Progress reports and recommendations for the city of Salem were discussed at a City Council work session Thursday.
Mayor Chuck Bennett, councilors, and staffers exchanged ideas on governance, natural environment stewardship, community safety, infrastructure, the economy, and improving Salem as a welcoming and livable community.
No decisions were made, but ideas were exchanged and priorities reviewed. Policy priorities the council adopted March 14 were:
- Responding to the sheltering crisis.
- Planning for the future.
- Engaging the community.
- Sustaining infrastructure and services.
Kristin Retherford, acting city manager, noted that complete adoption of the Our Salem project is due 30 days from July 5, meaning Thursday of this week. She added that further committee work was underway on the climate action plan.
Bennett and Councilor Chris Hoy urged a full evaluation of city commissions.
Discussion of transitioning the Salem Municipal Airport to a full commercial service airport took up the latter part of the work session. It is now a general aviation airport but maintains a commercial service standard approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. The standard relates mostly to airfield compliance, safety, and emergency response training.
Investments in meeting FAA and Transportation Security Administration requirements for an upgrade would be more than the city airport fund has. Funding possibilities including public-private funding were discussed. Bennett encouraged research and ideas for potential investors.