For the publisher:
I think the weight of financial responsibility demanded of a mayor is lost in some of the most dramatic issues of the day. Running a mid-sized town in Massachusetts is complicated. Salem employs 1,665 people, provides essential services to residents too numerous to mention, and invests in the future of the city to secure our status as a tourist destination, which brings millions in income to the city each year.
The next mayor will need to have more than a passing knowledge of budgeting and finance. Looking at the list of current candidates, there is only one person who inspires the confidence to provide strong and competent leadership and fiscal oversight – Kim Driscoll. But don’t take my word for it – we have voting records and official positions on several issues from Driscoll and City Councilor Steve Dibble, who is running to overthrow her.
Dibble voted against granting a low interest loan to implement the Signature Parks initiative; a plan presented by the Driscoll administration that will improve parks in the city of Salem to combat climate change and meet accessibility needs, among others. Our parks consistently rank as valuable spaces for residents, and they need maintenance and improvement, which costs money. It was a responsible way to plan for the future of Salem’s parks, and his vote shows his lack of long-term vision.
More recently, Dibble voted “present” on a routine accounting measure that would keep the city in compliance with state requirements for the snow and ice clearing deficit. Despite his six years on council, he did not understand the law governing this spending bucket in the city or even what a deficit entailed, which illustrates his fundamental lack of financial literacy. Finally, his campaign signs were dotted across city lawns for months before he returned his reports from the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, proving to me that he can’t even organize his own campaign finances. in a legal and transparent manner. (Driscoll is and has been OCPF compliant.)
In contrast, Driscoll ran an administration that not only improved Salem’s financial situation during his tenure as mayor, but was successful in maintaining services, providing additional and unplanned support to residents and local businesses, and in bounce back from an unprecedented pandemic. Its tax management is unmatched. With all the big financial plans to come, including multi-million dollar funding for pandemic relief, I hope you are voting for competence and transparency. Vote for Kim Driscoll.