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June 02, 2017

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Good news! I was told by a City staff member who was at the Open House that a Climate Action Plan received the 3rd highest number of blue tickets* (after Infrastructure and Transit). That's more than six of the draft goals that the City Council has come up with (more, for example, than homelessness and affordable housing and downtown revitalization). So now the City has no excuse for not adding a Climate Action Plan to their list of Strategic Plan Goals.

*Participants were handed about a half dozen blue tickets as they went in to the Open House and told they could put them in a box at the priorities they thought were most important.

Is there some way to verify the residency status of the 46 proponents of a Salem Climate Plan? We have come to expect out-of-towners coming in to voice their opinions about Salem governance on a fairly regular basis when hot-button issues come up. This doesn't seem very democratic.

FJ, the city wants and encourages out-of-towner non-residents to participate in its Salem Strategic Plan process.

The City of Salem staff selected a 32 person "stakeholder" solution-mapping meeting (on January 31) of which 27% did not live in Salem but instead in Keizer, near Independence, Canby, Turner, Aurora and rural locations outside of Salem, according to Salem Weekly https://salemweeklynews.com/2017/02/city-salem-touch-identifying-stakeholders/

This is a clear statement by the City of Salem that you do not have to be a resident of the city to voice your opinion or give input about Salem governance. Hell I will even go out on a limb and guess that the city staff panders to and prioritizes the interests of these out of town select "stakeholders." over the wretched scum common plebeian Salem resident interests .

Interesting. Well, for the moment I will respond to just one element of the "stakeholder" issue as there are multiple questions which arise. If one supposes that a key element of the Salem Strategic Plan is creating and furthering a strong local economy ensuring job creation and thriving businesses which attract out-of-town consumers, then from that perspective it is understandable that outlying areas can be considered stakeholders. Where I draw the line however, is actual Salem governance and who gets to cast a citizen vote in that arena. I don't believe stakeholders and citizen voters have the same pathway in Salem governance. And I don't believe the City has taken an official position on this issue. You may infer that but until the City takes an OFFICIAL position we are all in the dark. It is time for the City to state very clearly whether people who DO NOT get a ballot in city elections have a right to have their individual voices counted on city council issues. Now much has been made of the number of signatures (46) in favor of including Climate goals in the Salem Strategic Plan. So, again, as in any issue before the Council, does the City recognize residency status when counting heads over ANY issue? This question must be addressed!

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