Most of that is paid by the state under a deal to hold a host city harmless for the closure of a power plant, a deal that runs through 2019.
While earning her stripes as a “green mayor” who has pushed solar, wind and energy efficiencies, Driscoll is a staunch supporter of the proposed natural gas plant.
She sees it as a bridge to a time when the state can rely more on renewables and energy upgrades, a key to the city’s financial stability and a catalyst for redevelopment of an industrial site that could sit empty and padlocked.
“It’s a huge opportunity lost if that doesn’t move forward,” she said.
As she looks ahead to four more years, Driscoll seems forever dogged by the same old question: Will she stay?
Often touted for statewide office, the Salem mayor has gotten good at the answer.
“I never think about that,” she said. “I love what I’m doing and I always say as long as I enjoy this as much as I am, I certainly plan to be here. There’s a lot of exciting work going on.
“I’m bullish on our future, and it’s both humbling and exciting to be a part of it.”
Tom Dalton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.