Many local issues stem from the current administration’s lack of transparency. The sudden removal of kiosks and planters downtown left a bad taste in the mouths of downtown merchants and patrons. The traffic congestion and new development on Kuebler Boulevard frustrates many people. Even those participating in the much-touted Vision 2020 meetings felt that despite being courted for their ideas, the decision process was not handled openly.

It is time to leave partisan bickering aside and move Salem forward. Development and livability should co-exist. They do not need to be opposing philosophies. Chapman has made it clear that he will represent and lead the discussion in a balanced way.

Chapman, who has years of experience on both neighborhood association boards and on the Salem-Keizer Transit District, has made it clear that he believes the public should be heard. At Salem Monthly’s Election Forum he said: “One of my strengths is that I like to deal collaboratively. I like to hear points of view. I’m perfectly willing to offer my opinion, but I want it recognized as my own — one among many. I want to hear others. If other people feel that their opinions and ideas are valued they will be more willing to share them and we could come to a better agreement about the directions we ought to head.” 

He voiced that opinion again during a recent debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters. During his opening statement at that debate, he said, “My first priority will be to assure that our city government is open and transparent. Too many decisions are made without the input of those most concerned or made in spite of those concerned. We must do a better job of involving our citizens early in the process where we can have real dialogue and not mere conflict.”

In Oregon, we aim to live up to a higher environmental standard. Oregon’s capitol should lead the rest of the state. Cities like Ashland, Lincoln City, Eugene, and Portland have signed on to the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, leaving Salem as a major city missing from the list. Chapman committed to signing the Agreement at the Salem Monthly City Election Forum. In fact, Chapman has gone a step further stating, “We should immediately ask each city department, during the budget process, to provide information on activities it has or will undertake to reduce carbon emission generated by the city.”

Over the years, the pendulum has swung from leadership that focuses on the needs and concerns of citizens to those of business and development. It is the responsibility of the non-partisan Mayor to lead city government to encompass all aspects of living and working in Salem. We believe strongly that Lloyd Chapman is the best candidate to bring the pendulum back to the center and serve all of Salem with an open mind and, more importantly, open ears.

Salem Monthly Editorial Board is made up of AP Walther (Publisher), Reina Pike (Editor), Lynn Tylzcak (Assistant Editor) Nancy Ingham (Vice President of Willamette Media) and Shawn Estes (Development Director). The board meets bimonthly to discuss local issues, make endorsements and write editorials. To contact the board with  news tips, story ideas or information, contact editors@salemmonthly.com.