, Salem, MA


January 8, 2013

Letter: Time for Salem citizens to unite

To the editor:

Citizens of Salem, wake up!

A gang of five on the City Council is trying to negate your decision to vote Steven Pinto off the council in 2011 by insisting he be reappointed to replace Joan Lovely for the remainder of her term. For seven hours and 300 votes — 300 CONSECUTIVE VOTES! — they voted for their Pinto because they would be satisfied with no one else. No one, not one of the more than 40,000 residents of Salem, would serve their purpose. They know what they’re about. They know that with Pinto back on their team, they will have an ironclad six-vote majority with which to oppose and obstruct every plan and every proposal that Mayor Kim Driscoll dares to put before them. Salem has been blessed with a terrific mayor, under whose leadership this city has made great strides forward. But she has been opposed at every turn by Pinto and his gang of fellow obstructionists, which includes Arthur Sargent III, Michael Sosnowski, Todd Siegel, Jerry Ryan and Paul Prevey — Pinto’s gang of five.

Thankfully, there are another five members of the council who know what the gang of five is about, and they have valiantly refused to be bullied into capitulating, by voting for Lucy Corchado and even offering to vote for a compromise candidate, so long as it is not Pinto. They know the citizens of Salem voted Pinto out of office in 2011 because of his conduct during the previous four years, including his disgraceful behavior toward Mayor Driscoll. Pinto, there are no circumstances under which it is acceptable for you to prevent the mayor from addressing the City Council — on any subject whatsoever. None. Your fiduciary responsibility to the citizens of Salem is to facilitate communication, not obstruct it. But you, in your infinite wisdom, thought it preferable to bully the mayor by silencing her, rather than doing the people’s business. Shame on you. Fortunately, the gallant five know it would be a perversion of justice to allow you to sneak in through the back door after the voters had so unceremoniously dumped you.

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