A long-standing challenge for Salem has been accommodating speakers addressing City Council.
While microphones were erected before open meetings to amplify the voices of council addressees, the setup was less than optimal for speakers, who often brought extensive arrays of meeting minutes, photographs and notes for reference and inclusion into the city record.
Having addressed City Council at numerous open meetings, Mack Park Neighborhood Association Chairwoman RoseMary O’Connor recognized the need for a more speaker-friendly solution. Last fall she mentioned this need to John Dionne, Salem cabinet-maker and owner of Dionne’s Cabinetry, who volunteered to design, build and donate a custom-crafted podium to the city.
Dionne visited the city’s council chamber to examine its furniture, woodwork and furnishings, to ensure his design’s quality, construction and color would match the chamber’s existing historic treatments.
His completed design saw its first use at the regular meeting of the council on March 24, a date that marks the first time throughout its long history that Salem’s council chamber employed a podium for public speakers. Dionne’s generous gift of fine craftsmanship is a welcomed addition that will undoubtedly make it much easier for members of the public and city officials to address the council.
Read more: City receives podium for council chamber – Salem, Massachusetts on the Salem Gazette.
Reprinted from the Salem Gazette.