, Salem, MA


March 29, 2013

Benton: A classy move in Salem


With the help of people like Bill Tinti, who chaired the Salem Redevelopment Authority, and City Planner Greg Senko, Levesque continued the historic preservation and downtown revitalization effort begun during Zoll’s administration.

Levesque’s election to the city’s top elective office was a point of pride to friends and neighbors from the old Point neighborhood. A particular highlight of his tenure came when he and wife Florence were invited to a state dinner at the Carter White House.


The lack of any women on the 11-member Salem City Council remains an embarrassment.

But one of the first of her gender to serve, Frances Grace, may have a hand in rectifying that situation. Her niece, Heather Famico, is challenging incumbent Mike Sosnowski for the Ward 2 seat on that body, and as former colleagues and those who covered her political career can attest, Grace does not back down from a fight.


Danvers selectman candidate David Mills spent part of the week in Washington listening to oral arguments in the key gay marriage cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a courageous and eloquent column in these pages last June, the former town moderator and Massachusetts Appeals Court judge described how he came to terms with his homosexuality.

“The courts in Massachusetts have been leaders in protecting the sensitivities of lesbian and gay people by according to us full dignity as human beings. It was a long time coming. Sometimes the progress boggles my mind,” Mills declared.

Depending on how the high court rules, there may be more progress to come.


Nelson Benton spent 40 years covering politics on the North Shore before retiring from The Salem News. Contact him at

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