, Salem, MA


October 31, 2013

Letter: New representation needed for the heart of Salem

To the editor:

The potential election of a new Ward 2 councilor in Salem is something that has attracted my attention. We need a new one. I’ll tell you why.

It has been interesting living in Salem for most of my life. For a period, I got to travel the world and interact with personalities and places not afforded to the average citizen. I was lucky, but I never forgot that I was from Salem and returned to call it home for a total of half a century now. Having seen what exists outside of the city line, in locales around the world and the nation, you wanted to help move the city forward with innovative “outside the box” programming that would finally make people quit repeating the “Salem has so much potential” mantra. It could become the next Newburyport, etc. etc. Today’s Salem, thankfully, is way past that now.

I know from first-hand experience that for many years if you tried to introduce new ways of thinking and a vision for improving the city that would benefit all citizens and newcomers, as well, then you were rebuffed by provincialism of the first order. This would come from both politicians and the business leadership still lamenting the fact that somebody built a highway three miles away that “stole” all of their business. Well, after 40 years of that nonsense, something interesting happened. Those not too familiar with the old ways decided to take a chance on this neglected downtown and its “woe is me” climate and put down stakes to try to service a newer and younger constituency who had no idea of what Almy’s, Empire, Bowman’s or Webber’s were. They looked ahead to creating clientele who wanted what they had to offer and did well. This attracted additional entrepreneurs who interacted with each other to spawn a niche unique to the North Shore. No longer were we going to be “Lynn with a museum,” as we once were.

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