BY TOM DALTON
---- — Two candidates are on the Nov. 5 ballot for Ward 2 City Council in Salem. Today we offer profiles of the candidates.
SALEM — In a ward that stretches from Veterans Memorial Bridge to the McIntire Historic District, and goes through the heart of the downtown, Ward 2 City Councilor Mike Sosnowski says he has focused on the neighborhoods.
“The things I’m most proud of are the little things that don’t make the papers,” said the five-term councilor and former council president. “Everybody wants to get headlines. I don’t; I want to help people.”
While he has taken on “smart growth” and other citywide issues, Sosnowski said his focus has been potholes, handicapped parking spots and responding to calls from residents.
During the Bridge Street road project, Sosnowski said he worked hard to resolve problems, like the giant electrical control box that he made contractors move and reduce in size, and the pedestrian light near the Carlton School that he insisted was a safety hazard for children.
A former Marine, Sosnowski is proud of his support of veterans’ issues, and of his leadership in the effort to restore the Washington Arch on Salem Common.
The big issue he is battling now, Sosnowski said, is the National Grid electrical cable project, which is scheduled to go through a neighborhood in his ward. He favors running it down the railroad line, a route National Grid has rejected.
“That’s a bunch of baloney,” said Sosnowski, a third-generation Salem resident. “It’s where the will is. Is the will there or not?”
As for development downtown, Sosnowski says he is for progress, but “balanced progress.”
“At the same time, I don’t want (too much) change,” he said. “I want my kids, when they come back from (out of state), to be able to recognize Salem.”
Tom Dalton can be reached at email@example.com.