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June 22, 2017


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The evidence Mr. Hines offers is accurate.

The conclusion Mr. Hines reached not so much. His is premise is based upon the existence of a WSNA executive board with authority that is separate and distinct from the membership. That is not the case under the town hall structure of the WSNA.

Could the agenda been handled differently. Yes. Were the co-chairs subject to intimidation during the Friday morning meeting? Maybe; I was not at the meeting. What is obvious and clear to me is, under the WSNA town hall format, the WSNA chairs have no authority to ignore a request by West Salem residents to place a topic on the agenda. That request happened at June 5th meeting.

Mr. Hines can challenge the chairs' effort to widen the printed transportation topic; he can publicly accuse the WSNA of failing to abide by its By-laws; he can even demand that the WSNA leadership declare the June 19th NA meeting Willamette River Crossing vote invalid because the printed published agenda did not specifically cite a Willamette Crossing under the traffic and transportation new business topic. But the fact remains, it is not the chairs, nor the aggregation of elected co-chairs and committee chairs that determine whether a motion complies with the WSNA By-laws. That is the responsibility of the individual members.

I am a member of the WSNA. As any other member of the WSNA, I had and have the right to declare the Willamette River Crossing motion outside the June 19 agenda. I did not raise the issue on June 19th, even though I had no knowledge of the June 16 meeting between the co-chairs and the SBS leadership or the information posted on the WSNA facebook page, because I remain committed WSNA town hall meeting format.

The unspoken challenge: Should or should not the West Salem Neighborhood Associate remain a town hall format public forum organization, subject to the potential of a single topic group inundation or should the WSNA change to an organizational structure with a formal board controlling the organization?

What say you, Brian? Which form of community involvement best serves citizen participation?

E.M., the issue isn't the unique WSNA town hall format. The issue I've been bringing to light is whether the WSNA is going to comply with its bylaws, which require a disclaimer if a decision/vote is made on an issue that wasn't on the advance agenda.

Since there was no mention on a vote on the Salem River Crossing on the official advance agenda posted on the City of Salem Neighborhood Association web site page, a disclaimer needs to be included with the minutes of this agenda item.

It is obvious from a plain reading of the agenda that no reasonable person could have known there would be a bridge vote at the June 19 meeting.

This is supported by the fact that the WSNA co-chairs met privately with bridge supporters three days before the meeting and added it to the agenda. Also, one of the first orders of business at the June 19 meeting was to amend an existing agenda item so a vote on the Salem River Crossing could be taken at the meeting.

All this goes to show that the vote wasn't on the advance agenda. If it had been, the scurrying around a few days before the meeting, and at the meeting itself, wouldn't have been necessary to get the vote on the agenda.

I don't know why WSNA officials are so reluctant to admit the facts, preferring to make up their own alternative facts. We've got enough of this coming from the Trump administration.

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