Salem's Edward Carroll, who is running for state Senate for the 2nd Essex District, fielded a broad range of questions in a live chat with Patch readers Friday on everything from his main platform issue — Salem's power plant — to medical marijuana, public transportation, education and more.
The power plant
Marissa Lwoe: Salem power plant is privately owned. Have you consulted with new owners to see if they would entertain the casino idea, pay $400,000 in non-refundable application fees and pay millions for infrastructure the area just doesn't currently have?
Edward Carroll: Strong, dedicated leadership is required to make the right project there happen. That project will benefit the state in general, but more so, it will benefit Salem, Peabody, Danvers, Beverly and Topsfield. That project will create critical jobs for the district. I envision at least 5,000 jobs being created. I envision cruise ships with tourists docking at the deep water harbor and enjoying our shores, museums and historical sites. I see a renaissance for the entire district not seen in our district since the spice trade. The other candidates have rhetoric, but no plan and no vision.
J. Bouchard: In debates I've seen you seem to have a clear vision for the Salem power plant and you don't seem concerned about the Chapter 91 restrictions I've read about in the news. Why?
Edward Carroll: Working together, we can overcome any restrictions, and create jobs and lower the property tax rates in this district.
Jobs and more jobs
Nate: Ed, you've talked a lot about your vision for the Salem power plant and the downtown there, but what about other issues for the North Shore? What's another big issue you'd hope to tackle if elected?
Edward Carroll: I will work hard to deal with the traffic problem. I will work hard to deal with the flooding that plagues Peabody, Salem and parts of Danvers. I will work hard to have the Peabody-Salem Corridor Concept Action Plan implemented. But, most of all, I will bring prosperity by creating JOBS, and then creating JOBS! I intend to lower the property tax burden and I will get people off welfare rolls by providing them with jobs. This is what this election is all about, and I am the ONLY candidate willing to tackle a plan of action.
K. Carlson: What do you think about medical marijuana?
Edward Carroll: Medical therapies are important and anyone in pain should be able to get relief with the strict oversight of the doctor. However, as state senator, I would want to be sure that this is not a back door to legalizing marijuana.
Smithy: What are the biggest transportation problems around in your mind and how would you tackle them?
Edward Carroll: The first problem that we have is that public transportation fares have become exorbitant, while the services have been drastically cut. The reason for that is that the state has shifted the cost burden of the Big Dig onto public transportation. If elected, I will work very hard to roll back the rates and services to what they used to be, and, if possible increase those services. Those high costs and reduced services affect the seniors disproportionately. Additionally, people who do not have cars cannot travel to their jobs. What the state has done is create problems and solved NONE!
Nate: What about education issues on the North Shore? Are there specific problems/issues you want to address as a senator?
Edward Carroll: At present, there are not enough teachers to educate our children. Under the Carroll Plan of Action [hotel/casino resort], there will be jobs created in the entire district and there will be revenues that will be generated so we can hire more teachers, and we can pay them adequately. Teachers play one of the most important roles in our society, and they have to be compensated accordingly.
For a complete transcript of Friday's chat, .