On Monday, May 14th, the Editorial Board of the Statesman Journal (Dick Hughes and Kathy Goss) interviewed the City Manager and Mayor about the end of free parking in downtown Salem. Clearly the city brought in the big guns, but it didn’t help. The big guns attending were:
Doug Rux – Urban Development
Chuck Bennett – City Councilor
Jennifer Martin – Downtown Advisory Board
Tyler Jackson – Jackson Jewelers/Parking Task Force
Oh my gosh, where to begin on the half truths and tangled lies in that discussion. The bout didn’t end in a knock out, but the score definitely was Editorial Board 15, City 0,or maybe a minus number.
Although parking meters are a tool to manage parking, there was no actual discussion about parking. The City made it’s usual push for more revenue and used the Parking Task Force of hand picked ringers to try to convince Dick that somehow the combination of parking meters and additional revenue are connected, and that no one clearly cared about the downtown customers or businesses. . . . What a train wreck. At one point Dick was making a point (a rather good one I thought) and Chuck Bennett kept interrupting him. Dick finally fired off ” Then you can just leave”. . . Real fireworks from mild mannered Dick.
Kathy Goss even got some great points in – but the City just tried to gloss over their bad deeds with city-speak. Doug Rux is incredibly accomplished at city-speak, he never really answers the question, but it sounds like it he means it, and he uses a lot of words. Kinds of lulls people into a short coma.
If you want to see the City make a desperate plea for more money and get caught with their hand squarely in the cookie jar – watch the video.