, Salem, MA

June 17, 2013

Letter: Cellucci was a friend to Salem

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

I was saddened by the news of the death of former governor and U.S. Ambassador A. Paul Cellucci last Saturday. I was a personal friend of Paul’s and he was a great and caring friend of Salem. As a member of the executive committee of The Salem Partnership, I worked very closely with the governor on a number of issues facing Salem. Russ Vickers and I had quite a lot of access to his office as both lieutenant governor and governor. As lieutenant governor, one of his duties was to be chairman of the Seaport Council in charge of distributing more than $400 million of the Seaport Bond Bill originated by Gov. William Weld. The monies were to be used for seaport development and maritime improvements. Paul saw to it that our requests for funding of Salem’s projects were always a priority.

When Salem needed the final $500,000 in state funding to complete the Friendship, it was Gov. Cellucci who came to Salem with a check three days after that request was made. He was also proud to join the mayor, U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, state Rep. J. Michael Ruane and other dignitaries when Friendship was delivered to Salem a few years later in 1997.

Paul was a true diplomat who knew how to get things done. His welcoming, trademark smile made it easy to feel comfortable in his presence. He never cared if a politician had an R or D after their name. If it was good for the state or a community, he would somehow get people to come together and solve the problem.

He was a very kind and caring person and brought that care and kindness to his job. His untimely death has left all who knew him, especially his hometown neighbors, very sad. Salem has lost a very good friend and I am very glad that I knew and worked with him, I will miss him greatly. May God bless him.

Biff Michaud C.E.O.

The Salem Witch Museum