Phil DeCologero Endorses Diana for Re-Election

Phil and Diana

On the heels of the fiercely contested Democratic primary to serve the 14th Essex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, former rival Phil DeCologero of North Andover has endorsed the re-election of incumbent State Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen).

“Campaigns can often be contentious,” said DeCologero. “This summer I saw that first-hand when Rep. Diana DiZoglio and I debated and discussed our visions for the Merrimack Valley. Yes, we had our fair share of disagreements, but I respect Rep. DiZoglio for sticking to a productive discussion about the issues facing our communities. What I didn’t often discuss is where Rep. DiZoglio and I do agree. Rep. DiZoglio has fought for increases in local aid, more funding for special education, and legislation requiring local officials to follow the same rules as our state officials. Most important to me, Rep. DiZoglio has fought to bring attention to the epidemic that is substance abuse. Many times politicians shy away from these tough issues, but I admire Rep. DiZoglio for making them a priority. These issues don’t always make for the best sound-bites, but they do make for a person who has my vote. This is why I ask that you please join me in voting for Diana DiZoglio this November 4th.”

Among his many accomplishments, DeCologero, a lifelong resident of the Merrimack Valley, helped to spearhead the North Andover Merchants Association, for which he was recognized by the Merrimack Valley Business Magazine as one of their “40 Under 40.” He was also instrumental in helping to launch Methuen’s first Italian Festival and has served on the North Andover Democratic Town Committee Executive Board since 2008.

“I want to thank Phil not only for his support, but also for the great work he has done for the Merrimack Valley in recent years,” said Diana, who represents portions of North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill in the Legislature. “Our community deserves leadership that can put people first and politics aside, by working together to get things done. My former challengers and I have already begun to share our visions for the Merrimack Valley with one another and I look forward to continuing to work together moving forward.”

Diana was also recently endorsed by fellow primary opponent Oscar Camargo, also of North Andover.

Diana Meets with RMV Registrar to Raise Concerns Over Proposed Lawrence Branch Move

Diana meets with Celia Blue, Registrar of the Massachusetts RMV.

Diana meets with Celia Blue, Registrar of the Massachusetts RMV.

State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) hosted a meeting on Monday, October 6 between the Lawrence legislative delegation and Celia Blue, Registrar of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), to express concerns over the recent proposal to move the Lawrence RMV branch from its current location on Route 114 in South Lawrence to Downtown Lawrence.

Diana, who represents the Lawrence neighborhood in which the current RMV resides, says she was not included in any discussions regarding the proposed move of the state agency. In her capacity, Diana said it is her responsibility to speak up on behalf of constituents who have not had a seat at the table on this matter. She first requested a meeting with the RMV back in August.

Joining Diana in the meeting were State Senator Barry Finegold (D-Andover), State Representatives Marcos Devers (D-Lawrence) and Linda Dean Campbell (D-Methuen) and Patrick Kerwin, Legislative Aide to State Representative Frank Moran (D-Lawrence).

The Representative, who represents portions of North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill in the Legislature, has argued the current RMV is critical to the economic vitality of businesses along Route 114.

“The proposed relocation does not take into consideration what would happen at the current site,” said Diana. “It is liable to create severe blight that would be detrimental to future economic development, hurting surrounding businesses located along the 114 corridor.”

Diana and other members of the delegation also raised concerns to the Registrar about the lack of convenience for residents to travel to a Downtown Lawrence location.

“RMV customers want free, convenient, ample parking, which the current site affords and the downtown area does not offer,” said Diana. “If other nearby RMV locations have easier, more affordable access, my constituents tell me that they will likely pay their visits elsewhere.”

During the meeting, the Registrar noted the RMV is looking to modernize its facilities and that every 10 years, they are mandated to put branch locations out for bid. They are currently reviewing the Downtown Lawrence proposal and are poised to finish that review within one month. The criteria on the RMV’s RFP (Request for Proposal) requires the branch include at least 185 parking spaces, a mandate the delegation was skeptical could be fulfilled at a Downtown Lawrence branch.

The Registrar stressed that no final decision has been made about the possible relocation.

“I am committed to, over the coming days and weeks, advocating in favor of the current Lawrence RMV branch,” said Diana. “On a matter of this nature, which will affect residents not just in my district, but throughout the Merrimack Valley, it is critical that we work together to ensure our concerns are heard loud and clear.”