ABOUT KIM DRISCOLL:
The second of four daughters of a native of Trinidad and a Navy officer, Kim Driscoll came to Salem as a college student in 1986. Kim was a political science major, but also a stand-out athlete on the women’s basketball team.
An internship in Salem’s Planning Department opened her eyes to the way in which local government could have a profound and positive impact on people’s daily lives. Like so many Salem State College students, Kim fell in love with Salem and made it her home after graduation, pursuing a career in municipal government, while also marrying her college sweetheart and raising a family of three (and a lovable golden retriever) and becoming a proud Salem public schools’ parent.
After college, Kim took a position as Beverly’s Community Development Director and went on to earn her law degree from the Massachusetts School of Law. After a few years in private practice, in 1998, Kim was tapped by the new City Manager in Chelsea to serve as the city’s Chief Legal Counsel. Chelsea, at the time, was just emerging from state receivership and a legacy of scandals in local government. Kim was an integral part of a team of new public administrators that worked to turn the city around by professionalizing and opening up how City Hall worked for the people.
“Driscoll projects a…down-to-earth persona—with a no-nonsense approach to the constant stream of challenges confronting municipal leaders these days.” –Commonwealth Magazine, 1/15/2013
Kim was elevated to the position of Deputy City Manager in Chelsea and then in 1999 Kim ran for and won a seat on the Salem City Council representing Ward 5. As a Ward Councillor Kim was a responsive and hardworking representative for her South Salem neighbors. She brought the same work ethic and commitment to professionalism that she had in her work in Chelsea to the Salem City Council.
In 2003, frustrated by the extent of “got-ya” games and petty politics that characterized Salem city government, Kim made the decision to step down from the City Council and run for Mayor. She campaigned in 2005 on a platform of professional, inclusive, and transparent government. Though considered an underdog, Kim topped the ticket in a three-way preliminary election against a sitting City Councillor-at-Large and the incumbent Mayor, and then went on to win the final election by a large margin, becoming Salem’s first woman Mayor.