, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 19, 2013

Amesbury District 5 candidates sound off


Age: 64

Years in Amesbury: 22 years

Family: wife, Lucy McMilleon; son, Jesse Despo, 39; and daughter, Beth Rust, 37

Education: Lesley University, M.S. human resource management; Abilene Christian University, M.A. in religious studies; Fitchburg State College, M.A. in educational guidance counseling; University of Massachusetts, Amherst, B.A. government and sociology; Northeastern University

Current employment: part-time adjunct professor Northern Essex Community College, psychology and sociology; part-time adjunct professor Cambridge College Graduate School of Management

Past employment: principal, Lawrence High School; principal, Haverhill High School; assistant vice-president, Merchants National Bank

Political/public service experience: Amesbury District 5 city councilor, 2008 to present; vice-president of Amesbury City Council, 2009; Amesbury Councilor at-large, 2002 to 2005; president of the Amesbury City Council 2004 and 2005; member of Amesbury Energy Task Force; member of the Lake Attitash Association

Top 3 priorities:

1. I believe in and have worked to provide quality services to our city while providing ways to lower taxes. I will continue to present reasonable, well researched solutions to address these concerns. Promoting commercial and industrial development, cutting excessive salaries, and lobbying the state for increased local aid are some of the ways to accomplish this goal.

2. Continuing to provide quality educational services for our children.

3. Reclaiming, preserving, and enhancing our lakes and waterways as vital assets to our community in terms of property values, recreational areas, secondary water resources.


My husband and I moved to Amesbury more than 10 years ago and decided to make this city our home to raise our daughters. We love Amesbury. It’s a beautiful city, rich in history, with caring residents. The sense of community in our city is unmatched. But the path we’re on is unsustainable. Our property tax rate is in the state’s top 10, yet our schools don’t even rank in the top 100. More and more people simply can’t afford to live in Amesbury.

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