“I am attracted to Salem because there is so much opportunity here,” says Carole Smith. “There are great neighborhoods, good schools (especially music and culinary programs) and abundant shopping and entertainment opportunities. We have a downtown that needs to become a driving factor to attract businesses with family wage jobs to Salem. We have citizens with creative solutions and visions of how to make Salem better – they just need to be listened to by the leadership.”
Smith is the second of two people in the contest to become Salem’s next mayor; the other is current Ward 1 City Councilor, Chuck Bennett.
Smith has lived in and owned a business in downtown Salem for 35 years. She served as CAN-DO chair for six years and served on the Downtown Development Board for six years. If she is elected, she says, a top priority will be to increase citizen participation in city decisions and projects.
Smith also has ideas of her own, especially for Salem’s downtown core. “A citizen-led ‘streetscape’ project in downtown would make our downtown a national leader,” she says. “A better downtown will help with business recruitment and retention and give our citizens a downtown they can be proud of – because they helped build it.” She’s focused on city construction and safety as well. “There is much left to do about seismically upgrading our current two bridges, our library and city hall,” Smith says. “The city currently has over $200 million in deferred maintenance on buildings we own. I would stop unrelated fees from being added to citizens water/sewer bills [and] I would like to eliminate parking meters from the library so all citizens have free access to our free public library.”
Smith also says that “the bike/pedestrian path from Salem Towne to the Railroad Bridge should be pushed forward to this year. The money is there and volunteers are ready to help build it now.”
When Smith was chair of CAN-DO neighborhood association, she kept the board informed about upcoming City projects and policy changes “and encouraged the board to provide the city with new visions to solve problems. Having successful input from neighborhood boards requires leadership.”
With a campaign web site, CaroleSmithForMayor.com and a Facebook page, Carole is out in the community daily learning what matters to her constituents. Whether it is Salem’s homeless population or her vision for allowing Uber in town, Smith says that all good changes “require a city council that will work together to achieve what the citizens want done.”