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Salem Muckraker

                                                                 What Is A Muckraker?


This column is here for you, the reader and passionate Salemite.

It is a forum for you to present a point of view that is perhaps in disagreement with something that our city or state government is doing or saying. Issues with development, traffic and parking, public safety, cleanliness, or even with a particular city official this is a place for you to share your thoughts and opinions with others here in Salem.

The term “Muckraker” actually has a positive meaning. The original definition was applied to reform minded journalists in the 1880’s. Those journalists took on the corporate monopolies and corrupt political machines of that era and raised awareness on many political and societal issues.

If you would like to contribute an article we welcome your participation. It is asked however, that the tone not matter how strong remain civil.

Email your article to williamlegault@rocketmail.com and be sure to include a headshot of yourself. and some photos that are relevant to your subject matter. We will consider anonymous contributions.


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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The Universal Steel/F.W. Webb Proposal: Many Questions, Not So Many Answers

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