Speaking of Lovely, voters could have a chance to see whether she’s a leader or a follower when she departs the Salem City Council.
The anti-administration cabal on that body seems to be lining up solidly behind former Councilor Steve Pinto as an interim replacement for Lovely. But Darek Barcikowski, who was the first runner-up (finishing ahead of Pinto) in the last city election, has also expressed interest in the seat.
And recently, Lucy Corchado, a former councilor and much-respected leader within the city’s Latino community, has also said she would be willing to fill Lovely’s seat at least until the next general election.
Her experience and reputation for independent thinking make Corchado an outstanding candidate. While Lovely will not have a vote, there is no reason she should not express her preference in this matter.
In addition to Corchado’s obvious qualifications, Lovely might also cite the fact that the selection of Corchado would prevent the council from becoming, literally, an old boys’ club once again.
Peabody voters’ wisdom in electing Ted Bettencourt mayor last year was confirmed once more with his decision to combine the post of human resources director for the city and its school system.
Having two separate departments never made sense given the similarity of their responsibilities. But for years, the school board had resisted such a move and any other efforts at consolidation, fearing a loss of political clout. Given the fact that many of the current members were solidly in Bettencourt’s camp, it was hard for them to say no this time.
Nelson Benton spent 40 years covering politics on the North Shore before retiring from The Salem News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.