Monday, September 29, 2014

Should the City add ANOTHER developer to our Planning Commission?

The CANDO neighborhood association chair does us all a service laying out the issue as concisely and clearly as possible.  

May all citizens and other neighborhoods join with this sentiment and fend off this destructive, unnecessary proposal that should be called "How to load the dice even further in favor of the sprawl builders trying to bankrupt Salem to line their own pockets."

Subject: FW: Public Hearing Notice - Case No. CA14-06 -proposed amendment to SRC Chapter 6 to amend certain Planning Commission membership requirements
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2014 10:49:43 -0700


    I'm forwarding this to you for possible action by the CANDO Board by October 7.

    This is a notice of public hearing on proposed amendments to the Salem Revised Code that would increase from one to two the number of members of the city's 7 member Planning Commission of who are engaged in real estate sales or development.  The amendment also would increase from 
one to two the number of members of the Commission who are engaged in the same trade, business or profession.

    The notice does not identify ANY problem that these proposed amendments would resolve.  The stated reason for the change is that a state statute permits up to two members of the same profession on a city planning commission and most other cities the size Salem allow two, but, Salem restricts it to one.  In other words, Salem's current code complies with state law.  Here's what the applicable state statute says:   

227.030 Membership. (1) Not more than two members of a city planning commission may be city officers, who shall serve as ex officio nonvoting members.
      (2) A member of such a commission may be removed by the appointing authority, after hearing, for misconduct or nonperformance of duty.
      (3) Any vacancy in such a commission shall be filled by the appointing authority for the unexpired term of the predecessor in the office.
      (4) No more than two voting members of the commission may engage principally in the buying, selling or developing of real estate for profit as individuals, or be members of any partnership, or officers or employees of any corporation, that engages principally in the buying, selling or developing of real estate for profit. No more than two members shall be engaged in the same kind of occupation, business, trade or profession.

The Planning Commission has broad powers, and diversity of viewpoints is important, particularly on a 7-member Commission.  An increase from one to two of the Commission members who are engaged in the same profession substantially reduces that diversity.  Given that fact, the problem I have with the proposed amendment is -- as I point out above -- there's no identified problem that it seeks to address.   

     The public hearing on the proposed amendment is October 7.   Based solely on the information in this notice, I think that the CANDO Board should take a position in opposition to the proposed amendment.   However, the "staff report" on the proposed amendment has not been issued yet and will come out next week.  I will forward that to you when I get it, and, we can decide then whether to take a position or not. 


The Obvious Relationship Between Climate and Family Planning—and Why We Don’t Talk About

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

We’ll Become ISIS [feedly]

The People's History of the US Military taught me some things, such as how the "scary vet" meme was actually not a Vietnam-era creation, but was present after the Civil War and ever since.

James Howard Kunstler is a writer and critic of some renown. He has written several times about his guess that we are creating a class of discarded men, veterans, who are going to eventually get fed up and put their training to use here at home to secure themselves some status.

This would be easier to dismiss if Dmitry Orlov, who observed the collapse of the USSR and the chaos that followed, didn't make the same warnings.

My guess is that they will shift their attention and activity from the mind-slavery of the current Potemkin economy to the very monster we find ourselves fighting overseas: a domestic ISIS-style explosion of wrath wrapped in an extreme ideology of one kind or another replete with savagery and vengeance-seeking. The most dangerous thing that any society can do is invalidate young men. When the explosion of youthful male wrath occurs in the USA, it will come along at exactly the same time as all the other benchmarks of order become unmoored — especially the ones in money and politics — which will shatter the faith of the non-young and the non-male, too. Also, just imagine for a moment the numbers of young men America has trained with military skills the past 20 years. Not all of them will be disabled with PTSD, or mollified with rinky-dink jobs at the Wal-Mart, or lost in the transports of heroin and methedrine.

We'll Become ISIS