Years in Salem: 18
Family: Son, Bradley, Carlton School second grader
Education: UMASS Amherst BS, Suffolk Law School JD. Paralegal/Consultant and Retail Clerk.
Appointed positions and/or elected offices: Former Board Member, Salem Council on Aging
Why should people elect you?
Through my years of volunteer service, ranging from nonprofit boards to city boards to neighborhood associations, I have gained vast experience in working towards consensus and cooperating with all sorts of colleagues and stakeholders to solve complex problems.
In my professional and political career, I have worked with diverse populations to identify issues and provide solutions. My political and legal experience and education also provide a unique background in comparison to the current council members. In my decades of serving the public, I have learned that casting blame and making excuses accomplishes nothing people expect and deserve results. I have the skills, knowledge, and experience to deliver those results.
What are three reasons/issues why you’re running for election?
1) Responsiveness to constituent concerns
2) Quality of life issues
3) Long term budgetary and development planning issues
Rank the job performance of the current Salem City Council on a letter-grade scale of A to F, and explain why?
C. The City Council is failing in two key measures:
1) Its ability to work cooperatively and collaborate; and 2) its ability to balance our city’s current basic needs with planning for the future in a region that is growing and changing.
Salem’s housing crisis has received much attention, resources and debate from all sides – the City Council, the mayor’s office, and municipal government. Some say the intervention of government is a key piece in tackling the growing issue, while others say the market will sort things out. In short, where do you stand on this issue?
Unless Massachusetts enters a recession, an influx of highly educated professionals will continue to exert pressure on our housing market and price out many of our residents. It is likely that many current residents will not be able to afford to rent or buy in Salem. It is misleading and irresponsible for a councillor or candidate to suggest otherwise. That does not mean we should stop trying to help our residents remain in our city.
While market forces are too strong to control and excessive government intervention is problematic, there are two ways to mitigate the ongoing crisis. First, if the ordinance is drafted carefully and correctly, I favor inclusionary zoning measures. We can add affordable units through such a change to our local zoning. Second, we can expand upon our city’s programs designed to assist first-time homebuyers. Whether steering buyers toward beneficial loan programs or providing down payment assistance, we should increase our efforts to increase home ownership.
Lastly, what type of relationship should a councilor have with their constituents?
To be effective, a councillor must listen and learn and be willing to compromise and cooperate. A councillor should be proactive in communicating with constituents and should strive to represent all residents and businesses equally and vigorously.