Saturday, May 9, 2015

City Council, May 11th

It's beautiful out!

Too nice to spend time on a Council agenda that really doesn't have anything of great moment here.

So a few bullets and excerpts from the City's own summary.

There are two rounds of committee appointments.
  • The Mayor gets to appoint folks to the Historic Landmarks Commission and Human Rights Advisory Commission. The new HLC Commissioner is from the giant construction company, Hoffman Construction, and they've done neat things like the rehab of the 1889 Portland Armory that transformed it into a LEED Platinum theater. That's an interesting appointment, and could bring realistic expertise on adaptive reuse. (Think north campus, State Hospital!)
  • By contrast in procedure, a full Council vote is required on appointments to Community Police Review Board, Downtown Advisory Board, Housing & Urban Development Advisory Commission, Salem Planning Commission and Salem Cultural & Tourism Promotion Advisory Board. The only thing that maybe is a little interesting is a potential conflict-of-interest with the employer of the new Planning Commissioner: "I would need to recuse myself from any decisions for which a party is represented by Saalfeld Griggs." Saalfield Griggs is the home of probably Salem's pre-eminent land use attorney, and it seems like there could be a relatively high number of cases at the Planning Commission that involve Saalfield Griggs. That might be something to watch.
An expansion of no-smoking policy. From the City:
Councilors will vote on scheduling a public hearing on May 26 to take testimony on a proposed anti-smoking ordinance.

The ordinance, which will have its first reading at Monday’s meeting, would ban smoking from most city-owned properties. Those properties include parks and open spaces, city-owned parking garages, fire stations and the Vern Miller Civic Center campus to name a few examples. Conventional tobacco products, as well as electronic cigarettes and soon-to-be legal marijuana, would all be prohibited.

In fall 2014, Salem City Councilor Diana Dickey introduced a proposal to make city-owned properties smoke free. The council directed city staff to prepare a draft ordinance based on her proposal.

Several years ago, the city council rejected a plan to ban smoking in city parks.
Back to the proposed Grand Theatre Sign. I misunderstood the proposed location: It would be on High Street over the main entry to the theater and not on the corner as I had supposed. No matter. It would be a handsome marquee, and it looks like multiple downtown-related advisory boards are all endorsing it. (See here for previous discussion.)

On the High Street entry, rather than the corner
There's a proposal for a grant at Minto for the "restoration of native floodplain forest in areas that are currently Douglas fir and hybrid poplar plantations."

And more on parking fines from the City:
Tickets for overtime parking violations in downtown Salem could rise from $15 to $25. The council will consider amending city code to increase fines for all types of parking tickets, including overtime violations and improper parking methods.

If approved by council on Monday, the ordinance would go to a second reading for enactment at the May 26 council meeting.

Parking citations in fiscal 2014-15 are projected to bring in about $547,200 in revenue. If parking fines were increased and a similar number of citations were issued, about $100,000 more in annual revenue could be generated for the general fund.

Parking citation revenue doesn’t cover the cost of parking enforcement, and the proposed fine increases would only narrow the gap. The city has allocated about $931,590 to pay for parking enforcement in the 2014-15 budget.

The city based the parking fine increases by comparing Salem’s fines with Eugene, Corvallis, Medford, Beaverton and Portland. In many cases, Salem’s fines were below those charged by other cities. [italics added]
(City of Salem quotes mainly from the City FB.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Four members of HLC resigned in response to Council's action on Howard Hall (including the chair).