Saturday, October 24, 2015

City Council, October 26th - Portland Road Study Work Session

City Council meets on Monday and at the top of the agenda at 5:30pm in the Andersen Room of the Library is a work session on the Portland Road Study and Urban Renewal project with the Urban Renewal Agency. Otherwise it's thin for transportation issues.

The project concepts seem to be organized in thirds
The study conducted a focus group on projects for walking and biking, and the list of project ideas is the usual suspects.

(This is a better pdf from the Oct 1 NGRAB meeting)
But things are still in the brainstorming phase, so it's probably premature to drill into too much detail or analysis as if they were a formal slate of proposals.

Separately, in an announcement of upcoming Public Hearings, there's a note for November 9th: "Request by Stephanie Fry, Inc to initiate condemnation of real property interests located at 750 Valley River Drive, NW." That's just off Wallace Road near Hope Avenue where the proposed bridge runs through a bunch of houses and lots in the River Valley subdivision. Probably it's not related to the Third Bridge, but it's worth watching for anyway.

A Cluster of Council Rules 

Then Council proper, distinct from the Urban Renewal Agency (whose members are the same, though the entities are incorporated separately), shifts over and meets in Council Chambers at 6:30pm.

In what looks like it could be a small blow against free assembly and free speech, the City proposes to classify the atrium in City Hall in such a way as to make it easier to kick people out:
The proposed policy clarifies and memorializes the City management of the Civic Center atrium, the covered courtyard inside city hall, and the breezeways adjacent to city offices. The policy declares that the atrium is essentially an "outdoor meeting room" which has traditionally been used for official City ceremonial functions, and as a meeting place for City employees. While it is open to the public, in terms of visitors coming to the Civic Center Plaza for specific purposes, it is not intended to be used as a traditional public park or public square. Clarifies that the breezeways connecting City offices are for the purpose of allowing access to City offices, and are not public forums. Establishment of the policy will provide clarification for City staff and the public in use of these spaces.
At least that's how I read this, as a response to some demonstration activity there. Maybe you read it differently? It's a little odd, but perhaps there's backstory and context in which it all makes sense.

Narrowing the focus and activities of advisory boards is also back on the agenda, as well as changes to Council rules. Together these just don't seem very public-spirited, treating the public as distractions or problems rather than those whom staff and electeds serve. Though as commenters pointed out in a previous discussion here, there are also some important and seemingly obvious housekeeping details that are of obvious benefit. If you're interested in this side of things, the proposals are worth reading closely.

Other Things in Passing

The Legislative Priorities for 2016 are on the vague side, and there may not be yet much to say about them.

The SEDCOR Annual Report is interesting, but may not contain enough detail to be very useful - you know, it's BusinessCheer. Rah, Rah.


Melanie said...

Thanks for the perspective and possible understories to seemingly mundane issues. As co-host on Willamette Wake Up, a news magazine program on KMUZ Community Radio (88.5 & 100.7 FM) Mon-Thurs, 8-9am, I have a regular guest the Tuesday after Council meetings. Michael Livingston gives listeners the load down on council actions in a dispassionate and informative way. He referred me to this blog spot for "homework." Thanks again.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

This one's a thin one, but glad it's useful nonetheless! And thanks for the radio schedule!