Following our story about citizens feeling discouraged from attending a City of Salem October 26 police facility meeting (“Public says meeting did not welcome them,” Volume 12, Issue 14, October 29, 2015,) Salem Weekly asked Kathy Sime, the Police Office Supervisor who previously sent email alerts to police advocates, about the apparent change in policy.

We received a reply from Interim City Manager Kacey Duncan.  During the months that Mayor Anna Peterson’s Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force met, interested citizens who requested it were alerted to meetings by an email sent from the city.  Now those same people are emailed a link to the city’s “Meetings of Interest” page, which lists all city meetings including those of the Cultural and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Salem Housing Authority and so on.  “We maintain a list of interested parties who have requested to receive email notification of upcoming meetings when the Meetings of Interest schedule is posted,” Duncan told us.

Duncan did not answer our question about why no reply was given to emails from Salem Weekly and others last month.

We asked why the change in policy, but no reason was provided.

“As you are aware,” Duncan said, “the city has hired an architect to support the space needs, design and location of a new public safety facility.  This action was one of the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Police Facility. On August 31, a Council Subcommittee was appointed to assist and guide staff and consultants in moving the work forward.  The subcommittee had its first meeting on October 26.”