Category: Guest Opinion

Urging civility

A week ago last Monday at the West Salem Neighborhood Association, there were a series of totally inappropriate vocal and physical disturbances instigated by folks who support a new bridge, based primarily on emotions without much critical analysis. It was very disturbing, especially in light of what is happening nationally. I commented on it at length at Monday’s council meeting. I spoke from written notes which are reproduced below. Sorry for the length (especially without pictures!) but this issue is important. One of the functions of Salem neighborhood associations is to receive and discuss information concerning city projects and...

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What it’s like to serve on Salem city council?

by Cara Kaser This 4th of July will mark exactly six months since I was sworn in as the Ward 1 Salem City Councilor. Serving as a councilor during these last few months has been an enlightening, challenging, and rewarding experience. It has also been eye-opening in that I’ve learned that many Salem residents are unaware of what serving on a volunteer city council is really like. To that end, I want to help demystify the council experience for you a bit. First off, I am not a career politician, nor do I have aspirations to be one. My...

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LET’S BUILD A COMMUNITY FRIENDLY POLICE FACILiTY, NOT A FORTRESS

by Geoffrey James, AIA The new police facility that Salem citizens approved in the May election will be the first public building built in Salem since 2005 when we cut the ribbon on our new convention center. The project has been controversial. I know. I served on the first Blue Ribbon Task Force appointed by Mayor Anna Peterson that came up with a plan that the city council rewrote and submitted to voters — that failed. The new plan for a smaller facility that voters approved is an improvement. But it is only that; a plan. It is not...

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Everyone’s input helps build a great community

by Sally Cook Given the opportunity to reflect on my short time on the Salem City Council, I want to begin by thanking my friends and neighbors in Ward 7. I am humbled by the support, insight and perspective of the working families that take time out of their day to call, write, email, or attend a meeting to make their voices heard. As busy as I feel, at times, I know plenty of people in my ward are managing 30-50 hour weeks, juggling family life with parents and kids, struggling to make ends meet, and working hard to...

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Salem Climate Action Plan

By Laurie Dougherty Portland; Beaverton; Corvallis; Eugene; Ashland, Spokane; Boise; Tacoma; Boulder; Salem, Massachusetts – and on across the country and around the world. Where is Salem, Oregon? What these cities and others have that Salem lacks is a well-defined plan for dealing with the crisis of climate change. Climate change is real and already disrupting natural systems and cycles that we depend on for life and livelihood and the stability of our society. It will only get worse unless we take solutions into our own hands. Salem, Oregon needs to be on this list.  Why bring it up now?...

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