, Salem, MA

October 29, 2013

Pinto: hoping for a comeback


---- — SALEM — Steve Pinto is trying to make a comeback.

The two-term councilor-at-large lost a re-election bid two years ago. Last winter, when he was nominated to fill a council vacancy, he failed to win enough votes from city councilors, during a record 301 roll calls.

This time, he is not running citywide but in his home base of Ward 1 against incumbent Bob McCarthy.

“I’m running because I not only enjoyed my time on the council, but feel, growing up in Salem, it’s a way of giving back,” Pinto said.

He called his four years on the council the “best years of my life.”

Pinto said that as he goes door to door, he hears residents talking about three main issues: the plan to bring larger cruise ships to the power plant pier; Footprint Power’s plans to build a natural gas plant; and National Grid’s proposal to install underground high-voltage transmission lines.

All of those issues directly impact Ward 1, which stretches from Salem Willows to The Point.

Pinto said he is concerned that larger cruise ships could negatively impact the surrounding neighborhoods and is worried about how National Grid’s plans will impact businesses and residents along Derby Street. As a less disruptive option, he favors installing the cables under Salem Harbor.

In addition, he would like to see a community benefits agreement with Footprint Power include designated parking for residents on power plant property.

When he was on the council, Pinto said he strongly supported joining the Essex Technical High School district as “another avenue” for Salem students, and he worked closely with police to draft an anti-graffiti ordinance.

“It gave the (police) what they needed to get control of some of the tagging going on,” he said.

Tom Dalton can be reached at



Address: 55 Columbus Ave.
Age: 57
Employment: Metal fabricator, Ipswich Bay Glass
Education: Salem High School, Class of 1975
Family: Wife, Nancy; son, 19
Elective offices: Councilor-at-large, 2008-11
Community involvement: Former member Zoning Board of Appeal; former Salem Babe Ruth coach; member Juniper Community Club
Pastime: Boating