As I noted back in March 2022, before the May election for Mayor and half of the Salem City Council seats, the main qualification for Ward 6 candidate Julie Hoy seemed to be her last name -- which probably not coincidentally also is the last name of Chris Hoy, who was the previous Ward 6 councilor and now is Mayor Hoy.
So the way I see it, conservatives in Salem recruited Julie Hoy to be a right-wing replacement for Chris Hoy, hoping that their shared name would make Ward 6 voters think Julie was similar to Chris. Which, for sure, she isn't.
Because Chris Hoy is a progressive. And Julie Hoy is a conservative.
Evidence of Julie Hoy's political leaning came when she introduced a peculiar City Council motion aimed at having term limits for the Chair and Vice-Chair of neighborhood associations. That's such a weird idea, only someone with a right-wing agenda would think it made sense.
After all, these days most conservatives mistrust democracy. They prefer to have decisions made from the top down rather the bottom up. So if neighborhood associations in Salem can be weakened by forcing current leaders to leave their positions, that's a dream come true for Julie Hoy.
This is a screenshot of Councilor Hoy doing her best to argue for her motion at the March 13 City Council meeting. Because she didn't have any good reasons for her term limits motion, that was an uphill battle.
In discussing her ill-considered motion, most of the progressive councilors politely said that Hoy's motion was put forward with "good will" and "good intentions." They're much nicer than I am. I think her motion was introduced with ill will and bad intentions.
As was noted in the discussion period by Councilor Nordyke, with longevity of neighborhood association leaders comes institutional memory. So kicking the Chair and Vice-Chair out of office via term limits would tend to weaken neighborhood associations.
Further, elections for leadership positions are held regularly. If members of a neighborhood association don't like the job being done by the Chair and Vice Chair, they can be voted out.
Mayor Hoy added another reason to vote against Hoy's motion: he said that we don't like it when the state tries to take authority away from the city; likewise, neighborhood associations don't like being told what to do by the City of Salem.
The vote on Councilor Hoy's motion was 6 against and 3 in favor. The three "ayes" came from the conservative members of the City Council: Julie Hoy, Deanna Gwyn, and Jose Gonzalez. The six "nays" came from the progressive members: Vanessa Nordyke, Micki Varney, Virginia Stapleton, Linda Nishioka, Trevor Phillips, and Mayor Chris Hoy.
If Julie Hoy and her conservative colleagues want to make a difference on the City Council, they should shelve their right-wing agendas and work collaboratively with the progressives on policies that benefit everybody in Salem -- not just Republicans and other conservatives.
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