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April 08, 2016

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Brian, I appreciate your honesty about your priorities. It makes it easier to evaluate your comments. I appreciate your blogs since it's one of the few sources of information about our city councilors that we have.

That being said, my take on our mayoral candidates at this point (still evaluating): I hear a lot about Carole Smith's dedication to downtown. Very good, but I want a mayor who cares about every neighborhood and part of town, not just one. I don't like the amount of money Salem spends on consultants either. But there is a place for them when specific expertise is needed. Wisdom is knowing when that is.

Chuck Bennett- Yes, business is important because we need jobs and money in the local economy. But I feel livability is even more important. Make Salem a vibrant town where people want to live and talented workers and businesses wanting them and customers will come. I know Bennett listens to his constituents and tries to serve them as well as the Chamber. I feel he will be a good mayor if we get enough progressives on the Council to help him be more progressive.

From what I hear Progressive Salem is not endorsing Bennett. It has decided to stay neutral in that race and is working hard to get progressive council candidates elected.
Don't slam them for something they are not doing. Vote Sally, Cara and Matt everybody who can!

Mary Ann, you're right. So far Progressive Salem has chosen to remain neutral in the Mayor's race. I don't understand why. As both today's Statesman Journal story and my blog post make clear, Smith obviously is by far the most progressive candidate.

I listened to the debate yesterday for any sign that Bennett would be more progressive as Mayor than he has been as a city councilor. I heard nothing to support this. I don't know what Bennett is telling people behind the scenes. I just know what he is saying publicly, including what he said in his Chamber of Commerce questionnaire that earned him the Chamber's endorsement.

Bennett says he wants to keep on going down the Mayor Peterson/Chamber of Commerce track. His jobs, jobs, jobs talk is far different from Smith's emphasis on livability and citizen involvement. All Progressive Salem has to do is simply put out a press release saying "Carole is our choice for Mayor." That would take almost zero time and no money.

"I endorse Carole Smith." See how easy it is to do. Type four words. I don't understand why people who criticize the policies Bennett supports think that he will go in a different direction once he's elected.

I read the answers from the debate, and I prefer Chuck. He has more hands on experience and had specific answers regarding the biggest issues facing Salem. When I read that he wants to hire two officers to patrol the park area that will be joined by the Courtney bridge, I knew he was the candidate for me.

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