At-Large: Arthur Sargent

Education: Salem High School 1974, Salem State University 1981.
Professional: Presently employed by The Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, as an Instrumentation Technician, since 2015. Formerly employed for 33 years at The Salem Harbor Station Power Plant, as a Computer Control Technician until it was closed in 2014.
Public Service: Councillor at Large 2000 to present.
Community Service: Salem K-9 Police Dog fundraising volunteer
Personal: Homeowner at 8 Maple Avenue, Married to Kathleen (DeFranco) Sargent. We have three adult children, Patrick and his wife Sarah Sargent, Amy and her husband Eric Sclafani, and Eric Sargent.

Why are you running for Councillor and what particular skills can you bring to the position?

I'm running to help give the people of Salem the best possible quality of life. Every decision a Councillor makes should have this as the end result. I like to research the history of issues that come before the City Council and City Boards. If you understand past zoning changes, planning board decisions, board of appeal agreements and City Council Votes, you can make a more informed decision as we plan Salem's future. I will also continue to listen to the people of Salem, hear their input, learn from their experiences and incorporate this information to the best of my ability, into the planning process of our city.

What are some of your proposed solutions to resolving the housing crisis in Salem?

We currently have 12.4 percent affordable housing in Salem. That makes us the 15th best city, out of 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, at providing affordable housing for our residents.  New housing development should have between ten and twenty percent affordable housing so we remain at or improve upon our impressive 15th place ranking.                        

How do you see Salem impacted by the climate crisis and what new initiatives would you take to lead Salem's resiliency efforts?

Salem's biggest concern is the impact of storms on our waterfront neighborhoods and the sea walls that protect them. A scheduled inspection and preventive maintenance program must be used to be sure our sea walls are ready for future weather events.

Please outline some ideas you have that can enhance civic engagement at the city level.

Civic engagement begins with involving the people of Salem in the planning and decision making process of our city as early as possible. This includes public and private development projects. Let them know about a meeting, listen to their input, combine it with the expertise of the professional planners and architects and move forward with a better project.

At-Large: Melissa Faulkner

I am humbled and blessed to be considered as your next Councilor-at-Large in a city with such history and diversity. I was born and raised in Salem and am blessed to be raising my five sons here. I am a renter and currently struggle to pay my bills. I am a survivor of domestic violence, have fought and won sole custody of my children, two of which have epilepsy. I also have a background as a paraprofessional and have been employed as a professional Driving School Instructor for the past four years, currently with Tanner City Driving School. I not only teach our youth, I also teach bilingual individuals and students with disabilities. I firmly believe that everyone should be afforded the right to reach their fullest potential. Nothing has been handed to me. I have knocked down every door and I will fight for the people of Salem with every fiber of my being. I seek to serve with empathy and compassion and lead with wisdom and discernment in all areas. I will work diligently and collaboratively with my community and fellow servants to see that everyone has a voice and that while we maintain and uphold Salem’s history we move forward to build a stronger Salem.

Why are you running for Councilor and what particular skills can you bring to the position?

I am running for Councilor, because I am passionate and motivated about using everything my family and I have been through for the greater good.  I want to stand and advocate for the amazing people of Salem who face similar struggles and challenges. I want to show others that regardless of what you have been or are currently going through, you can still be a voice of change. I can deliver the experience I have gained through enduring real-life challenges such as facing homelessness, domestic violence, and having children with special needs. I’ve learned to successfully navigate these challenges in the darkest of times and now I want to utilize my ability and perseverance to push forward and help others. 

A short list of reasons I believe myself a worthy candidate:

  • Want to bring forth my life experience. Really care about salem and its constituents (born and raised)

  • Representation for the common person.

  • My voice on the council can bring empathy and compassion while maintaining the wisdom and discernment necessary to lead.

  • Can be the bridge between the grievances of the constituents of Salem with my fellow councillors who can help me bring about the necessary change.


  • I feel passionate that, through my life experience, I can be a voice for any that may be facing similar hardship

  • Directly affected by the affordable and accessible housing crisis (experience) 

  • Facing homelessness, being a survivor of domestic violence, 

  • Having to fight/learn how to stand up and speak up and be an advocate for boys and self 

  • Really believe that I have the empathy and compassion to connect with people going through similar situations 

What are some of your proposed solutions towards resolving the housing crisis in Salem?

While we have not created this housing crisis within itself, we are now faced with finding solutions in order to move forward. I believe we really need to take a comprehensive look at the current and outdated Zoning laws and make significant changes.  We as a society are responsible for making sure that the diverse needs of Salem’s residents are being met at every level and income, to the person serving your morning coffee to the store clerk to public service workers such as EMT’s, firefighters, the police, students whom of which some are sleeping in their cars to our school teachers. 

  • I want to look in depth at the two current options- Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance and Community Benefits Agreement and further examine what options have the most potential to benefit the individuals of Salem.  I would also like to see a rent-freeze and/or rent control ordinance. 

  • I am in support of amending the ordinance relative to accessory living uses which would benefit both individuals, which would provide below market rent but also supplement the owners income. My family in particular would personally benefit from this ordinance being passed. Along with this, I want to collaborate with landlords to ensure that they have access to lead-abatement programs and create a subcommittee to bridge the gap between landlords and tenants in Salem. I plan to collaborate and empower individuals that are currently receiving housing vouchers to find a better solution and pathway for a sustainable life. 

  • I am also in support of building accessible and affordable housing using the approved buildings permitted with the passage of the municipal and religious reuse program.


Inclusionary Zoning: 

How do you see Salem impacted by the climate crisis and what new initiatives would you take to lead Salem's resiliency efforts?

With Salem being a coastal City Flooding is a huge concern. We need to conduct studies on our land in order to know how to adequately prepare for flooding while we also take necessary steps to protect and preserve our environment. We must speak loud and clear on this issue and demand reforms from our leaders. I would look at every possible energy alternative initiatives in order to see how Salem could benefit from them. Renewable energy is much more accessible nowadays. Solar panels and wind turbines create this energy without negatively impacting the environment. There is no reason why this shouldn’t be part of the foot print for every new building. Recycling must be increased to a weekly schedule vs. biweekly. I would like to create and collaborate with community groups to keep beaches clean and work on viable solutions to keep our water clean.

Please outline some ideas you have that can enhance civic engagement at the city level.

Provide an easy to use platform for innovation and engagement

  • Empower citizens

  • Develop a comprehensive communication strategy

  • Provide incentives

  • Provide sufficient staffing, resources, and success metrics

  • Partner with local businesses, schools, and community resource agencies

It’s important to note that many constituents want to attend meetings but can’t due to a lack of childcare. I would like to collaborate with youth groups such as the YMCA in offering babysitting for a donation during city council meetings so parents can attend.

At-Large: Maribel "Belle" Steadman

Maribel “Belle” Steadman has been a Salem resident for 30 years ever since she was hired by Salem Hospital in January 1989 as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist from the Philippines. She became a U.S. citizen on May 2001. She now lives with her husband, Mark, who is a Swampscott police officer, and son, Kerry, in the Willows Neighborhood.

Belle is a strong leader and positive advocate for people both at work and the Salem community, serving as the Salem Garden Club president for two years having been a member since 2002. She also donates her time and photographs to raise funding for the North Shore Wreaths Across America.  Currently, she serves as the corresponding secretary of the Salem Willows Neighborhood Association.

Belle is looking forward to working for all the residents of Salem as their new voice and strong advocate.

Why are you running for Councilor and what particular skills can you bring to the position?

My life experiences from a third world country and my chosen profession of saving lives made me more passionate to be of service to people, more so to the community that embrace me as their own when I arrived here 30 years ago.

In my 38 years as a clinical Laboratory Scientist, collaboration has a special meaning to me. My every day routine at work allows me to collaborate with other health professionals to solve health issues. Helping doctors research for the right tests for their patients and troubleshoot challenges that arises along the way, I have become a strong leader who instills teamwork, positive attitude, acceptance of cultural differences, and camaraderie not only with peers in the laboratory but in the entire hospital setting.  I have also served as one of the Salem Garden Club president leading a 100+ membership, going over budgets and plans for community service. I am also currently serving as the corresponding secretary of the Salem Willows neighborhood Association responsible for proper communication between the leadership and the members. If elected I will use these experiences to be a strong advocate of the Salem residents at city hall.

What are some of your proposed solutions towards resolving the housing crisis in Salem?

The crisis is nationwide and in a smaller scales, in cities, like ours, tax credits, rental capping (such as that proposed in one of the cities in California), our ALAs (Accessory Living Area) proposals are worth looking into. As with all problems, the root causes need to be looked at, addressed and with collaboration with the right people and programs, detailed solutions should be implemented. The housing issue is a complicated matter with many variables and there is no single answer that will begin to address the issue both in the short and long term.  Bottomline is, all residents should have a roof over their heads and should have a say in any of the proposals pertaining to housing.

How do you see Salem impacted by the climate crisis and what new initiatives would you take to lead Salem's resiliency efforts?

Salem is a coastal city, and with intense storms and flooding frequency, we need to look at coastal resiliency. I live by the sea and I am a witness of how vulnerable our Willows neighborhood is  during intense storm and so our  Willows Neighborhood Association in which I am one of the active leaders has formed the Seawall and Flood Advisory Committee to look into ways of preventing water surge during storms into our neighborhood that could cause property loss and destruction. The committee is working closely with the Conservation Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection. We are looking into reinforcing the seawall and relocating the sand near the walls to the ocean side of the neighborhood so that the surge will not just roll over the walls. Looking into adapting plans and developing practices that can preserve lands and allowing coastal wetlands to thrive and measures to take during flooding and how to help neighbors that are affected are what I will suggest in our next neighborhood meeting.

Please outline some ideas you have that can enhance civic engagement at the city level.

Civic engagement when implemented effectively will bring more residents together in decision-making process about the issues impacting their lives making more governance effective. Having said that, I would like to see a community-based (non-partisan) online page wherein all residents can discuss issues impacting their daily lives. This proposed online page can also be use for conducting surveys asking for residents’ input on issues that impact their daily lives; getting more information or discussions from the residents on how they feel before things are set up or implemented. I am one of the admin of a Salem FB page  (Salem MA Forever) wherein city issues are discussed but not politics , and everyone is encouraged to be respectful, and it is working great. I have also started an annual  "Salemites Pot-Luck" this Summer wherein residents get together and enjoy discussing their daily activities as Salemites and issues they have and share the food that they made.  Enhancing civic engagement should be innovative, practical and fun to encourage all residents to participate, after all, they should always have a voice and say in every issue that impacts their daily lives. 

At-Large: Ty Hapworth


My high school sweetheart, Micah and I are raising two young children in Salem. We both grew up in the same small town and attended the University of Maine.

Following the events of September 11, I joined the Army. After graduating from college and receiving my commission, I spent the next three years serving as a Platoon Leader and Executive Officer, where I received decorations that included the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Army Service Ribbon. After the Army, Micah and I moved back to New England, where I earned a master’s in business administration from the University of Massachusetts.

Today I am a Commercial Executive with Microsoft and serve on the Salem Beautification Committee and the Punto Urban Art Museum Advisory Board. I am also a photographer (@hellosalem), the founder of @Igerssalem, and a member of Historic Salem. I believe that Salem is at a crossroads, we need hopeful voices and principled leaders to keep our city affordable, inclusive and vibrant.

Why are you running for Councilor and what particular skills can you bring to the position?

More people are moving to Salem than we’ve seen in over a century. We’ve seen a growing creative economy, exciting and innovative new businesses and reinvestment in our historic buildings. While life in Salem can be far from perfect, we’ve re-branded ourselves to the world as an inclusive place where people want to live, visit and invest in. However, with change comes uncertainty, and questions about how to deal with a growing and urgent affordability crisis. I am running as someone who has led and mentored hundreds of women and men over the last decade and I can tell you that times of change can be stressful and require strong leadership.

Leaders who have enough confidence in their own values to have empathy for those who disagree with them. Leaders who can bring everyone to the table and harness this change to ensure that it works for everyone.

What are some of your proposed solutions towards resolving the housing crisis in Salem?

Positions here: steadfast-leadership/article_8d4f2bf4-a836-58f3-a9cc-7cb38c560049.html

From my Letter to the Editor in July:

“As an Army platoon leader, I learned that every decision I made brought with it real and imagined side effects. But leadership is about so much more than allowing worst-case outcomes to paralyze your ability to make decisions. Good leaders seize opportunities and take action to help those who depend on them. Good leaders also recognize that often the best way to solve big problems is by acting, getting little wins and repeating. This is the leadership that we need from our city council when it comes to addressing the affordability crisis in Salem.”

My experience as a leader has taught me that the only way to solve big problems is by getting small wins and repeating. This is how we’ll begin to address the affordability crisis. Updating the zoning code would help struggling homeowners earn extra income while creating additional housing. We can also make development work for everyone by mandating affordability and leveraging our existing historic buildings to create needed homes. These are all small steps that will make a big difference for individuals and families impacted by this crisis.

How do you see Salem impacted by the climate crisis and what new initiatives would you take to lead Salem's resiliency efforts?

Climate change will not only impact our planet but put several of Salem’s neighborhoods acutely at risk. As a first step we must act on the recommendations made in Salem’s Climate Change Vulnerability Report in 2014. These include repairing and raising sea walls where appropriate, giving DPW the ability to quickly deploy temporary floodwalls where needed, and installing more permeable non-erodible asphalt in select locations.

We also need to ensure that we are doing our part as a city. We must continue to encourage alternative forms of transportation through shuttle services, cycling and walkability. Finally, we need to support the adaptive reuse of our historic buildings, recognizing that these structures are unique, built with durable materials and are one of Salem’s most important green natural resources.

Please outline some ideas you have that can enhance civic engagement at the city level.

Highly charged divisive rhetoric can frustrate people and tunes them out of the political process, reducing civic engagement at an individual level. As a leader I’ve recognized that people need to ensure their voices are heard if you’re going to ask them to be a part of the process. I’m committed to doing that by meeting people where they are. This includes block parties, 5Ks, neighborhood meetings, coffee shops, playgrounds, social media and more. As a Councillor it will be my responsibility to engage with people who may disagree and seek common ground. The tone is set at the top and if elected I will use my voice to be inclusive and encourage citizen engagement.

At-Large: Conrad Prosniewski

Born, raised and educated in Salem, and after serving my community for nearly forty one years, I wish to continue my commitment to the people of Salem.

As a voice and leader with the Salem Police for many years I have not only been been exposed to the many issues and difficulties our city has faced, but also helped organize and strategize many successful initiatives and plans of actions.  I have been and continue to be totally committed to improving the quality of life for everyone in Salem.

Born in 1954 I am first generation American whose parents immigrated after WW II. Both worked in factories raising myself and my sister Barbara, who is a doctor residing in California.  Their dream came true, as should the dreams of others.  Without their efforts I would not have my wife Julie, my two children Michael & Kristina and my grandson Tommy who are my life.


  • St. John the Baptist Elementary School

  • Salem High School Class of 1972

  • Essex Technical Institute A.S. Environmental Science

  • North Shore Community College, A.S. Criminal Justice

  • New England Flyers, Private Pilot

  • Eagle Scout

  • Police Patrol Officer 1978 – 1991

  • Sergeant/Detective 1991 – 2004

  • Lieutenant/Police Prosecutor 2004 – 2016

  • Captain 2016 – 2018

  • Executive Officer 2018 – 2019

  • Dive Master/Dive Team Commander 1993 – 2018

  • Public Information Officer 1991 - 2019

  •  City of Salem, Mayor’s Citizen Advisory Committee 1999- Present

  • City of Salem, Waterfront Advisory Committee 2004 – 2008

  • City of Salem, No Place for Hate Committee 1995 - 2019

  • Board of Directors/ Salem Children’s Charity 1992 – Present

Why are you running for Councilor and what particular skills can you bring to the position?

As a Police Officer with nearly 41 years of experience, and devoted to helping improve the quality of life for all of us in Salem, I simply wish to continue serving my community.

My career began in 1978 as a Patrol Officer for over ten years I was assigned to the Point section of Salem.  I made many friends and enjoyed serving a largely immigrant population. Drawing from my own upbringing from immigrant parents I welcomed the opportunity to help break down barriers and educate many on the differences between our police department as compared to what they experienced with police in their countries.   It was my privilege to work and serve with a community that opened their homes and shared their culture with trust in my sincerity.

As a Detective for nearly 20 years, investigating crimes ranging from petty larcenies to murder, my strength was my tenacity, and my compassion genuine and true.

As a Sergeant during the start of Community Policing I was given the opportunity to help create several initiatives and programs including the Citizen’s Police Academy, Neighborhood Crime Watch, and Behind the Badge Access Television Show, all successful in helping to bring together the police department with our community.  

As a Lieutenant and Police Prosecutor for eleven years, my experience in our courts and with the judicial system allowed me to represent not only the police department’s efforts, but more importantly the victims of crimes and the impact on their lives.

As a Captain and Executive Officer my experiences now include commanding divisions, department budgeting and grant writing, and throughout my career working with the many city department and officials addressing the safety and concerns of our community.

As Public Information Officer for over 25 years, open, honest and truthful dialogue with the media and the public was key in maintaining transparency and the integrity of the Salem Police Department.

What are some of your proposed solutions towards resolving the housing crisis in Salem?At this point I cannot offer a simple solution to such a complicated and highly debated issue, but as a lifelong member of this community, and seeing the changes it has experienced over the last fifty years,  I am willing to listen, learn and represent what I believe is in the best interests of Salem.

How do you see Salem impacted by the climate crisis and what new initiatives would you take to lead Salem's resiliency efforts?

We all know climate change is real and as a waterfront community we have to seriously look at what changes are reasonably forecasted  and how we can work together to adapt with these changes.

Please outline some ideas you have that can enhance civic engagement at the city level.

To me civic engagement means open, honest and transparent dialogue not only between city administrators and staff, but more importantly with the community as a whole. Genuinely listening to even the smallest of issues, even those that may seem trivial or non-essential to most of us, are usually truly important to the person reporting them and should not be brushed aside. As a community impact supervisor, gaining the trust of the public meant genuinely caring and doing something about it.