Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Salem's Third Bridge

I'm often amazed at what governments and large corporations focus on, devoting so much of their resources to, while letting other issues languish. The fever by leadership for a third bridge across the Willamette is just such a thing. (You'll note, not so much fever by the populace for it.)

You won't find meaningful coverage of this issue in our local news outlets. The story is being told, mostly, through citizen reporters in their own blogs. 

Here are some good ones: 

And, a direct cut-n-paste from NO 3rd Bridge's FB page, because it needs to be seen:

The Mayor was trying to shut NO 3rd Bridge down, but Maryann would not be denied her say. She just found another agenda item having to do with the City budget and said she was going to talk about that. Clever Maryann!

Then she delivered this strong message about the 3rd Bridge (excerpts):

Monday June 24, 2013

Good Evening Madame Mayor and City Councilors and Staff,

I am Maryann Beirne and I live in Ward 5.

Let's see, I got this postcard to let me know about a public hearing to increase my utility bill to help pay for street lights and road maintenance. I recently signed a petition against putting parking meters around downtown, we have no bus service on weekends and evenings (so those folks aren't here tonight), people have to come to council meetings to ask that storm drains be installed so their basements stop flooding from rainwater running off their neighborhood streets and are told that there is no money for that in the budget for 2 years...

So here we have a miserly City government penny pinching every service to the public that they can, but when the business leaders who push-growth-at-any cost show up, the wallet is wide open to pay for engineers and consultants and studies for 5 years for a bridge that the public will vote down as an unnecessary and costly project.

We are in a recession if you haven't noticed...As the computers and robots and “production efficiency” and globalization of jobs relieve more people of jobs or the prospect of ever finding a living wage job why do the growth and build people think that some big corporate savior is going to show up in Salem and employ every body at a remarkable wage so they can buy brand new McMansions?

...Building empty industrial parks, suburban sprawl and shopping malls eats up valuable farmland. The Willamette Valley has some of the best farmland in the nation. Farmland makes money because no matter what the economic conditions people need to eat. Grow and build business people want to cover this valuable farmland with buildings and kill our economic generator for their individual aggrandizement and personal fortune. It seems like some of our councilors and mayor have hopped on the bandwagon of the growth and build people and only want to do what pleases them and not the citizens of Salem.

...As we continue in lean monetary times, our city needs to control spending and not waste our money on boondoggle projects like the Salem River Crossing. Parking meters downtown will kill downtown businesses. Nickel and diming citizens for street lights and street maintenance when that should be coming from the Public Works Department budget not costly engineers and consultants for a loser bridge...

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