, Salem, MA

Local News

January 8, 2013

Council quickly picks president

Salem: Members take unanimous vote for Ryan, seem to have reached consensus on Lovely's seat


After last week’s meeting, several former councilors and businessman Darek Barcikowski contacted councilors to volunteer as a compromise candidate, Ryan said.

Ryan, who will preside over tonight’s meeting, said he felt it would be unfair to appoint someone outside of the original six residents who submitted letters of interest in the vacancy last month.

The councilor-at-large vacancy was created as Lovely resigned to be sworn into the state Senate. Lovely, as well as Rep. John Keenan, attended last night’s council meeting.

On Thursday, the council took the same tie vote over and over: five councilors backing candidate Steve Pinto and five backing Lucy Corchado. The meeting stretched to 2:25 a.m.

In addition to former councilors Pinto and Corchado, the candidate pool included William Legault, a freelance writer and personal trainer who is well-known around town; Chris Sicuranza, director of communications for the New England Police Benevolent Association; Robert Wright, a college teacher with a lengthy background in state government; and Ken Sawicki, who has run unsuccessfully for multiple offices.

Yesterday, Barcikowski said he sent councilors a letter over the weekend, offering to be appointed if it would break the board’s stalemate.

“Obviously, plan A didn’t work, so we need a plan B,” Barcikowski said. “... I decided, if I can be part of the solution, why not?”

Circumstances have changed since December, when Barcikowski was initially interested in filling the council vacancy, he said. At the time, Barcikowski spoke with all the councilors and realized he didn’t have the support of the six people needed for a majority vote.

Since Thursday, Barcikowski said he received a flurry of calls and emails from people asking him to reconsider.

“They (the council) know who I am, they know what I bring to the table,” he said. “... I think all the lobbying that can be done on this matter has been done. ... On the chance that they do decide to look beyond (the six candidates that expressed interest in the vacancy) ... I put my name into the mix. If they decide the pool is closed and need to find a solution within the six, that’s absolutely fine.”

Barcikowski is co-founder of White Eagle Media, a publisher of Polish-language newspapers. He has never held public office in Salem.

In the fall of 2011, he came in fifth in a competitive councilor-at-large race. Then-incumbent Councilor Steve Pinto came in sixth behind Barcikowski.

Staff writer Tom Dalton contributed to this article.

Bethany Bray can be reached at and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.




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