Wednesday, April 19, 2017

4/18/17 Minutes

Residents: Deb Comini
Organizations: Jeanine Knight, UGM; Evan Osborne, Capitol [sic] City Cycleshare
City and County Representatives: Mayor Bennett; Councilor Kaser; Lt. Treven Upkes, SPD; Kristin Retherford, Urban Development Department;  Rose Walker, Community Development Department.  
Guests: none 

The Annual Meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at the First Christian Church at 685 Marion Street NE, Salem.  The Chair and Secretary-Treasurer were present.

The minutes of the March meeting were approved by unanimous consent.

Councilor Kaser reported on the City’s Strategic Planning Project process (still in Phase 2) and that there will be an open house at 6p on June 1st at Broadway Commons.  On April 19, there will be a hearing on the Planning Commission’s recommended code amendments affecting short-term “AirBnB” type rentals, now being offered contrary to existing regulations.  On April 24, there will be a public hearing on replacing Salem’s existing regulations for vehicle for hire and transportation network companies (SRC 30.700 to 30.835) [Background: In August 2015, City Council amended SRC Chapter 30 to allow for operation of transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, within the City Limits (see Jul 2015 Report).] Around the time City Council passed the amendments, Uber ceased operation within the City, and as far as is known, that continues to be the case.  On January 9, 2017, on the Mayor’s motion, Council directed staff to prepare amendments to the Salem Revised Code to accommodate TNCs “business model.”  On March 13, the Council voted to proceed to first reading and a public hearing.  (See Mar 2017 Report.)]   

Mayor Bennett reported that the Homeless Rental Initiative Program (HRAP) will go before the Citizens’ Budget Committee on May 3rd, and, if approved, will get under way as soon as the budget is adopted.  He also reported that the City would soon be setting up a sobering station using mainly police resources, and that progress making all of downtown a railroad quiet zone continues apace.
Lt. Treven Upkes reported on the Community Response section of SPD’s Patrol Division. This section, which he heads, combines school resource officers, officers assigned to “gang-enforcement” unit, the Downtown Team, and the Mental Health Unit (officers assigned to respond to mental health crises in the community).  Sgt. DeMarco heads the mobile crisis response team in Polk County, and Sgt. Vanmeter heads the team in Marion County.  The officers in these units “soft skills” like mentoring and problem-solving to deal with situations that are a problem, but haven’t risen to a criminal level.   

In public comments, Jeanine Knight spoke briefly about UGM’s “Search and Rescue” outreach program that sends two staff and a van out into the county (both Polk and Marion) to make contact with those who might need shelter or services.  Rose Walker said she appreciated CANDO’s work on behalf of the central area.

The neighborhood then heard a presentation by Kristin Retherford, Urban Development Department Director, on projects in the Downtown Urban Renewal Area and the priority areas identified last fall through a series of focus groups (a three-way tie between: streets and streetscape improvements, opportunity purchases and housing [which might dovetail with future opportunity purchases], and continued funding of the grant program).  A working group on the streets and streetscapes was formed this spring.  The scope of work will be completed in June, and a consultant should come on board in the fall.  At that point, the public will be invited to participate in the design phase, and funds should come available in 2018.  She said the project might involve traffic calming/safety measures (e.g. bulb-outs,  landscaping, depending on whether the public are willing to forego some street parking) and making Court and/or State Streets two-way, but will not involve anything that requires changes to the Transportation System Plan.        

After the chair opened the floor for nominations to the Board of Directors, Michael Livingston nominated Neal Kern for re-election and Rebekah Engle nominated David Dahle.  Neal Kern was re-elected and David Dahle was not.  The chair then closed the Annual Meeting, called to order a meeting of the board, and opened the floor for nominations for officers to replace those currently serving.  There being none, the board unanimously consented to re-elect:  Bruce Hoffman as Chair, Michael Livingston as Vice-Chair, Sarah Owens as Secretary/Treasurer.

The motions of Sarah Owens to adopt the proposed 2017-2018 Annual Goals, and of Erma Hoffman to approve retroactively the purchase of the evening’s refreshments, both passed unanimously.

There being no other business before the board, the meeting adjourned at 7:01 p.m.

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