By Bethany Bray
---- — Editor’s note: These are the last in a series of profiles of the candidates of Salem councilor-at-large. Four seats are up for election. Election Day is Nov. 5.
SALEM — Elaine Milo says the City Council needs change, and she’d bring energy, a fresh perspective, consensus-building and “thoughtful decision-making” to the board.
Although she’s been appointed to the city’s Cemetery Commission for 15 years, this fall marks her first run for elected office. Milo, who works in the grants office at Salem State University, said January’s stalemate, when the City Council took more than 300 tie votes before filling a vacancy on the council, prompted her to throw her hat in the ring.
She watched the drama unfold on TV.
“That 300 votes — I was talking to the TV,” she said. “I decided I can do this, and I can do it in a professional, respectful, collegiate and cooperative manner. ... Nobody’s going to work harder, be more professional and do (the) homework on issues.”
Her professional experience — bringing people together to apply for grants — would translate well to the council, she said.
“Everybody (involved) has their own agenda, naturally, and there’s only a certain pot of money available,” Milo said. “We take everybody, get together and throw all their ideas out on the table. It’s problem-solving, interacting with stakeholders and coming to consensus at the end. ... Listening to people, hearing their concerns and ideas — that’s the type of skills I can bring, and hopefully, make it a better body.”
She’s also learned a lot on the campaign trail.
“One of the biggest things I’ve learned about Salem is that its residents are certainly its greatest asset. There’s no question about that,” she said.
“I’ve heard that we need change, we need more women on the council, we need to mix it up. There’s a desire for something different — that’s what I’m hearing.”
|Address: 181 Marlborough Road|
|Employment: Associate director of the grants office at Salem State University|
|Education: Bachelor's degree in business education from Salem State, 1978|
|Family: Husband, Frank; 1 adult daughter|
|Elected office held: None|
|Community involvement: Salem Cemetery Commission for 15 years (appointed), parent groups at Bishop Fenwick High School while her daughter was a student|
|If elected, will you take city health insurance? No|
|Pastime: Reading, walking her dogs|