Turning Out...Turning Tide
As our beautiful green tide rolled into the City Council meeting last night you could feel the energy that comes with this kind of turn out. Our group, as always, conducted ourselves courteously and professionally as we listened and waited for our chance to speak. Mitch Teal led us off as SBS member after member articulately described what we wanted and why. The issue of the night was whether to build Marine Drive or allow an alternative proposal that would make it a much less useful project. After a long night of testimony followed by debate among the councilors, they decided to table the Marine Drive issue for now and assign it to a work group. While this is not a total victory for us, it's way better than the alternative proposal. Now we have the opportunity to really shape the outcome to what we need to support the bridge!
The bridge was not officially on the agenda as the City Council was considering the city budget. It was great to hear Mayor Bennett at the end of the evening call out the reality that while the bridge wasn't the official issue, it was clearly the real issue behind the Marine Drive discussion. All but two of the council admitted that the bridge was what we were really talking about as we debated a plan for Marine Drive. Our presence in that meeting made an enormous difference and we'll need it again this next Monday at the West Salem Neighborhood Association (WSNA). We are on the agenda this time so we will be able to make a motion to have WSNA take an official position supporting the bridge instead of saying we are "neutral". We will also be able to define what we want WSNA to advocate for regarding Marine Drive to make sure it fits with our plan to build the bridge.
We are turning the tide, friends! Stay with it and we will Build it NOW!