, Salem, MA


January 8, 2013

Letter: Councilors, find a path to compromise

To the editor:

Dear councilors: First of all, thank you for your service. I know what it takes to put your name on a ballot and stand for re-election. I know how much work, much of it thankless, goes into public service. I am among those who consider public service a noble and honorable calling, and I salute all who work to improve our community by spending time in government.

However, I’m writing to let you know how disgusted I am with the recent behavior of the Salem City Council. As a regular voter in city, state and federal elections, I must tell you, the council is an abject embarrassment. I covered local, state and national politics for 12 years as a newspaper reporter and worked for senior elected officials in the Statehouse for four years. I have been a close observer to some of the most ridiculous political fights. This one, by all appearances, tops them all.

I am concerned by the quotes I read in the paper and that, with some notable exceptions, this group appears to want to keep going the way it is going, remain hopelessly deadlocked and not find a path forward in the interest of our city. I hope you realize that is not a smart path forward for anyone who intends to ask for votes this fall.

You need to understand that I, and many people like me, do not care about the factions within the council, I do not care about the personalities and do not care who is with the mayor and who isn’t. I care about our city’s legislative body working together with the mayor to get through their differences and find ways to compromise in the interest of our city. If you are not prepared to do that — and to show us you are doing that, do not expect my vote in the next election.

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