To the editor:
The Nov. 9 edition of The Salem News cites Ward 2 Councilor Mike Sosnowski as suggesting that Steve Pinto was defeated in last year’s citywide election because of a “misinformation campaign.” It was pointed out a few weeks ago, Oct. 5, in Nelson Benton’s column that this “misinformation campaign” is largely attributed to The Salem News.
So in January, Joan Lovely will vacate her seat as Salem city councilor-at-large, after winning a seat as state senator on Nov. 6. The remaining Salem city councilors will choose the candidate who will fill Joan Lovely’s seat.
To suggest that the voters of Salem were brainwashed by some “misinformation campaign” is insulting. There is a very high level of transparency when it comes to the City Council here in Salem. Meeting agendas are made public, and meetings themselves are open to the public. If one cannot attend, they are televised live on public access TV, and oftentimes that footage is rerun. The local media does a fine job reporting on how our elected officials voted on the issues they cover.
I have looked up how the council voted on issues that were important to me. Our community is very active and involved. Voters appreciate access to information and follow local issues with great interest so that when it is time to vote, they can make informed decisions on who should represent them in the council chambers. I do not believe that our electorate was or is susceptible to some bogus “misinformation campaign.”
When it comes to filling the vacancy, there is something inherently wrong with having the councilors appoint someone who was voted out of office by the people of Salem. I strongly urge our councilors to respect the voice of the people and appoint the next runner-up in last year’s election on the basis of fairness and respect of our democratic principles