Friday, April 27, 2018

3-Hr Hrng on UGM Permit - No Decision

Revised: January 2019

By Sarah Owens and Michael Livingston


4/25/18 Public Hearing on UGM's CUP
No decision on the Glennie appeal this week.

After nearly 3 hours of public hearing and "testimony" from roughly 25 individuals, the lawyers agreed to deadlines for the submission of  rebuttal "evidence" and arguments, and the issue will come before Council again at its May 14 meeting.

The majority of comments favored the move/expansion.  Those that didn't, focused on the expansion, and, implicitly, UGM's capacity to manage its guests and those who congregate nearby for whatever reason.  The image of UGM as an "attractive nuisance" dominated. 

Speaking in opposition to expansion were Jim Garaventa (Broadway Townhouses),  Mirabel Ortiz (Broadway Place apartments), Dana Vugteveen (Salem Center), Loretta Miles (Salem Cinema), Chris Blackburn (Downtown Storage and Warehouse, NW Remarketing, Inc.).  Ross Hopkins and former WU law prof, William Long, cast doubt on UGM's "changing numbers."

Christy Wood
Others in the business community spoke in support of expansion: Christy Wood (Runaway Art), Dick Withnell, Mike Roberson, Terry Hancock, Greg Petersen, and Gene Pfifer.

Former City Councilors Paul Wolf and Warren Bednarz, also spoke in support, along with Paul Young (Word of Life Fellowship), New Life Fellowship graduates Tom Ellis and Mike Potts,  UGM resident Katrina Smiley, and UGM contractors, employees and volunteers Jeff Tross, Dan Clem, Rick Bratton, Jeannine Knight, Bruce Donohue and Lisa Campbell.

UGM, since 1953 the face of homelessness in downtown Salem, has helped a lot of people, women as well as men.

Paul Young said UGM has an annual budget of $4M.  It doesn't take any government money, a point of pride for many.

Everyone who spoke agreed that the number of people living on Salem's streets has been growing.  Rick Bratton said UGM turned away 2,500 men in 2017.  The new facility will have 224 emergency beds (about 30 over its current wintertime capacity), 76 New Life Fellowship beds (up from 48), and cost $15M to build.  Dick Withnell assured Council that the the money will be there.

345 Commercial Street, September 2017
Those opposing expansion were surprised to hear that the capacity of the new shelter would be only 300 beds, not 500 or 600, but they still worried that a larger facility would attract additional homeless to Salem, and to the "hood". 

Dan Clem told Council that, currently, men from outside the area may stay at the shelter only two weeks, unless they join the New Life Fellowship.

But, it was not just the UGM guests that concerned opponents.  It was all the unsavory people who congregate outside the mission during the day;  the people waiting to have a meal or a shower, or looking to sell drugs, or maybe steal something.  It's that prospect, that "likely adverse impact", that so concerned them.  Because, honestly, no one wants to have what's now at 345 Commercial Street in their block. 

Loretta Miles tried to tell Council the opposition wasn't NIMBYism, but it quite obviously was.  Opponents claimed nothing for the 700-800 block of Commercial that made it uniquely unsuited for a men's shelter.  Nor could they deny the move had been planned a very long time.  We're talking years. 

Mr. Grillo, for the appellant
At the very end of the hearing, Grillo, the lawyer for Glennie, told the Council they should consider mediation, because he didn't have time to handle an appeal.  Too bad for the rest of us that he didn't give that same advice to his client, back in December, when Glennie says the issue "plopped in his lap."  Imagine where all this would be if Grillo had told Glennie,

"Where you been, Dave?  Don't you talk to people?  I can take your money, but you don't need a lawyer, 'cause this thing is all but here.  And these folks you don't talk to?  These are your neighbors, Dave.  Go talk to your neighbors.  Tell them your concerns, work something out.  Ain't no case here."     

Unfortunately, however, Mr. Grillo did take Mr. Glennie's money, so it's kind of sad that Glennie
Mr. Glennie, the appellant
ends up at the public hearing, telling the Council he supports moving the shelter to its proposed location -- he just has a problem with the size.  It's even sadder that he based his concern on the mistaken belief the shelter was going to be 2 to 3 times its current capacity.

Glennie told the Council he thought capacity should be limited to 100, with some winter overflow capacity.  He apparently didn't realize that limiting shelter capacity would effectively prevent the enforcement of the City's anti-camping bans.  A decent lawyer would have advised him he needed a different strategy.    

Almost by way of friendly advice (in that it seemed to be unrelated to his appeal) Glennie advised the Council that "the City itself" needs to provide its homeless residents what he called a "hygiene center", a building with toilets, showers, laundry facilities and storage for the personal effects, for both men and women, saying he came to this realization after talking with Paul Logan of Northwest Human Services, and Jon Reeves, of the "Mid-Willamette Valley Council, Community Action Agency."  The irony that Jon Reeves, who closed MWVCAA's homeless day shelter last June and has yet to reopen it, should be the source of such advice appeared lost on Mr. Glennie, but perhaps not the Council.

About 100 showed up for the hearing, 27 commented.  The record was left open a few more days, to be followed by arguments.  The revised staff recommendation was to adopt the additional conditions offered by UGM (see below) and require a photometric (lighting) plan as a tenth condition.]

Saturday, April 21, 2018

News from the Continuum

Revised: January 2019

By Sarah Owens and Michael Livingston

The Salem Housing Authority reports continued progress housing the most vulnerable homeless, Marion County put out a nice blurb about the Homeless Initiatives Coordinator, Ali Treichel,

Shifts in the NW''s Middle Class
and Pew says Oregon's "middle class" is no longer shrinking (unlike Idaho's).

Congregations Helping People is going through some changes.  Tiffany Ottis has taken a position with Catholic Community Services as the Community Resource Director of their housing division.  Until a replacement can be found, CHP's longtime business/technical advisor Alan LaFleur will be filling in.  Salem counts on CHP to provide residents with appropriate housing and utilities assistance through its CDBG and General Fund grants.  

Like the effort to enlist landlords in support of HRAP, the recent appeal of the decision to allow UGM a conditional use permit and zoning change has made it very clear how difficult it will be to educate and enlist "the business community" in strategic, long-term efforts to address homelessness in Marion and Polk Counties.  Whether Craig Cline and Ron Hays are on the right track with the launch of United, The Nonprofit Catalyst, and the Billionaires' Giving Pledge, we couldn't say.  We don't know if their target audience reads the Salem Business Journal, for one thing, and if they do, whether they'll read something like United.

United, The NonProfit Catalyst, Issue 1
We're skeptical, too, because we're inclined to think business people already understand there's a problem.

What business may be looking for, however, is not instruction on The Golden Rule, or the importance of community, or even stories of transformation.  They're looking for "proven strategies" and a "return on investment" -- programs that can be replicated and results that can be measured.  That's why, if big donors like Bud Pierce and big sponsors like United Way really want to educate and enlist "the business community" in strategic, long-term efforts to address homelessness, they'll make the business case for it, by providing meaningful reports showing which programs are accomplishing their goals and which are not.

If United were to offer the community something approaching reliable information of this sort, rather than expecting donors to take it on faith that resources have been wisely spent, it would be something worth reading, and even acting on.  It could also be a good first step toward a local homeless services delivery system, versus the mishmash of programs we have now.       

Friday, April 20, 2018

Glennie Appeals UGM Permit to City Council

Revised: January 2019

By Sarah Owens and Michael Livingston

The hearing officer's decision on UGM's consolidated application for a CUP and zoning change goes to City Council on Monday, courtesy David Glennie.  Councilor Kaser  told CANDO at its annual meeting on Tuesday that, based on the written comments received so far, she expects a pretty good turnout for the public hearing.

The hearing will start with the staff presentation and any questions, followed by UGM, followed Glennie (the "appellant").  CANDO would then be entitled to speak, but won't be doing so, the board having chosen, for various reasons, not to take a position.  So, after Glennie or his representative, the Council will hear from "other interested persons."

Two things to think about.  One is the narrow legal issue, described below.  The other is what the statements made during hearing -- by the parties, the public and the Council -- say about the prospects for a "shared vision" that the Downtown Homeless Solutions Task Force has said we need in order to make meaningful progress addressing the growing problem of homelessness.  

Site of New Men's Mission on Commercial Street
Glennie has to persuade five members of the City Council that at least one of two code provisions hasn't been satisfied.  One is SRC 240.005(d) (conditional use) and the other is SRC 265.015(e)(1) (zone change).  The zone change is needed to make the UGM store a permitted, conforming use.  Nobody really cares about the store or the zone change issue.  So, the hearing will focus on SRC 240.005(d).

SRC 240.005(d) lists 3 criteria for granting a CUP.  If the criteria are met, the City has to grant the permit.

Although the public comment is likely to make it sound like the issue is property values versus Christian values, that's not the issue Council must decide.

What Council must decide is whether the criteria (listed below) have been met, and what conditions are needed to meet them.  If that sounds somewhat circular, it is, but that's how Council's going to get to "yes" on this question; Council will be giving UGM its CUP and zone change.  

SRC 240.005(d) CUP criteria

As to (1), there's no reasonable argument to be made that the first criteria hasn't been satisfied.  Opponents of UGM's move/expansion argued on appeal to the hearing officer that UGM didn't satisfy the allowed use definition of SRC 617.015(c), Table 617(2) (adopted in 2014 with UGM in mind), because UGM hadn't proved it had occupied its current location continuously since 1993.  They also argued that the planned expansion wasn't allowed.  These arguments failed to persuade the hearing officer, and they will doubtless fail to persuade the City Council.  (For more, see the hearing decision.)

So, the Council should focus solely on (2) and (3) -- i.e., what conditions will allow them to reasonably conclude that the "likely adverse impacts" are "minimized" and whether the new Mission is "reasonably compatible" with the livability and future development of the surrounding property.

Below are the conditions imposed by the Hearing Officer.  Council might amend, add or subtract.  Staff's initial recommendation is to approve the CUP and zone change without any new conditions.     

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

4/17/18 Minutes

Members: Deb Comini, Paul Gehlar, Luke Bergerson, Hank Stebbins, Emily Crocker
Organizations: Ken Ploeser, Creek Walk Project; Steve Evans, Cherriots Transit Board; Raleigh Kirshman, UGM; Alan Mela, Grocery Outlet
City and County Representatives: David Smith and Andrew McFerron, SPD; Councilor Cara Kaser; Irma Dowd, Community Development Department; Gina Courson, Marion County Sheriff’s Department; The Honorable Jane Aiken
Guests: none

The Annual Meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 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.

Officers David Smith and Andrew McFerron of the Salem Downtown Enforcement Team reported on the recent launch of a local “law enforcement assisted diversion” (LEAD) program similar to the ones piloted in Seattle and Dallas, OR.  At two and one-half weeks into the program, they have one person enrolled.  Enrollees agree to work with Josh Lair, the Marion County Health Department’s LEAD navigator, to access treatment and other services.  

Councilor Kaser reported on several matters due to come before the City Council, including the appeal of the grant of a conditional use permit to UGM (postponed to April 23), the recommendations of the Downtown Homeless Solutions Task Force (not yet made, expected to go to Council in June). The first Citizens Budget Committee meeting for 2018 will be on April 25, and will concern the Capital Improvement Plan.  Councilor Kaser indicated she intended to ask that some of the traffic-calming elements of the Maple-Winter Greenway plan be included in the CIP.  The Minto Island bike/peds bridge has received an award from the National Steel Bridge Alliance in the “Special Purpose” bridge category.  

Probation Officer Gina Courson of the Parole and Probation Division reported that there are a total of 3,000 individuals under supervision in Marion County, 2,900 of which reside within the Salem city limits, 78% of whom are male.  Four hundred of those residing in Salem are registered sex offenders. The system does not track whether an individual under supervision is homeless. Individuals under supervision are given a risk classification of low, medium or high.  Those deemed to be low risk are on “limited” supervision. Those deemed medium or high risk are on “active” supervision. There are about 38 officers responsible for “active” supervision. Officer Courson supervises about 55 individuals. She reported that the Division is working toward some kind of partnership agreement with the Marion County Housing Authority.   

In public comment, Ken Ploeser spoke about his having started the Creek Walk Project as a way to get exercise and explore the creeks inside of the Salem Urban Growth Boundary, and how it led him to “adopt” Pringle Creek from the Willamette slough through Bush Park, most of which is in CANDO.  He invited everyone to walk their neighborhood creeks and act as “stewards of rain to river” by reporting problems to Ken at or 503-362-0873, or an appropriate agency.    

The board heard a presentation by Member Kern on the progress of the Downtown Homeless Solutions Task Force.  He briefly summarized each of the four meetings, and said a fifth meeting would be scheduled after staff had completed a cost and staffing analysis of the various “solutions” that had been proposed, the main ones being toilet and storage facilities, and the development of a code of conduct for both those living in the streets, and for the people responding to them (e.g. downtown businesses and visitors).  He said there seemed to be general agreement within the task force on the need for a shared vision, though how that might be achieved was less clear. 

After the Chair opened the floor for nominations to the Board of Directors, the Secretary nominated Members Bruce and Erma Hoffman, Michael Livingston, Woody Dukes, Bob Hanna, Rebekah Engle and Brock Campbell for re-election, and the slate was elected by unanimous consent.  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. The Chair nominated Neal Kern for the position of Chair. There being no other nominations, the board unanimously consented to elect Neal Kern as Chair.  Pursuant to Article VI, Section 3 of CANDO's Bylaws, Michael Livingston will be continuing in the position of Vice-Chair, and Sarah Owens will continue as Secretary/Treasurer, until their successors are elected or appointed and qualified.

The motion of Michael Livingston to adopt the proposed 2018-2019 Annual Goals passed unanimously.  The Chair then asked whether there was any member wishing to make a motion in response to the several emails sent to the board by a certain individual in the past couple of months.  Seeing none, and there being no other business before the board, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 6:56 p.m.

Annual Review 2018

Saturday, April 14, 2018

News from the Continuum

Revised: January 2019

By Sarah Owens and Michael Livingston

CANDO Adds a 3d Youth Drop-In Ctr
CANDO now boasts three youth drop-in centers -- HOST on Liberty NE, HOME Youth and Resource Center on Union, and as of Friday,  The Salem Drop at 246 State Street - formerly occupied by Salem Summit.  It's open to youth and young adults ages 14 to 21, M-F 3p to 6p.

So, is this a dreaded "duplication of services"?  Maybe not.

From the website: "The Salem Drop is staffed by Youth Peer Support Specialists who are committed to helping young adults empower themselves and successfully transition into adulthood."  Staffed only by youth peers -- that's different.

"Our programs and services help youth/young adults become leaders in their own lives and communities.  We provide opportunities to build leadership and advocacy skills through team-based learning and activities.  Above all, The Salem Drop is a safe space for young people to feel heard, supported and capable of creating change."

The Salem Drop Opening 4/13/18
Besides receiving peer support services, the website says youth/YA at The Salem Drop can participate in leadership groups, connect to community-based services, engage in outreach and activism at the community and state level, study and get help on homework, build a resume and cover letter, practice for job interviews, hang out, eat, play pool and other games, use the computer lab, try out the 3-D printers, watch movies and  attend events like open mic night.

Outreach and activism at the community level?  Is this program maybe a bit less about immediate needs and maybe more focused on the world outside?  Guess we'll have to see what the membership makes it.  In any event, Friday's  opening was well-attended, and the free t-shirts were rad/awesome/cool/groovy.

Also on Friday, the Statesman Journal reported on the United Way/MWVCAA youth shelter project, saying United Way had purchased the 6 BR, 4 bath house at 220 15th Street (SESNA), formerly the Catarino Cavazos Center for at-risk youth, and the shelter "could" open September 4 (it didn't), after some fairly minor renovations (roof, siding, floors, paint, kitchen redesign) are completed.  "Taylor's House", as the shelter is to be called, will be run by the Mid Willamette Valley Community Action Agency (MWVCAA) "as part of its Home Youth and Resource Center program."   

United Way raised $400K, and the state legislature gave another $200K for the project.  The building cost about $321K, and renovations are expected to cost about $80K.  That leaves $200K for operations, which MWVCAA expects will run $450K/year.  While the article indicates MWVCAA staff are  confident they can "keep up with costs" and "wouldn't have started this if there wasn't a plan in place", it did not so much as hint at what the plan was.  Those who recall the fate of Home of the Brave may find that a cause for concern.   

There was a record turnout at this month's SEDCOR forum, "Alleviating the Homeless Crisis in the Mid-Willamette Valley" []  Some who attend regularly said it was the biggest crowd they'd ever seen at a forum.  But did those who attended actually "learn more about what is being done to address the problem and how they can help"?

There were three speakers -- Jimmy Jones did his usual data download accompanied by business reasons for helping (saves resources in the long run).  Connor McDonnel, a housing integrator with OHCS who's fairly new to Salem, read a short speech that someone who was there summarized as follows:

[He] said there are 7000 housing units in the [statewide] "pipeline." He described OHCS as "Oregon's Housing Finance Agency." He congratulated Jimmy/MWVCAA and HRAP because "they didn't just sit there, they acted," called for applause. Said a lot of vague stuff like "the region is stepping up and people are noticing," didn't say who "people" are. Said we had to do better in terms of affordable housing and jobs...said emergency/winter shelters are necessary but not the answer. "Homes are the best way to end homelessness." Talked about 2017-2018 legislature allocating lots of money for homelessness. Regarding permanent supportive housing he said something to the effect of "when agencies like Jimmy's can use money at their discretion that's when it's most effective." He closed with platitudes: "we're trying and working hard," "how we talk about and frame the conversation matters," "all hands on deck," "collaborate," "let's keep working together," and he commended everyone in the room.     

He was followed by Salem Housing Authority Administrator Andy Wilch, who had the unenviable task of giving the "how you can help" speech.  A native Nebraskan who knows his basketball, Andy knows that when the set up fails, the shot's going to fail.  So, he didn't go for the shot with any enthusiasm.  But, he did thank the Mayor and City Manager for the "wisdom and courage" to "put $1.4 million out there" for HRAP, acknowledging that the City's contribution would eventually need to be replaced with private donations.  And he did say program participants needed employment strategies and support like "transitional jobs, supported employment, customized employment, sector-based training", observing, "you're the ones with the jobs to offer."  Hail Mary, full of grace.

Our observer told us, "It did not seem like people were jumping on the bandwagon...Many people left before or during the Q&A segment, I'd say at least a quarter of the room."  So, it sounds to us like maybe people didn't learn enough about what is being done to make them want to help.  Again.

As a community, we seem to lack problem-solving skills.  Starting with knowing what information to give people so they can participate meaningfully in the problem-solving process.  This is nowhere more evident than in conversations about homelessness in the community.  The same information is being shared in the same way with the same people, evoking the same response.  This is not helpful.  The community is very aware of the problem and very interested in finding effective means to address it, as shown by the large turnouts at forums like SEDCOR's.  Groups like the Chamber, SEDCOR and Rotary need to talk to their members and find out what they would need to see or know in order to get more involved.  We shouldn't just keep on like we have been.  It's not working, and the situation is likely to get worse.    

Thanks to Princeton University and Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, 2016) nationwide eviction data is now publicly available through the Eviction Lab website (most recent available data: 2016).

That data tells us, among other things, that evictions in Marion County have been rising steadily, whereas in Salem and statewide, rates have been declining since 2003.  Not sure what that means.  The eviction rate in Polk County has also been declining since 2003.   

Finally, this week, HUD opened the CoC Program registration process.  Pretty soon, Jo Zimmer will be officially registering Salem, Keizer and Marion and Polk Counties as "members" of the Rural Oregon Continuum of Care (ROCC) for the next program year -- just as she has done every year since 2012 --  without official act or statement of approval from any of their elected officials.     

It's unfortunate to be letting another year go by in an ailing, unfulfilling relationship, but for a City that in the past has maybe not been so good at doing more than one thing at a time, reforming the CoC in 2018 might have seemed too drastic, too complicated, too challenging, and therefore, too scary, especially with everything else the City's been moving forward on (e.g., strategic planning, revamping the budget process, embarking on HRAP, developing low-income housing projects like Yaquina Hall and Fisher Road, pursuing a sobering center, etc., etc.).  So, the reformation question remains undecided, and further analysis is being conducted by the Homeless Initiatives Coordinator, Ali Treichel.  The next opportunity for Salem, Keizer and Marion and Polk Counties to register as their own CoC is April 2019.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

News from the Continuum

Cornerstone Apartments on Portland Road
This week was National Community Development Week, and this year's theme was "Celebrating the Impact of the CDBG and HOME Programs."

That would have translated locally to celebrating CDBG- and HOME-funded projects and programs like Cornerstone, the low-income housing development on Portland Road, and the renovation of Jason Lee Manor, Yaquina Hall and Southfair for low-income families and individuals, had there been a celebration.   But, there wasn't.

No need to feel bad about it.  National Weeks of "X" are intended to bring attention to neglected causes.  This one was supposed to demonstrate to lawmakers that CDBG and HOME Programs have a positive impact on communities and should not be eliminated, as some in Washington, D.C., have proposed.  

According to recently published meeting minutes, another CFO resigned from the Mid Willamette Community Action Agency (MWVCAA) in January.  The announcement came just after MWVCAA completed the install of a new payroll system.  An audit report issued last June had found "material weaknesses" and "significant deficiencies" in internal controls.  The resignation was related to MWVCAA's continued overspending and inability to reconcile its accounts on a monthly basis.  

Also in January, the MWVCAA Board authorized CEO Jon Reeves to promise (covenant) to use the new ARCHES office building (615 Commercial Street), now, and for 20 years hence,  as "a shelter or transitional housing", as required by the rules governing the use of Emergency Housing Assistance and State Homeless Assistance Program funds, which were used for the down payment last June 2017.

Presumably, someone at OHCS  realized the board hadn't properly authorized Reeves to execute the agreement he executed last August and was supposed to have have executed last June (see image at right).

What does Reeves's promise to use the office building as a shelter mean in practical terms?  Nothing, really.  The building has never actually been used as a shelter, can't be used as a shelter until renovations are completed and the City gives the okay.  (The shelter opened mid-July, 2018.) 

Services currently available at the ARCHES Day Center
MWVCAA continues, however, to rake in the dough.  In addition to the $300K in CDBG funds that the City Council will be providing toward renovating the first floor, the Oregon legislature has promised another $400,000 "to help finance the establishment of a Sobering Center in part of our Commercial Street offices."  Notice it's "our Commercial Street offices", not "our homeless shelter" (see here at 12).  MWVCAA reports they "also anticipate another $500,000 for that project in the near future."  The report does not state where that additional $500,000 will come from.

MWVCAA also will be receiving $50,000 in "shelter funding" from the state general fund, in addition to $200,000 for their youth shelter project (see image at right).  

In addition to those funds, WVCH,
(the local CCO), gave MWVCAA/The ARCHES Project $65,000 to hire a Director of Co-Location Services and Grant Management (position filled internally) to "reduce the health care costs for the homeless in Marion County through the adoption of a co-location model under a project lead."
(See preliminary report here.)  So far, in addition to OHA-OHOP (a housing program for people with AIDS) and Easter Seals (one or both of which were at the old ARCHES location on Madison Street), they have added the Oregon Law Center (by appointment) (see here at 12).

There is almost no information available online about the resource center, or its co-located agencies' services/hours (see, e.g., here).  Polk County takes a much different approach.  

Finally, organizers are reporting that a record (?) number of guests (501) attended the March 27, 2018, "Homeless Connect" down at Salem First Baptist Church, across from Marion Square Park.  Check out all 115 photos and find other details at MWVCAA's FB page.

Friday, April 6, 2018

DHSTF: Extra Innings

Revised: January 2019

By Sarah Owens and Michael Livingston

The Downtown Homeless Solutions Task Force, which was supposed to wrap things up following meeting number four last Wednesday, looks like it will be going into extra innings, as they were unable to decide which proposed "solutions" they should recommend.  According to Neal Kern, CANDO's rep on the task force, Urban Development Director, Kristin Retherford will be taking the list of ideas back to her staff, and contacting other City departments to get estimates on costs and staffing needs.  He also said that there was a lot of a discussion of the "sit-lie" ordinance, but no decision.

Despite good intentions, it seems that the task force chair, Cara Kaser (Ward 1, City Council) was unable to keep things on track.  But, the group was almost too diverse, and it was definitely too big.  There wasn't time to build a shared base of knowledge or experience, and, for whatever reason, those who should have taken a leadership role, didn't.  So, it's taking longer than it should have for them to figure out what the answer wants to be. 

It's the Mayor's task force (remember the Mayor Peterson's Safe Streets and Parks Task Force?).  Whatever recommendations are made will have to go through him to be implemented.  He might very well conclude a toilet program is still too costly.  The downtown might end up with little more than a "sit-lie" ordinance and a few low-impact tweaks to "clean team" program.  Safe to say, people need to limit their expectations.

If you missed the a meeting don't want to listen to the entire audio, you can listen to an interview with Councilor Kaser and recaps of the first three meetings here, here and here.

Monday, April 2, 2018

3/20/18 Minutes

Residents: Deb Comini, Steve _______
Organizations: Eric Richards and Lisa Harnisch, Salem-Keizer Public Schools; Steve Evans, Cherriots Transit Board
City and County Representatives: the Honorable Jane Aiken
Guests: Melissa Parker, Anthony Behrens

The regular meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at the First Christian Church at 685 Marion Street NE, Salem.  Bruce Hoffman, in addition to his regular duties as Chair, also acted as Secretary.

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

Councilor Kaser was chairing the third meeting of the Downtown Homeless Solutions Task Force and unable to attend along with board member Neal Kern, who is representing CANDO on the task force.  
In public comment, incumbent Salem Municipal Court Judge candidate Jane Aiken offered remarks about her five-year strategic plan for the court, Steve Evans spoke about weekend service and student bus passes being considered at an upcoming meeting of the Cherriots Board, and Marion County Circuit Court Judge candidate Anthony Behrens spoke about his qualifications for the position. Following the presentation on the school bond measure, Melissa Parker offered remarks in support of her candidacy for the office of Salem Municipal Court Judge.

The board heard a presentation from Eric Richards and Lisa Harnisch on the Salem-Keizer Schools Bond Measure 24-429.

There being no other business before the board, the meeting was adjourned at 7:11 p.m.