Friday, July 8, 2022

City Council, July 11th - MLK Parkway

After the proposal to rename Center Street ran into difficulties, the effort shifted to the Parkway, and with blessings from ODOT and the Oregon Geographic Names Board, the way looks clear. 

On Monday Council looks to ratify and adopt the name change, to "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway."

To rename Salem Parkway

That seems like a fine move. The full name seems likely to be shortened to "MLK Parkway" in casual conversation, and the rhyme will help fix it in memory without any significant loss of meaning.

At the same time, it is a little odd that there is no public comment specifically in support of the shift from Center Street to the Parkway yet from our NCAAP chapter or Oregon Black Pioneers. More comment is sure to come over the weekend.

Here's how many Salemites would have been introduced to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in what appears to be his first substantial notice in the paper, when he was arrested "on charges of violating Alabama's anti-boycott law" in 1956. His house, the piece in the afternoon paper points out, had been bombed the month before while he was leading the boycott. The morning paper does not appear to have published anything about him. Its corresponding piece about the boycott on February 23rd, and in immediate follow-up the rest of February, mentions Rosa Parks only. (See also an earlier note on the boycott that also mentions her, December 6th, 1955. Gaines Street still seems worth more discussion as a candidate for reconsideration.)

February 23rd, 1956

In other action, Council will get an information item on the initial approval and subsequent appeal of a proposed food cart pod in West Salem at Riverbend Road. The appeal claims there is not enough parking, will be too much noise, more garbage and rodents.

Not enough parking says the appellant
Pod in yellow area

Council could call it up or the default is that the appeal would be heard by the Hearings Officer. (Previous notes on phase 1 and phase 2 of the horizontal mixed use project here. Once it has a hearing date, there will likely be more to say.)

This seems to be the leading candidate

Council will formally consider whether to move on a new City flag. The Staff recommendation is not very definite, merely to "consider" selecting a new flag. So we'll see.

 (City of Salem/Ron Cooper)

Council will also consider the formal designation of the Eco Earth Acid Ball as a Local Historic Resource. See previous note here when it was at the Historic Landmarks Commission, who supported the designation. Between ties to the Boise mill and the industrial waterfront as well as the reuse as a community art project, it has real historical significance, and the case for designation was much stronger than I had thought at first.

Bullets for the rest, two of them big, but I have nothing new to say, and the agenda items do not seem to have any new public comment or staff reports since they were last at Council. Maybe there will be more to say later in an addendum.


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

And! We have a new City Manager. Though the SJ was on it first, Salem Reporter has more comment, "Keith Stahley selected as Salem's next city manager." He's from Olympia, so knows the general landscape of a west coast state capital. Also originally trained as a landscape architect, and may be a little more attuned to walking and the urban fabric. Has said positive things about climate action, also. Finally, I may be misremembering, but I do not remember the City actually publishing the employment agreement when Steve Powers was hired. This seems like a positive step. Here's the agenda item.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Also. in the tranche of comment offered before 2:30pm, the City has accidentally reposted 16pp of comment for the fee waiver, "Please pull the July 11, 2022, City Council Agenda Item 5.b for further Investigation," on multiple agenda items, notably renaming Salem Parkway as MLK Parkway. As of now, it hasn't been corrected. So it will be interesting to see if Council makes decisions when the public comment is hidden and not very public after all.)

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(24 hours later, the misposted and duplicated public comment has not been replaced. So is this the level of attention Staff and Council give to public comment on Council agenda items? Yikes.)