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A Salem Voice

Thoughts: City Council, Schools, Taxes, Historic Cemeteries

Four Thoughts For Salem Government Or Four Pipe Dreams For Salem Government By William Legault   As we approach the end of the year in Salem city government I’m taking a few moments to consider few things of interest in the year gone by and the year that approaches. CITY COUNCIL The City Council chambers featured a lot of drama and theatrics this year. The council was clearly fractured. It was the first year that I can remember where some councillors actually said publicly that they did not like another councillor. You can place blame for that as you wish. ...

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ELECTION 2019 – Ward Six Recount Monday

A One Vote Riccardi Margin On The Line Déjà vu All Over Again for Ryan And Barton By William Legault   It’s been said, most notably by author Thomas Wolfe that “you can’t go home again.” A couple of years ago Jerry Ryan, who was raised in Ward 6, moved from Ward Four to Ward 6. Little did he, or we know, that his old tradition of close elections and recounts in his former ward, would fit in well with the apparent new tradition of close elections and recounts in his new ward. This will be Ryan’s second recount in ...

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Highland Avenue Zoning – Civil Discussion Is Needed

355 – 373 Highland Avenue Again On The Hot Seat Is the Need For Business Or Residential? By William Legault   The following definition is borrowed from Wikepedia. “Zoning is the process of dividing land in a municipality into zones (e.g. residential, industrial) in which certain land uses are permitted or prohibited. In addition, the sizes, bulk, and placement of buildings may be regulated. The type of zone determines whether planning permission for a given development is granted. Zoning may specify a variety of outright and conditional uses of land. It may also indicate the size and dimensions of land ...

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ELECTION 2019 – The Day After

A Few Thoughts On The Election By William Legault   It is the day after another contentious election cycle here in Salem. Lots of political noise and thunder resonated across the city over the last six  months. Despite that the turnout was low. Noise and thunder alone do not make a storm. The at-large race with the exception of Conrad Prosniewski at the top of the ticket was too close to call until the last precinct came in. Almost 800 votes separated first place from second place. But less than 300 votes separated second place from sixth place. Arthur Sargent ...

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Election 2019 – Tomorrow We Vote

Tuesdays Vote is Prelude to 2021 Council And School Committee Seats Up For Grabs By William Legault   Tomorrow the winds of political rhetoric will cease to blow. Another election day has come to Salem. To hear many, this is the most important local election that we have ever seen. It isn’t. Every election is important. Over the last 10 weeks we presented questions to all of the candidates. Most of them responded. Their answers can be seen on our City Meeting page. The Salem News and Salem Gazette also queried the candidates and provided profiles on them. Salem Access ...

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Councillor Turiel Responds – Does Standing Serve A Purpose?

It’s Time To Take A Look At This Tradition New Sound System May Be A Problem By Josh Turiel – Ward 5 City Councillor     I have always been one to appreciate tradition. But there are times when you should take a hard look at a tradition and ask why it exists, and if it still serves a purpose. The Salem City Council has a number of traditions, some of which exist outside of the strict rules and are cheerfully ignored. Until this year, we were legally required to draw lots in order to determine seating arrangement (spoiler, that’s ...

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Will Our City Councillors Please Stand Up

Council Is Reconsidering a Long Standing Tradition Councillor Turiel’s Proposal Should be Rejected Without Ceremony By William Legault   “What does a city councillor do?” This is one of the more common questions that I hear during election season.  My simple answer is that a city councillor stands up and speaks for the people of Salem. Not just the voters. Not just for supporters. A councillor stand up and speaks for everybody. Last week Councillor Josh Turiel proposed that the council dispose of the procedural requirement that a councillor stand while speaking during the regular meetings. My objection to this ...

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Halloween Is Here – The Season Screams In

Halloween No Longer Waits For October Love It Or Hate It You Need To Buckle Up By William Legault   It may not actually be October yet. But the season, our season, is here. The summer weekends this year have been quite busy. Some would say busier than most years. This past weekend as in recent years once again marks the unofficial beginning of Salem Halloween. There are those that love it, and there are those that hate it. Most locals I think have learned to tolerate, and perhaps appreciate at least some aspects of it. No matter where you ...

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The 1% Club – Those In Salem Who Have Run For Office

Thank You To Seven New Members Who Have Courage And Also To The 26 That Move On To November By William Legault   The city preliminary elections are over. The votes are counted and we know whose names will appear on the November general election ballot. Congratulations to all who put their name on the ballot no matter last night’s results. They are now and will forever be members of the Salem electorate 1% club. The 1% consists of those in Salem who possess the heart, conviction, and courage to actually put their name on the ballot. In reality the ...

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Thoughts On The Preliminary Election

The Time Has Come For The Ballot Stop Yelling At Each Other And Vote by William Legault   Tomorrow at 7 A.M. the polls will open for the 2019 Salem preliminary election. In a town where everybody has an opinion whether it be educated or not, this is where the rubber meets the road. There are two questions, each equally important that will be answered once the ballots are counted tomorrow night.  Who will be eliminated? If you are here looking for me to predict who will be on the bottom of the ballot, read no more. I am not ...

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