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November 18, 2013


This plan would cause a great deal of damage to our immediate neighborhood. We already see houses standing empty. I want to know how I will get to the grocery store if this bridge goes in. The city has already started working on the streets in front of our house. Looks like they are not even waiting for that vote. And just HOW do they propose to pay for it?


I’m glad you guys are taking an interest in this. But be advised that it will be an uphill battle since Ms. Norris is allergic to fresh air and transparency. And she rules her city with an iron fist. Management employees are not allowed to discuss anything of importance with the public or even council members without having it cleared first. Mr Fernandez is simply doing as he is told in order to keep his job (unlike some of his predecessors). It will take a tremendous amount of noise and public pressure to achieve any change.

Green Butt Skunk (nice name, by the way), thanks for your observations. They're in line with what I've heard from other people.

Seems to be a lot of fear and trembling among City of Salem staff and elected officials. The tension is palpable when I watch council meetings on CCTV. I've been told the mood in the chamber room is even worse.

Obviously nobody is willing to freely speak their mind. Since "corporate cultures" like this emanate from the top down, it must indeed be Linda Norris' fault. An honest performance evaluation would give her poor marks.

Guess she and others at the City of Salem haven't heard that a dictatorial management style went out of fashion a long time ago. It lives on in Dilbert's pointy-headed-boss, but competent managers don't do their job like Norris does.

When staff and citizens aren't listened to, it's no surprise that policy decisions by the City of Salem often are so out of touch with reality. We've seen this with the US Bank trees, Third Bridge, Boise Cascade property. downtown parking meters, and now, Civic Center plans.

The City regularly gets blindsided by reality because groupthink is valued over smart think. Which is too bad.

If you know of any City employees who would be willing to share their perspectives on what it is like to work under Linda Norris, tell them to give me a call or an email. I'd keep their identity private, just using what they say to better inform my view of how the City of Salem is doing the people's business these days.

Regarding Peter Fernandez, the word on the street is that he'd like to be City Manager one day (horrifying thought). So it isn't surprising that he toes the autocratic line. Since Fernandez seemingly comes by this heavy-handed management style naturally, he and Norris are a complementary -- albeit dysfunctional -- team.

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