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January 10, 2020

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Great question Brian. Glad you asked. I love the idea of a "commuter tax" (as it is being branded), but not if all it does is continue to build the empires of Police Chief Moore and Fire Chief Niblock. Having retired from state and local government after 32 years I know "empire building" when I see it. The City of Salem has lots of shortcomings and chronic understaffing in nearly all City departments except for SPD and SFD. And then there is the homelessness crisis. Wouldn't be great if we could spend millions more a year on that instead of on more cops and firefighters* that we don't need. I wish the City Council would revisit their decision to spend it all on unneeded cops and firefighters. It may not be too late.

*This is what they are called but they "fight" VERY few fires anymore as our former Secretary of State has pointed out in this great article: https://www.governing.com/columns/smart-mgmt/col-fire-departments-rethink-delivery-emergency-medical-services.html (the City Club should invite Phil Keisling to speak to them about this sometime).

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