FACT: Roughly 58 percent of registered voters in Marion County voted in the May primaries.

Kudos to Mayor Janet Taylor, Lloyd Chapman, City Councilor-elect Diana Dickey, David Beem for running for positions in city government. The sacrifice that you made for the past few months should be commended. The City could do more to encourage candidates to participate; a good first step would be paying our elected officials. 
Congratulations to Mayor Taylor on her re-election. Madam Mayor, now that you have secured your fourth term, we hope that you will consider that roughly 45 percent of Salem voters agreed with Lloyd Chapman’s campaign. Chapman’s platform advocated the importance of maintaining a balance between growth and development and livability. He also said he would promote a sense of openness and transparency throughout council proceedings. Current council must do more than go through the motions of public hearings. It is your duty as Mayor to promote public participation and unity among Salemites. We look forward to working with you on keeping the public informed in your fourth term. 

:-(  Pedestrian Safety

FACT: The price of gas is nearly $4 a gallon and steadily rising.

Gas tanks are costing more and more to fill up, and many are turning to their feet for alternative transportation. The weather is fast becoming pedestrian-friendly and more people will be out and about on sidewalks and in parks. But let’s be honest, walking in Salem is dangerous. The majority of the blame falls on drivers  who are not aware of the world outside their own rolling tanks o’ death. 

The biggest danger to walkers is trying to cross busy intersections that are not protected by a stoplight. For those crosswalks to work, drivers need to slow as they approach and stop to allow pedestrians to cross. A walker’s commute is hampered by having to wait for traffic. Worse than delays is when walkers fear for their lives as they cross an (allegedly) protected crosswalk. Crossing Center Street is particularly treacherous. Our staff has reported waiting up to 10 minutes for traffic to stop. Wake up, Salem drivers!

🙂 Bookmobile Service

FACT: Salem Public Library’s Bookmobile carries more than 2,000 library materials and makes 30 stops every month, often in low-income areas.

The recommendation of the City of Salem’s Budget Committee to at least partially fund Salem Public Library’s Bookmobile service is the right way to go. The Bookmobile was set to be cut by the initial recommendations submitted by city staff to the Budget Committee. The previous budget was $184,000. If City Council follows the recommendations from the committee, the Bookmobile will receive $100,000. This is a great improvement over the program being halted completely.