To the editor:
In watching the voting on TV, it was clear to me that the majority of councilors believed Steven Pinto to be the best candidate to fill the seat for the next seven months, and if he said he would not run again, he would have had at least six votes.
There has been talk about Pinto and Lucy Corchado excusing themselves from the process, but I don’t see how removing these candidates from the process and settling for another candidate would help the city of Salem.
Councilors Jerry Ryan and Arthur Sargent put aside their personal interests for what is best for the city of Salem and deserve to be commended for it, as I understand Pinto may be competition for them both should he choose to run for councilor-at-large next year.
Councilors Kevin Carr and Robert McCarthy said they would not vote for Pinto because they did not want to grant incumbency to someone who may run again. Based on this, they voted for Corchado, who in my opinion should not bow out, as it appears she is one of the most qualified candidates. When Carr put his support behind William Legault, he showed he was willing to compromise on his stance to not vote for someone that may run again. For some reason, he was not willing to grant Pinto the same consideration, resulting in what I believe to be a less-qualified candidate over what is best for the city.
If in the next round of voting, Councilors Carr and McCarthy change their votes to someone who does not commit to not run again, then they should be willing to vote for Pinto. If they refuse to consider Pinto, that would suggest to me that there are other forces at work here (i.e., the mayor’s anyone-but-Pinto objective), of which councilors Joseph O’Keefe and Tom Furey are the founding members.
I can’t help but wonder whether Councilor Furey’s vote would have been different had he driven a Ford Pinto, given the weight with which “I Love Lucy” appeared to influence his decision.