To the editor:
Salem is going through a transformation, with some positive impacts. However, our city continues to show classic signs of urban stress. In comparing Salem with its six other neighboring towns, it is second only to Lynn with the highest population density, the lowest homeownership rate, the lowest average residential property values, the lowest median single-family sales price, the lowest median household income and the poorest MCAS performance. These demographics cannot support a thriving community.
There’s a growing dichotomy in town between the administration that continues to promote urbanization policies that support these demographics and just about everybody else in Salem who are concerned. And, the City Council is the tiebreaker. The council is responsible to set policy for the administration to follow — not vice versa. Salem’s councilors represent the voice of the people. And, their majority voice is going to determine if we continue our race to the bottom, replicating the urban issues of our neighbor Lynn, or if we fight to protect our own unique identity. Remember, Salem was once the most prosperous and beautiful town in America.
That’s why I want Steve Pinto to join the council. Steve’s the type of person who will raise questions, not blindly toe the line of the administration. As a former councilor-at-large, Steve always demonstrated a real concern for the quality of life of us residents. He appreciates Salem’s unique qualities and will promote and protect them. We can do better than continue to follow the same path we’re on. I urge the councilors to vote for Steve to join their ranks and fill the councilor-at-large seat — for Salem’s future.