Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sadly, City of Salem and Marion County should send many people to this symposium

The time to prepare for trouble certain to arise is as soon as possible. Worst option is to hope that something will come along that makes preparations unnecessary.

Willamette College of Law CLE
Under Pressure: Fiscal and Regional Difficulties Facing Local Governments  
For the last five years local governments have experienced a wave of fiscal distress unmatched since the Great Depression.  Aggressive policy responses like municipal bankruptcy and state takeovers have raised difficult questions about local democracy and the state's role in supervising municipal governments. 


Join Willamette University College of Law for the 2014 Law Review Spring Symposium Under Pressure: Fiscal and Regional Difficulties Facing Local Governments, a day-long presentation featuring panels of local and national experts who will explore these issues in Oregon and beyond. 


Friday, February 28, 2014
8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
John C. Paulus Lecture Hall, Room 201
Willamette University College of Law
245 Winter St. N.E., Salem, OR
Approved for 4.75 general CLE credits.
For more information contact Reyna Meyers at 503-370-6046. 

Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay

A better plan for the Library and Civic Center Complex

1) because a library district appears to be dead and would only further compress property taxes, the solution for library and information services in Salem is a small tax on all internet, cable TV, and satellite (DishTV) services provided to city residents and businesses, with all the revenue dedicated to full funding for libraries and public information services.

Full funding = seven day a week library services (at least 78 hours weekly, 12 hours x 6 days + 1 day of at least six hours) with a library within walking and biking distance of all residents. Meaning one in W. Salem, one in North, one in NE, one in Central, and one mid-south, one far south. Also, every school library should receive funding to be opened as community satellite libraries open to the public in the evenings.

2) But NOT the current library.
The smart plan for the civic center:

A) kick out the library and divide the collection among the new leased branch libraries as above. Empty grocery stores are especially good, but other vacant storefronts are suitable too.

B) Retrofit the empty library complex and give it to the police. The seismic retrofit would go much more quickly with no tenant, and cost far less with no concerns about trying to maintain the open plan library that makes reinforcing columns a no-no.

C) Move police out and retrofit city hall with no new building construction. Take the lid off and center and stop. Done, for many millions less than the current plans.

You need to move fast-- the library has been gathering funds for a big upgrade to the children's area; it has been delayed, and that money should not be spent at all for an upgrade that will be ripped out, but should be instead used to defray the costs of converting the storefronts and expanding libraries into the whole community rather than having a half-starved main library and a wholly starved library branch within a mile of each other in downtown.