SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

September 19, 2013

Rotondo vows to speak for Ryal Side

BY PAUL LEIGHTON
STAFF WRITER

---- — Note to readers: Five candidates are on the preliminary election ballot for one available seat representing Ward 1 on the Beverly City Council. The top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 5 final election.

BEVERLY — Michael Rotondo was 23 years old when he and his younger brother bought their first business, the Liberty Street Market in Danvers.

“When you grow up poor, you have to make a decision,” he said. “You’ve got to work and feed yourself. It’s all hard work.”

The Rotondos, who grew up in Everett, eventually went on to open Cafe Salerno on Cabot Street, which they have owned and operated since 1997. Now they’re both getting involved in local politics, with Todd Rotondo running for city councilor at-large.

Michael Rotondo said he was inspired to run for City Council by what he said was a lack of transparency in the city’s decision to award four new liquor licenses.

“I’ve been here for 15 years, and I finally realized that I don’t have a voice in the community unless I sit on a board like that,” he said.

Rotondo said Maureen Troubetaris did a great job in her 22 years as the Ward 1 councilor. But he said it also feels as if Ryal Side is sometimes overlooked, citing the poor condition of the streets and sidewalks as an example.

“Being in Ryal Side, I think you need a strong voice,” he said.

As for other issues of concern, Rotondo said, “The only issue that matters is that if a person comes to me in Ryal Side and they need something done, I will actually address it. I’ll return your phone call, at least. That’s what a councilman should do for their ward.”

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

ABOUT MICHAEL ROTONDO