, starting June 25 and running until October 29 at 51 Merrimack Street, outside the Goecke parking lot. The market operates from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. selling a wide variety of local produce including farm fresh fruit, herbs, eggs, vegetables, delicious pastries, hummus, local wines, meads, honey , fresh bread, handmade soaps, dog treats, and much more. Additionally, shoppers can have knives and tools sharpened at On Edge Sharpening while browsing the market.
This year our partners and sponsors include; Jordan Financial & Insurance Services, Team Haverhill, Haverhill Bank, Haverhill Pavilion, Pentucket Bank, Creative Haverhill, Beth Israel Lahey Health-Anna Jaques Hospital, and the City of Haverhill.

Thank you for supporting the Haverhill Farmers Market for 44 years!
For more information, please visit:, find us on Facebook/haverhillfarmersmarket, or email Market Manager Jeff Grassie at [email protected]

James V. Payne