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April 21, 2015

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What would be the purpose of a sustainability commission? We already have all these government agencies both state and federal, and in redundancy of each other of that dictate what is best for "everyone". Would this commission set rules and policy? And what would be it's jurisdiction? If it would be created by the city of Salem, then it wouldn't have a jurisdiction outside of city limits. Additionally, what enforceability as a body would they have? A commision is just a bunch of people having meetings unless they can actually do anything about what they discuss. And in light of rule setting, do we really need yet another body to determine every thing we do? The regulations and bodies involved are stacking up. Local governments are under pressure from State government, and Federal government to carry out their wishes and pay for their programs to monitor them. Maybe the solution is to get the feds and the state to cut back their regulation if a commission such as you suggest is in place to act on behalf of the interests of the government agencies. But don't hold your breath on the agencies ever agreeing to release grip on a city. Way too many employees that need something to do. Until then... a committee is just a bunch of people that meet, and their conclusions will be... irrelevant. Who would want to be on a committee that does nothing?

Salem. Always 15 years behind everyone else and on the wrong side of history. No wonder the young and talented don't want to stay, or live in Salem. Is it any wonder more and more of the people who work here leave when their salaries reach a certain level, and would rather commute to their Salem jobs, rather than live in such a community. And no, it's not just the city council or the mayor, but the people who elect them.

Dan, here's what the Portland Sustainability Commission does, as stated on the City website. It sure sounds like they have plenty of meaningful stuff to do.
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The Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) includes 11 volunteer members with expertise in a range of areas. Their major role is to advise City Council on Portland’s long-range goals, policies and programs for land use, planning and sustainability. They do that by holding public hearings and discussing issues and proposals.

The PSC’s charge is to act for the benefit of the people of Portland and to make recommendations they think will make Portland a better city. As a group, they have a variety of viewpoints, and together they balance a variety of City goals, including some that conflict.
the work of the PSC is to:

▪ Advise City Council and City bureaus on social, economic and environmental issues as well as long-range development in Portland.
▪ Advise City Council on the development and maintenance of the City’s Comprehensive Plan and implementation measures.
▪ Ensure sustainability principles and practices are integrated into policy, planning and development decisions.
▪ Advise City Council, as well as City bureaus and other agencies, on projects and proposals that significantly affect the city.

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