Monday, December 13, 2010

City Council, Dec 13th - First Look at City Legislative Agenda

Council tonight will look at the 2011 legislative agenda, parking rate adjustments, and relocating the Cherriots mall.

First Look at Legislative Priorities

The City released a look at their Legislative positions for the 2011 session. At the end it includes a position on environmental issues.

It includes opposition to greenhouse gas reduction goals.
Oppose greenhouse gas reduction legislation that contains unfunded and/or unrealistic planning requirements that burden local governments or Metropolitan Planning Organizations.
While the language looks like a reasonable concern about unfunded mandates, it is actually a request to conduct business as usual while receiving additional funds to work on greenhouse gas reduction. This misses the fundamental point that business cannot go on as usual and that a reallocation of priorities and funds is necessary. It's not about "extras"; it's about change.

It is interesting to note that while Salem is undergoing a change in the way it funds the storm- and wastewater system, it pleads that it cannot also change the way it funds and builds and manages the transportation system. Changing water supply and wastewater treatment are unquestionably climate change issues. If the city can engage the one, surely it can engage the other. The MPO is no different.

Send a message to your City Councilor and tell them that greenhouse gas reduction and climate change are important matters. You can mail the whole council here:

Other Transportation-Related Matters

Because there's a long wait list for parking at the Pringle Parkade, it is clearly underpriced relative to other, nearby and underused parking garages, and the City proposes a market adjustment.

Last week news emerged that Cherriots was proposing to relocate back to the edges of Courthouse Square. The matter goes before City Council tonight. It includes news that Cherriots envisions the relocation for a period of only a year, not two to five years, with a full redesigned system plan, presumably with more grid coverage and less radial hub-and-spoke coverage, for late 2011.

The City proposes to buy a small lot off Doral Drive in order for a western entry to Battlecreek Park. Connectivity to the park and the school is a problem. Because of the loop-and-lollipop nature of Doral other other nearby streets, additional connections will be necessary, especially across busy streets like Sunnyside and Commercial.

The Urban Renewal Agency presents a list of planned tax increment monies for 2010-11. Most areas show a small decline from the economy, but Northgate shows an increase. That's great to see.

Two new appointments to the Citizens Traffic Advisory Committee.

The City is moving forward with the Kale Park master plan.

Other Interesting Stuff:

Because the Ducks bowl game conflicts with first January Council meeting, it is proposed to move the January date.

Second reading of a new Historic Preservation code.

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