Members: Deb Comini
Organizations: Raleigh Kirshman, Union Gospel Mission; Katya Goloviznina, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce
City and County Representatives: David Smith, Jennifer Hingston and John Gibson, SPD
The regular meeting of the CANDO Board of Directors was called to order at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, at the First Christian Church at 685 Marion Street NE, Salem. The Chair and Secretary-Treasurer were present.
Sarah Owens’s motion to postpone indefinitely the motion to recommend that the City Council retain Winter Street SE between Ferry and Bellevue in the Pay to Park District passed unanimously. By unanimous consent, the minutes of the July and September meetings were approved.
Councilor Kaser reported that Willamette University had withdrawn its objections to including Winter Street SE between Ferry and Bellevue in the Pay to Park District (see below), and mentioned a few items coming up on the Council calendar, including the hearing on a proposed ordinance banning certain single-use plastic bags, the town hall and subsequent work session on the Council Policy Agenda, and a public hearing on increasing solid waste fees. She also reported that she planned to ask Council to direct staff to draft an ordinance requiring closed captioning on televisions in public spaces.
Following up her report last month that she was at the beginning stages of looking at a possible “supervised camping” ordinance, Councilor Kaser reported having held a 90-minute “feasibility meeting” that included the City Manager Steve Powers, Housing Authority Administrator Andy Wilch, SPD Chief Jerry Moore and Deputy Chief Skip Miller, Parks and Transportation Services Manager Mark Bechtel, Mayor Chuck Bennett, SHA Client Services Manager Kellie Battaglia, MWVCAA Interim Director Jimmy Jones, and, from the community, Neal Kern (CANDO) and Audrey Schackel (St. Mark Lutheran Church). Councilor Kaser reported that the idea of allowing camping in Marion Square Park was “shot down immediately.” She said if the City were to allow such a project to go forward somewhere else, it should focus on homeless women. However, the impact would be very small considering the resources it would require. Alternatively, a low-barrier shelter using the same resources would probably have greater impact. The City Manager is looking at the former Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility (2450 Strong Rd SE) and the former K-Mart building (2470 Mission St. SE) as possible low-barrier shelter sites. Councilor Kaser said she was interested in having shelters “not concentrated downtown”, and, in response to a question about cost, that “the City shouldn’t run the shelter.” [The City ultimately decided not to proceed with the project.]
Officer David Smith reported that the Downtown Enforcement Team was in its “transition season”, when they’re spending less time dealing with problems at Marion Square Park, and more time with residents bedding down in the parkades and entryways downtown and the affected businesses. He said they’d also been going down to the flood-prone areas along the river where there were an “extensive number” of camps, including one with a two-story wooden-pallet structure. He said that, despite rumors of greater numbers, they had posted only 10-15 camps with at most 2 people per camp, and were still in the process of cleaning up. He recognized that such actions do force some people into the downtown. He said the team was getting a lot of mileage out of its utility vehicle, patrolling Minto Brown Island and Riverfront Parks. He asked everyone several times to encourage people to enjoy the parks with a buddy and pepper spray.
In public comments, Katya Goloviznina said there would be a Salem-Keizer School District Boundary Adjustment Open House on October 30 from 6 to 8p at CTEC.
Sarah Owens’s motions to cancel the December meeting, and to adopt a resolution supporting the creation of a Good Neighbor Partnership as recommended by the Downtown Homeless Solutions Task Force passed unanimously, subject to the Board’s approval of the the final form of the resolution.