Monday, August 10, 2009

Temporary reprieve on Minto

The five members attending the City Council meeting tonight unanimously voted not to accept the federal easement proposal to lock up 200 acres of cultivated land in Minto Brown Island Park.

Naturally this means that we can expect staff to honor the wisdom of Mark Twain by proving him an acute observer of human nature when he observed that "Having lost our bearings, we redoubled our efforts." Having had to concede repeatedly that the public involvement for this idea was lousy, the plan is to ram through a motion to reconsider and pass the thing with no further public involvement in two weeks, should the feds permit yet another extension (which, if they do, only shows that they want this much more than the people of Salem do).

In other words, the betting is that staff and some of the Council members will push hard to have the Council to entertain a motion for reconsideration in two weeks, meaning that the 5-0 vote to reject the easement only means that the people advocating for the easement want a do-over ....

Tonight city staff admitted that the contract for the easement gives total control of the parkland's future to the feds, that none of the sweet whispers about working with the city are in writing, and that the whole emergency floodplain easement program is not really a good fit for a public park. Nonetheless, expect a full-court press to get this thing jammed through at the last minute, public sentiment be damned.

1 comment:

Salem Man said...

kudos for being on top of the issue. I was at the park yesterday and couldn't find a single person who know anything about the plan.