Friday, April 25, 2014

More than the Police and Civic Center Debate: SCV's new Issue Papers

Hey, this is pretty neat. Salem Community Vision has published some "white papers" on three issues in Salem.  Two of them are of particular interest.

on downtown bridges
on downtown sidewalks and streets
Though we might differ on a few details, in general terms there's a lot to like and they could contribute to a consensus approach on the bridges and the streetscape concept. This is a meaningful contribution to debate and discussion and they're worth reading.  (Perhaps there will be more to say over the next few days.)

You can find all three here.


Susann Kaltwasser said...

Yes, more is coming. And if you have a topic that you or your readers think SCV should include on their website, we are taking suggestions.

Unknown said...

Yes, Breakfast On Bikes and Salem Community Vision agree on many if not most things, to do with livability, enhanced pedestrian and bike connectivity, and maybe fiscal responsibility, i.e. not spending more that we need to to achieve needed improvements, like buildings and bridges. We will quibble about details, but we all believe our local governments should involve the community and listen to our ideas. SCV is working on many issues and we'll post more on these on our website

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

The green streetscape concept was one of the Salem Downtown Partnership's projects and has been floating around since at least 2010. Here are some notes on it from 2012.

It might make more sense to start from the Downtown Mobility Study, which will be adopted as part of the TSP amendments, rather than something completely new, as is the green streetscape concept.

On the EID - The actual dollar amount of the yearly Economic Improvement District assessments is also dwarfed by the magnitude of the other projects. If I understand it right, the 2013/14 assessment is $223,298.35 (that's 4 pedestrian median equivalents). The streetscape and bridges projects are measured in small tens of millions. So the EID is like 1% the size of the other projects.

I'm not sure that the internal downtown politics of the EID have the same city-wide strategic importance of the bridges and streetscape, and spending lots of energy on it might take away from more urgent priorities. It'll be interesting to hear what others have to say.

Susann Kaltwasser said...

One of SCVs ideas is to start with Streetscape with perhaps something low cost and simple like putting up plants around a business entrance, put out some benches and or tables. Once a business sees that making the outside of their store more interesting and welcoming and it might draw more attention/customers, then we think others will follow. Major projects are possible if we think in increments. Government always seem to make things more expensive when they take it on. We want the downtown business owners to have control of the EID and have their own organization. Now it is all controlled by Linda Norris. Salem can do better!

carole smith said...

The EID renewal has nothing to do with "City wide strategic importance".

The is a special tax paid only by downtown property owners and was meant to be administered by a independent board of business and property owners with limited interference from the city. We voted to renew the tax three years ago to provide programs and projects that bring business and prosperity to the downtown.

That is what property owners voted for. But what we got was the City Manager taking over sole financial control of our tax money so she could spend how she wanted.

That is not what we agreed on when we voted and it is a waste of the city managers time to personally plan parties downtown each month.

She should be paying attention to supervising her 1,200 employees and her $500 million annual buget. That would be more appropriate.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Meeting minutes for the downtown EID group are now being posted here. It includes links to an "annual report" and a list of the advisory committee members.

Anonymous said...

Oh... so only now the City is posting EID meeting minutes. I think the past downtown organization would have been hung up for failing to post eight months of meeting minutes. What an embarrassment!

Anonymous said...

Salem Weekly has a piece on the downtown EID -

It has some good comments from those opposed to the city's administration of the EID, but perhaps does not go into sufficient detail on why the City took over in the first place, and why Go Downtown, the first administrator, was not able to continue with the project.