SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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November 2, 2013

Salem council hopefuls weigh in on city issues

(Continued)

What grade would you give Mayor Kim Driscoll? “I would give her an A+,” he said. “She puts her heart into the job. She’s not afraid of change, not afraid of saying no. ... We need her more than ever.”

What is one idea that would help the City Council work better? “Have a seminar or workshop on how to communicate and work together more, to make sure it is not a divisive environment,” Furey said. The board should spend a day or two together to talk through city issues and “how we can get our act together,” he said. He also said there’s roughly 25 feet between the city council chambers and the mayor’s office at City Hall — that 25 feet should not be like the Grand Canyon.

NORENE GACHIGNARD

What’s the city’s greatest challenge? Gachignard named a “multiplicity of things” — the National Grid utility cable project, redevelopment of the power plant, the potential for cruise ships coming into Salem, the proposed wind turbine on Winter Island and the city schools. The big challenge, she said, will be “managing that, starting first and foremost with the National Grid project, and working ... to make sure it can be as painless as it can be.”

What grade would you give Mayor Kim Driscoll? “I’d give her a B+,” said Gachignard. “The reason I don’t give her an A is sometimes she’s moving a little too fast for people’s comfort. She’ll have a great idea and will run with it; sometimes you need to walk a little slower and bring people along. I suffer from the same affliction.”

What is one idea that would help the city council work better? “I’m really hoping that with some change on the council ... change will lead to a little more collaboration and collegiality. You can accomplish a lot more when you work together,” she said. “... You don’t always have to agree, but listen to each other and try to get the job done.”

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