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October 08, 2014


The problem isn't, at its heart, the city council. It's the overall community that elects the city council and is willing to live with its lack of transparency and subservience to the chamber of commerce. Yes, there's a progressive, reform-minded subculture in Salem, but it's simply not large enough or influential enough to stop what's been going on for decades. The Corvallis, Eugene, and Portland communities would never put up with such behavior on the part of their elected representatives, the violations of the public meetings law, the conflicts of interest, etc. Making closed-door deals with a bank to cut down trees would be political suicide in those communities. The reason that the Salem city council does these things is that they know that the community won't hold them accountable. And there are likely to be few or no whistleblowers to embarrass them, other than yourself and a handful of others.

Geronimo, your comment is one of the best summaries of the Salem situation I've ever seen. You really expressed yourself well. I'm going to share your brilliant summation of what's lacking in Salem as a standalone blog post that can be shared on Facebook and Twitter.

Of course, like you said, it won't make much difference because hardly anybody gives a rip in Salem. But every small nudge of Waking Up helps. Maybe somebody the whole community will rise up out of its overly-passive slumber.

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Strange Up Salem

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