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City Clerk Search – Council Forms Ad-Hoc Committee

Seven Member Committee Will Be Led by Councillor Gerard 21 Applications Have Been Submitted By William Legault   The City Count Committee on Ordinances, Licenses, and Legal Affairs, chaired by Ward 1 Councillor Robert McCarthy met tonight in order to form an Ad-Hoc Committee to review resumes and interview candidates for the position of City Clerk. The opening was created by the retirement of Cheryl Lapointe at the end of March. Assistant City Clerk Ilene Simons was appointed as the the interim clerk upon Lapoint’s departure. A city ordinance states that an opening for the position of city clerk shall ...

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Phillips Library Collection – A Part Of The Heritage Of Salem

  The Issue For The PEM Is TRUST by William Legault This is the time of year when the words of Charles Dickens are often cited. Today I find that two quotes, one each from two of his books are relevant. First is the opening line from A Tale of Two Cities. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief it was the epoch of incredulity.” For both the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) and Salem it truly is ...

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A Veteran Speaks of Dismay, Agony, And Living

Dying Is Easy, It’s The Living That’s Hard By One Representing Many It sits on the coffee table just waiting for me to use it. Black, cold steel, compact and efficient, it is clean, oiled, and ready to serve  its one purpose. A small box sits alongside holding the second part of this simple and very personal equation. I sit on my small couch taking long pulls from a 42-ounce bottle of Milwaukee’s Best Ice, a very cheap bottle of “premium” beer that features a high alcohol content. It has been fortified by two nips of Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka which ...

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A Different Parents Perspective on Salem Schools – Rebuttal

This rebuttal was submitted in response to a Salem Muckraker view on the schools posted last week supporting Mayor Driscoll’s stewardship the Salem Schools System. Turnover Of Teachers, Principals And Plans A Problem By Lisa Anglin Our children’s education should be the number one priority in this city but it is not.
 As a parent of two children who were students in the Salem Public School system, I would like to address some very serious issues that I dealt with over the years. 
Both of my children received individualized education plans (IEPs) from kindergarten through high school. IEPs insure that children ...

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Two Parents In Defense of Salem Schools

Our Schools Are Innovative, Engaged, and Personally Invested In Our Children By Jen and Chris Bednar   While in an election year it may be more fashionable to point to one’s dissatisfactions rather than those things which one finds commendable, we would like to take a moment to express how fortunate we feel that two (soon to be three) of our children have the opportunity to participate in the Salem Public School system. When we first moved to Salem, we heard a lot about the “poor performance” and “disorganization” of an ostensibly “failing” school district. Our concerns ran deep, but ...

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What Does The Preliminary Election Mean?

ELECTION ANALYSIS  – City-Wide And Ward Two Results Diverge By William Legault   How do you break down the results of an election? There are professionals out there who get paid good money to analyze voting patterns and results.  I am surely no professional at this, but will make a run at it just for the sake of conversation. The first thing to consider is the turnout.  As has become normal, the Salem electorate remains apathetic during preliminary elections, especially if there is no mayoral contest.  The turnout was around 12% of the roughy 26,000 registered voters in the City. ...

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United Independent Party Forming City Committee

Why I Have Left The Unenrolled Voter Majority Unenrolled Voters Outnumber Democrats, Republicans, and All Others. By William Legault Recently I announced that I have agreed to become the Chairman of the Salem United Independent Salem City Committee.  This was not a decision easily reached as I have always avoided party politics. When I first registered to vote in 1978 it was as a voting free-agent.  I truly don’t recall what we called that designation then.  Maybe the term was independent, maybe it was something else.  It didn’t matter to me at the time, my only concern was to avoid being ...

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Is It Time For a Salem City-Wide Master Plan?

Tom Daniel Returns As New City Planner By William Legault The Mayor’s announcement of Tom Daniel as the Director of Planning and Community Development has just become public as I sit here and type these words on my laptop. It comes as no surprise that here that the announcement comes so quickly on the heels of the retirement of Lynn Duncan.  Kim Driscoll seldom sits on a decision and that is a strength.  The selection of Daniel also came as no real surprise. Most probably expected that the Mayor would appoint someone that she is familiar with to the post. I ...

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Bertuccio Avenue Project Is Not Good For Salem

There Is No Public Profit To This Proposal By S. S. McClure   In a city full of residential and commercial development projects it is seems that very few get the opportunity to fly under the radar. No matter what somebody wants to build, or where, there is always a party or two prepared to object. Sometimes those objections are flaccid attempts at obstruction. Most of those fail to gain any real traction after the initial public protests. On occasion they do gain some traction even if they fail in the end. I would cite the hue and cry over ...

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A New Tax For Road Repair Is Not A Good Idea

Mayor Should Not Support Local Road Tax Ballot Initiative The State Needs To Fulfill Its Obligations By Cassius Concitato   The Boston Globe Metro North Section this past Sunday featured an opinion piece by Mayor Kim Driscoll supporting Senate Bill 1474, An Act Relative To Regional Transportation Ballot Initiatives. This bill, if it were to become law would allow local municipalities to vote on the funding of local transportation projects. Basically, like the Community Preservation Act (CPA) passed by Salem voters a few years back it would allow us to create a new local tax specifically for road and presumably ...

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