Congratulations to Mayor Elect Jim Jajuga, who will be sworn in today at Methuen High School at 2:00 p.m. Mayor Jajuga will be Methuen’s fifth Mayor of the modern era following the Charter change that brought us the Mayoral form of government in 1993. Methuen changed to a Town Administrator/Council form in 1973 and then a Town Manager/Council form of government after abandoning Town Meeting. After the 1993 change Methuen had its first Mayoral election since Samuel Rushton won the office before 1920. Mayors, by Charter, are limited to three two year terms. Let us take a look at how those five Mayors won office.
In 1994 Dennis DiZoglio led the ticket in the very large primary field, and then defeated a young upstart City Councilor named William Manzi in the final election. Mayor DiZoglio won three terms as Mayor, and during his tenure the school system built the three K-8 grammar schools (Marsh, Tenney, and the Timony schools.)
Mayor Sharon Pollard won the first of her three terms by defeating City Councilor Larry Giordano in her first run for that office. Mayor Pollard was a former State Senator, and a former Secretary of Energy for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, working for Governor Dukakis. A little remembered fact is that then City Councilor Steve Zanni was in that preliminary election for Mayor.
Following Mayor Pollard was Mayor William Manzi III. (Yes, the same one that lost to Mayor DiZoglio.) In my initial race I defeated Ellen Bahan for the office. In 2006 I was sworn in by none other than today’s Mayor-elect James P. Jajuga, outfitted in a regal set of Justice of the Peace robes. I also served three terms, and was very happy to secure the state financing for the High School project, and get that construction started.
Mayor Stephen Zanni is leaving office after three terms. Mayor Zanni defeated Al Dinuccio in 2011, and twice won re-election. Congratulations to Mayor Zanni as he completes his third term. He can be proud of many substantial accomplishments, including the completion of the Methuen High School project, and the total renovation of Nicholson Stadium, including brand new artificial turf. I had the pleasure of serving with him as a City Councilor, and also during my tenure as Mayor. We wish him the very best!
Mayor James P. Jajuga is Methuen’s fifth Mayor of the modern era, and won election in 2017 while running unopposed. Mayor Jajuga is a former State Senator, has served as the Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety,as well as having a long and distinguished career as a Massachusetts State Trooper. As a State Trooper Mayor Jajuga headed the Regional Drug Task Force, and is considered an expert on creating and implementing strategies to combat opioid abuse. We wish Mayor Jajuga the very best as he begins his first term as Mayor.