SALEM — City Councilors will have a diverse pool of candidates to pick from as they vote to fill Joan Lovely’s seat on the board next month.
Residents Christopher Sicuranza, Steven Pinto, Kenneth Sawicki, Robert Wright, Lucy Corchado and William Legault submitted letters of interest this month to fill the upcoming council vacancy.
Lovely, the current council president, was elected to the state Senate Nov. 6. She’ll resign from the council Jan. 1 to take over from retiring Sen. Fred Berry. She has served one year of a councilor-at-large term that goes through December 2013.
The City Council has called a meeting for Jan. 3, 7 p.m. at City Hall, 93 Washington St., to fill the vacancy.
Salem’s city charter dictates that a City Council vacancy should be filled by majority vote of the council. If the remaining 10 councilors are all eligible to vote, the winner would need at least six votes.
There is one name noticeably absent from the list of those interested in filling Lovely’s term: restaurateur and businessman Darek Barcikowski, who initially expressed interest in the seat. Barcikowski was top runner-up in the 2011 councilor-at-large race.
After speaking with city councilors, Barcikowski said it became clear he wouldn’t get a majority vote.
“Over the last few weeks, I have met and reached out to the councilors ... I just don’t have the support of six councilors,” he said. “... The decision, ultimately, has become very political.”
Barcikowski said he “respects everyone’s decision,” and is grateful to the councilors who did offer their support.
“There’s a lot of different factors that play into this, and I think the best thing might be to pick someone neutral,” he said. “Ultimately, bring it back to the voters (at the next election) for who they think should replace Joan (Lovely) in the subsequent term.”