, Salem, MA


October 15, 2012

Letter: No rules on filling Salem council vacancy

To the editor:

There is no rule or tradition on selecting a candidate to fill the remaining time left in a Salem councilor’s vacancy.

According to the city charter, it is the sole responsibility of the council to choose a candidate who they feel in their judgment is best qualified to serve.

The reason is as clear as a bell.

Just because a candidate is the runner-up in the last election does not make him the best qualified. In some cases, the runner-up could have the mentality of an imbecile.

Thus, having the council appoint the candidate who they feel is best qualified is reasonable and just. The best qualified could be any qualified Salem citizen.

In this case, both candidates are well-qualified. It is just a judgment call to make.

But if I were a member of the council, it would be difficult for me to vote against Steve Pinto, since he already has the experience of serving as a city councilor.

Anthony V. Salvo

Salem mayor, 1984-1989

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