, Newburyport, MA

Election Connection

November 16, 2007

Salem, MA election coverage


School Committee race: the return of the parents

Mayor Kim Driscoll is the only member of the School Committee with a child in the public schools, and several candidates in next week's election say the lack of parent representation was a factor in their decision to run.

"It's a perspective that needs to be solidly represented because there are going to be pressures on the School Committee to cut the budget or hold the line on the budget," said Bart Hoskins, who has two children at Salem High. "If that is the case, then we have to find ways of doing that without compromising the quality of the education, and how do you do that without the input of people who have seen the system up close and personal?"

Crowded field for councilor-at-large

With no mayor's race, the most closely watched citywide political battle may be the contest for councilor-at-large, where seven candidates are vying for four open seats.

It's a crowded field.

Incumbents Tom Furey, Joan Lovely and Arthur Sargent will face challengers Norene Gachignard, Steven Pinto, Ken Sawicki and James Willis on the ballot on Tuesday.

Many of the candidates have the same philosophy toward taxes, chiefly that they should be lower. And most gave high marks to Mayor Kim Driscoll in her first two years on the job.

A new Usovicz challenges Pelletier for Ward 3 seat

Voters here are used to seeing the name Usovicz on the ballot.

But in elections past it was preceded by Stanley, the city's former mayor who was unseated in 2005. When voters head to the polls on Tuesday, they will determine the political fate of Mary, the former "first lady" of Salem and a rookie candidate making a bid for the Ward 3 City Council seat.

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