Saturday, October 17, 2020

City Misses Cut on Grant to write Urban Trails Plan, Downtown Dining, Chief Announcement - Bits

Earlier this summer you might recall that the City was applying for a Transportation and Growth Management grant to fund an Urban Trails Plan.

City of Salem missed the cut

A couple weeks ago the State announced the winners, and Salem's application didn't make the cut. There were 41 total applications and 14 winners.


More Street Dining

A few have mentioned this already, and in one of the City Manager's updates last month was news that the City is working on a year-round program for street dining.

Hopes for year-round street dining program
October 2nd City Manager Update

Some who live downtown have asserted the dining program is not popular and suggest that the program unfairly benefits restaurants and disadvantages other downtown merchants. In light of the dining program and the Pandemic's recession generally, this year, too, the Parking Tax has seemed unfair. Together, this has seemed like evidence for eliminating the Parking Tax and eliminating the subsidy for "free" parking. A policy for right-priced parking would help better balance trade-offs between restaurants and other business, more accurately convey the demand for curbside parking, and point to more optimized allocation of that curbside space.

The underlying problem is not any supposed City favoritism for restaurants and the sidewalk life restaurants bring to downtown, but is our mania for free car storage and the subsidies it requires.

Friday News Dump on new Chief

The Eye of Salem Sauron Watches You, Oct 10th, SJ

How weird is it that the City announced the two finalists for Police Chief very late on Friday afternoon?

The candidates resumes appear heavy on SWAT and security theater, and light on reform. Maybe this is just the way the City framed it up in the release. There is no local candidate, either. Others will have more to say, but at a glance the candidates do not look very inspiring. A stronger slate of finalists might have elicited a better, first-of-the-week announcement. Rather than "oh yeah, that makes sense," it's a head-scratcher.


In the City email newsletter that went out this morning, it looks like staff might be trying to neuter or disparage the climate goals Council adopted on Monday. By calling them "aspirational," it seems like we aren't going to try very hard, and will use them to signal only.

Does this mean we aren't going to try?


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

added clip and note on "aspirational" climate goals

Walker said...

The whole interview process for the Stockton guy has to be about figuring out one thing:

Is he a backer and believer of this kind of change who can bring it to Salem, or is he another dead-ender CA gangs-in-blue culture trying to keep the White Supremacy policing model in place and wanting to leave Stockton for Uber-white Salem.

Jim Scheppke said...

I'd be interested to hear more about what you see as "security theater" in the SPD. Examples?

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Re:"Security theater" - I wasn't thinking of existing practices in Salem, although the deployments of tear gas downtown probably qualify as an instance. I was thinking more of this line in Womack's resume: "He earned his Master of Arts in Security Studies (Homeland Security and Defense)."

As for other commentary, Hinessight says, "One Salem Police Chief candidate seems better than the other."

It may turn out that this "first glance" was wrong, but the Friday news dump approach really was not reassuring and conveyed an unfortunate first impression.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Dang, things have come to a rapid conclusion. Today the City announced the Stockton man as the new Chief.

In a separate FB post that reads as a strong endorsement, Councilor Andersen adds helpfully:

"In his discussions with me and other councilors he detailed his effective efforts in Stockton to serve all citizens and specifically gave concrete effective examples of how he would apply this experience to his approach to BLM, BIPOC citizens and white supremacists in Salem. He will be an effective leader for Salem's police department.

Welcome Chief Womack.