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July 22, 2013

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For about a decade the Salem City Council has only had one "customer," that being the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce. That is changing. Ordinary citizens in Salem are waking up to realize we have to take our city back from the special interests and make it work for the people. We have seen this with the 3rd bridge issue, with the streetlight fee issue, and now with the parking meter issue. Trying to shut down dissent won't work. If the Mayor wants to be reelected next year she will need to change her tune, and realize that the days of SACC domination of Salem politics is ending. She will need to begin to be willing to listen to what the people are saying if she wants to continue to lead. [Yes, I know SACC is ambivalent on the parking meter issue, but they may not have been until recently. They are feeling the winds of change too.]

Jim, right on! You didn't mention the US Bank tree removal decision, though. Same thing happened there: special interests were paid attention to; facts, expert advice, and citizen testimony were ignored.

I found it interesting that few opponents of downtown parking meters testified. Most likely, because they correctly recognized that the Mayor and City Council wouldn't pay any attention to them.

The City may feel like this is a good thing -- ah, fewer opponents talking! -- but actually this should disturb them. It's like the old Westerns before Indians attacked: "It's quiet...too quiet."

When people give up on trying to change elected officials closed minds, they turn to getting rid of the elected officials.

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