Elections matter. Beginning in 2014, five (of nine) Salem city councilors have been elected after vowing to oppose the Third Bridge, also known as the Salem River Crossing.
Or, as I like to call it, the Billion Dollar Boondoggle.
The Statesman Journal has some good reporting on tonight's 5-4 vote to reject an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Department of Land Conservation and Development that would have helped move the Third Bridge forward.
Check out Jonathan Bach's story, "Salem councilors reject third bridge agreement with state department."
Opponents of a third Salem traffic bridge over the Willamette claimed a victory Monday as a majority of city councilors rejected an agreement with the state on the so-called Salem River Crossing project.
The denial Monday evening represented a shift in tone in City Hall toward the project to build another bridge between Marion County and West Salem, with some elected officials sworn in this year taking a less favorable stance on it than the council that approved a land-use decision last year to help pave the way for a new bridge.
First-year councilor Cara Kaser introduced the motion Monday evening to deny an agreement between Salem and the state Department of Land Conservation and Development.
The intergovernmental agreement emerged as a condition of the state department’s backing down from its intent to appeal last year’s land-use decision with the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals.
When the motion came to a vote, Kaser found backing from councilors Matt Ausec, Sally Cook, Tom Andersen and Chris Hoy.
Councilors Jim Lewis, Steve McCoid, Brad Nanke and Mayor Chuck Bennett voted against her motion.
To understand the wisdom of how the five City Council progressives voted, watch a video I made from the CCTV recording of the meeting that shows Cara Kaser and Tom Andersen explaining why they oppose the Third Bridge.
Here's a photo of some of the No 3rd Bridge folks who wore t-shirts to the City Council meeting expressing that sentiment. Jim Scheppke, the group's leader, is on the top left.