, Salem, MA

Local News

February 13, 2014

It's only money


The registrars had no comment, though City Clerk Tim Spanos invoked the installation of a new football field, suggesting, “Maybe we can put a tent on the turf.”

McGeney noted low turnout elections, while speculating on the day that “Tim can deliver a ballot to whoever wants to vote.”

There seemed general agreement that voting at Higgins Middle School must be stopped due to construction of the new school.

It ain’t the meat, it’s the motion

City Councilor Anne Manning-Martin was none too happy over a motion requiring colleagues to reconsider a vote endorsing Bettencourt’s plan to lease city land for billboards. The mayor believes the plan could mean a windfall for the city.

Strongly opposed, Manning-Martin was undaunted when the mayor’s plan passed 9 to 1 in January. Hoping the councilors would get an earful from furious constituents, she called for a vote of reconsideration at the Feb. 6 meeting. No debate was allowed.

As it happened, the motion to have the vote was made by Councilor Barry Osborne.

“I would like to have made my own motion,” said Manning-Martin as she left. “But Councilor Osborne pulled a fast one and made it for me. ... He shot me down from making my own motion.” Combined with the fact that no debate was allowed, the move seemed designed to virtually negate her opposition, she said. “It’s like it never happened.”

An apologetic Osborne expressed puzzlement over her anger. “I certainly didn’t do it on purpose,” he said.

He noted that he had paused when he realized Manning-Martin seemed offended. His turn for “motions, orders and resolutions” had come while Manning-Martin’s had passed, with the motion for reconsideration as yet unmade.

The vote, meanwhile, was essentially unchanged, with nine supporting the mayor, Manning-Martin in opposition and a tanned Dave Gravel voting “present,” as he’d missed the initial vote to vacation in the Caribbean.

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