To the editor:

Last month I was surprised and angered at Gov. Baker for calling out four Salem city councilors. I campaigned for him and believe he is doing a great job. Even through my disappointment I still had to give him kudos for the work he has done during such a difficult time. Now that some time has passed since his statement against the councilors, I am able to look at this with clearer eyes.

During this pandemic, rallies and discourse in the world, he doesn’t have the time to check (although he should) the information that was given to him regarding Salem. I am sorry Gov. Baker, but you were given false information. The four councilors that voted no are representing us, the residents of this city. Their only agenda is to take care of those who put them in office.

Yes, there is a need for affordable housing, but that should have been addressed during the past 14 years. We have a huge housing boom. We have thousands of new high-end condos, and hundreds new high end apartments. Low-income housing should have been on the top of the list for years, but sadly that was not in the plan. I was on the Salem Planning Board for 10 years, during that time only one low-income property was on the table. The 15 units were for sale to individuals or families that qualified as low income. The condo units came with an apartment on the first floor to allow family to live or to rent out to help finances. That was a wonderful idea and one we should have revisited instead of the $525,000-and-up condos. The information that you announced saying that these four vetoed low-income senior housing was untrue. As long as I remember, there has never been a plan for low-income seniors.

So Gov. Baker, I plead with you to do your homework before relaying information that is given to you. I hold the individual that gave you the information personally and professionally responsible for lying to you to get what they want. Do not tarnish the great work you have done for us and the reputation you have made for yourself as being a stellar governor.

Pam Lombardini



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