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News Releases
Meet the Salem Police Chief Candidates - 10/28/20

For Immediate Release  
October 28, 2020 

MEDIA CONTACT: 
503-763-3459 | media@cityofsalem.net 

Salem, Ore., The community is invited to livestream a Friday, October 30, 2020 community forum, in which the two finalists for Salem Police Chief share their views on the role and answer community questions. The live forum is scheduled from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will be streamed on the City’s YouTube Channel. and CC: Media.

During the forum, both candidates will have a chance to answer questions submitted by members of the community through an online form. The deadline to submit questions is October 29, 2020, at 1 p.m.

Background information about the Chief of Police recruitment process and details about the candidates can be found on the City’s homepage.

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City of Salem Awarded 2020 Project of the Year for Pringle Creek Restoration - 10/27/20

For Immediate Release:
October 27, 2020

Pringle Creek Restoration Project Honored

Salem, Ore., -- The Oregon Chapter of the American Public Works Association honored the City of Salem for the Pringle Creek Demolition and Stream Restoration Project.   

The City of Salem was awarded the 2020 Project of the Year Award for the Pringle Creek Demolition and Stream Restoration Project. The prestigious award was presented by the Oregon Chapter of the American Public Works Association in the category of environment on projects that cost less than $5 million.

“This venture was a complex and rewarding project to be a part of,” said Nitini Joshi, Environmental and Regulatory Affairs Manager for the City of Salem. “Each step of the project required delicate planning and coordination from the City, DEQ, contractors, and engineers. We are honored to receive this accolade and equally pleased to offer our community a restored waterfront and parklike landscape for all to enjoy.”

The Pringle Creek Demolition and Stream Restoration Project opened up a section of Pringle Creek near its confluence with the Willamette River adjoining Salem’s beloved Riverfront Park. This work coincides with over 30 years of riverfront reclamation efforts, changing the scenery from expired industrial zones to public open spaces and economic development. A major focus of this project involved removing a 100-year-old paper mill site that was constructed on top of Pringle Creek impeding habitat and natural resources.

“It is an honor to receive recognition from the APWA, said Peter Fernandez, City of Salem Public Works Director. “Despite many uncommon construction conditions, this project stayed on schedule and under budget. We are grateful for the innovative solutions and coordination from City staff and project guidance in Otak and Suulutaaq.”

Highlights about the award-winning Pringle Creek Demolition and Stream Restoration Project will be featured on the APWA Oregon Chapter webpage with other esteemed projects from the State. Details about the entire Pringle Creek Demo and Stream Restoration Project including funding, project goals, and background can be found on the City’s website.

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Climate Action Plan Survey Open Through Nov. 4, 2020 - 10/26/20

They City of Salem is developing a Climate Action Plan for Salem and wants to hear from you.

The first community survey  is open for input through November 4, 2020. We hope you will share your views on Salem and your thoughts about climate change. As a member of the Salem community, your views are critical in determining a path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and in building a city that is resilient to climate change! 

On Monday, October 12, 2020, Salem City Council set a climate goal as part of their continued commitment to climate action. The goal seeks a 50 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 and to be be carbon neutral by 2050. This goal sets the stage for climate action planning, a 16-month effort that will develop the strategies Salem can take to achieve the set goal. The planning process will also determine what alternate or interim goals may be set, the best actions to take to reach the goals, and how to track progress towards those goals.

The Climate Action Planning process will be guided by a 40-member community task force that includes three City Councilors, along with input from a city advisory group and community members like you. Input will be sought at each of the four “pillars” of planning: visioning, vulnerability assessment, strategy development, and implementation planning.  The final Climate Action Plan will be presented to City Council for adoption by December 2021.

If you are interested in keeping up to date with climate action planning, register for updates at https://salemclimateactionplan.com/

You can find more information on the Climate Action Plan web page.

Apply Now: Additional Grant Funding Available for Area Small Businesses and Non-Profits Impacted by COVID-19 - 10/20/20

Salem, Ore. – Additional grant opportunities are now available for local small businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19. The City of Salem has approximately $150,000 in Business Oregon grant funding available for Salem businesses and non-profits. Business Oregon also recently made available an additional $1.2M for businesses in the Mid-Willamette Valley. If you are a Salem-area business or non-profit that has not yet accessed this funding, you can do so now.

  • City of Salem COVID Grant Funding: If you have not already applied for, or been notified, regarding the Salem’s allocation of Emergency Business Assistance Grants, you can apply online on the City of Salem’s website. Businesses or 501.c3 organizations with 0-25 employees can access up to $25,000, if impacted by the emergency closure order or have experienced a 50% decline in revenue, since March 2020. Businesses that previously received federal loans and grants, including Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) or Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding through the CARES Act, are eligible, but must reduce the maximum grant amount by the amount of CARES Act funding received. Additional funding requirements are available on the City’s website.
  • Regional COVID Grant Funding: Businesses and non-profits with 0-25 FTE can access up to $50,000, if impacted by the emergency closure order or have experienced a 25% decline in revenue, since March 2020. Grant awards will not be reduced by the amount in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding/Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) received, if less than $100,000. Businesses can apply online through Willamette Workforce Partnership.

Businesses can access both City of Salem and Regional COVID Grant Funding if they meet the requirements. To determine if you’re eligible, email ants@cityofsalem.net">SalemGrants@cityofsalem.net or call 503-540-2480 or 503-540-2435. For questions in Spanish, email ants@cityofsalem.net">SalemGrants@cityofsalem.net or call 503-540-2303.

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The Oregon Legislature, in partnership with the Governor, allocated $22.5 Million of federal CARES Act funds for the purpose of providing financial assistance to small businesses adversely affected by economic conditions as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including three rounds of Emergency Business Assistance Program grants.

Salem Health, United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley, P3 Health Partners Oregon, and Home Instead Senior Care Celebrate with City of Salem Mayor and Staff Over WOW Van Partnership
Salem Health, United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley, P3 Health Partners Oregon, and Home Instead Senior Care Celebrate with City of Salem Mayor and Staff Over WOW Van Partnership
City of Salem Center 50+ launches WOW Van (Wellness on Wheels) (Photo) - 10/19/20

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, October 19, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT:
503-763-3459 | media@cityofsalem.net

City of Salem Center 50+ launches WOW Van (Wellness on Wheels) to keep seniors connected to their community through life-enriching activities and services

Salem, Ore., -- Salem’s Center 50+ now offers mobile wellness services. With the support from Salem Health, United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley, P3 Health Partners Oregon, and Home Instead Senior Care, Center 50+ now delivers socially distanced wellness services to area seniors.

Front porch visits from the Wellness on Wheels (WOW) Van include fitness, nutrition, mobility and wellness programming, activities, lifelong learning instruction, social checks ins, and technology tutoring.

The WOW Van was inspired through the work of the Age-Friendly Salem Initiative and meets the goals of keeping seniors socially connected, engaged in their community, and able to remain safe and healthy in their homes for as long as possible.

“Our service partners and contributors to this project understand our senior populations and unique needs. We are tremendously thankful for their support and I applaud Center 50 + for their excellent work in shaping and delivering programming for our older adults,” said City Manager Steve Powers.

In recent years, Center 50+ has made a concerted effort to follow the World Health Organization’s call for instigating an Age-Friendly Community which helps communities prepare for a rapidly aging population and pay attention to the environmental, economic, and social factors that influence the health and well-being of older adults.

In addition to the WHO initiative, Center 50+ recognizes the importance of delivering services to older adults whose mobility and aptitude to travel around Salem has decreased because of the ongoing COVID -19 pandemic.

“The WOW Van will be a significant asset to the Center 50+ staff for scheduling home visits with our clients,” said Marilyn Daily who manages operations and programming for the center. “Everyone on our staff is excited about the possibilities of this service and eager to bring classes and companionship to those who need it most.” 

To find out more about the WOW Van residents are encouraged to email  Connect50plus@cityofsalem.net or to visit the Center 50+ website

About Center 50+
Center 50+ is Salem’s premier non-membership community center providing programs and services to adults age 50 and older and their caregivers. Although the Center is temporarily closed to the public due to Covid-19, programs and services continue to be offered throughout the community.  Center 50+ serves more than 850 people a day and hosts more than 150 programs and activities each term. 

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Finalists Invited to Interview for Salem Police Chief - 10/16/20

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 16, 2020,

MEDIA CONTACT:
503-763-3459 | media@cityofsalem.net

Finalists Invited to Interview for Salem Police Chief

Salem, Ore. -- After an in-depth recruitment and screening process, the City of Salem has invited two candidates to interview for the planned Police Chief vacancy for retiring Chief Jerry Moore.  

The two finalists, Malik Aziz and Trevor Womack will be in Salem on October 30, 2020.  The City of Salem will host a virtual community forum as part of the interview process, including an opportunity for the residents to offer their questions of the candidates through a moderator.   

About the Candidates:

Malik Aziz, Dallas, TX  
 Malik Aziz is a Major with the Dallas, Texas Police Department, having served with the agency since 1992. His specialties after nearly 30 years in law enforcement include law enforcement analysis, nonprofit leadership, budgeting, policy analysis, event planning, and government. His previous assignments in the department include Commanding Patrol, Special Operations, SWAT, Traffic, Investigations, and Support Services. He is currently leading night command for the northwest and north-central area of Dallas. 

Major Malik Aziz earned his Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice from The University of Texas at Arlington attended the FBI National Academy and earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in non-profit and organizational management from The University of Dallas.  He currently serves as the Chairman of the Dallas Police Museum and is the former National Chair and Executive Director of the National Black Police Association. Other highlights of his career include serving as a Master Peace Officer, cultural awareness instructor, Islam and Middle Eastern instructor, crime prevention specialist, ethics and diversity trainer, incident command system trainer, and chemical agent instructor. He has over 20 career commendations and skilled in basic and intermediate Arabic.

Trevor Womack, Stockton, CA
Deputy Chief Trevor Womack joined the Stockton, California Police Department in 1992.

As Deputy Chief, he led the Logistics Bureau for one year, which included the Administrative and Technical Services Divisions, then assumed his current position heading the Operations Bureau. He is the second-in-command and responsible for two-thirds of the department's staff and budget, including the Field Operations Division (Patrol), Special Operations Division, and Investigations Division - along with more than 30 specialty programs such as Air Support, Canine, Crisis Intervention Team, Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), and the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. Deputy Chief Womack also has significant experience managing and investigating critical incidents,; implementing new technologies,; recruiting, training, and hiring.

Deputy Chief Womack earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from California State University Stanislaus, attended the FBI National Academy, and completed the California Peace Officer Standards and Training Executive Development Course. He earned his Master of Arts in Security Studies (Homeland Security and Defense) from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.


How You Can Participate:
You can participate in the interview process for our new Chief of Police.  Residents can complete an online form to ask a question of the applicants.  Please note, the deadline to submit your question is October 29, 2020, at 1 pm. Questions will be asked by the interviewing moderator during the live portion of the interview process.  The interviews will stream live through the City’s  YouTube Channel

About Salem Police Chief Position:
The Chief of Police is responsible for all law enforcement activities within the city. The chief ensures the public safety needs of the community are met through law enforcement services and effective community partnerships which protect and improve the social well-being and security of citizens. The chief must deliver a timely, well-thought-out response to patterns of crime and disorder that threaten the peace and safety of our community. Details about the Salem Police Chief Vacancy and Job Announcement can found here.

About the Recruitment Process:
Chief Jerry Moore announced his retirement plans last year.  Last summer, we invited community input about priorities for Salem’s next Police Chief and qualities you would like the person to exhibit.  Earlier this year, we hired a national public sector recruiting firm to help with the recruitment.  More than 20 candidates made it through initial vetting.  This week, a screening panel of community members, area law enforcement officials, and City leadership interviewed a diverse group of applicants.  They recommended extending interviews to two finalists, Trevor Womack and Malik Aziz.

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Burn Ban Lifted in Salem, Marion-Polk Counties - 10/16/20

Salem, Ore. - Marion and Polk County Fire Defense Boards have rescinded the burn ban. Open burning is now allowed within the Salem Fire Department response area.  A reminder that due to COVID-19, residents are asked to restrict burning as much as possible. 

City Reports Progress on Council Priorities - 10/13/20

Salem, Ore. --Salem’s annual City Council Policy Agenda is how the Council makes its priorities clear to staff and the community. Each October, we release our annual progress report on those priorities.  

The 2020 Policy Agenda is part of an annual cycle of budgeting, policy and program evaluation, financial forecasting, and reporting to the Council and community on progress. For 2020, priorities are organized around six result areas from the Strategic Plan:

  • Safe Community: Complete the new Salem Police Station, provide safety for bikers and walkers, prepare together for emergencies;
  • Welcoming and Livable Neighborhoods: Develop more affordable housing and provide aid to those experiencing homelessness, continue planning Our Salem and Salem Public Library seismic and safety upgrade;
  • Strong and Diverse Economy:  Focus economic activity in downtown, north downtown, and west industrial areas;
  • Safe, Reliable and Efficient Infrastructure: Continue to invest in safe drinking water, prepare asset management and bonding strategy;
  • Natural Environment Stewardship: Prepare Climate Action Plan; and
  • Good Governance: Connect and engage with our community, look at waste management fees, support revenue strategy for valued services, show progress with key performance indicators.

As this progress report is released, the City has started its Strategic Plan Update.  City Council will hold work sessions in November 2020 and January 2021 to discuss priorities, results from the annual Community Satisfaction Survey, and community and Council conversations.  The City Council may consider adoption of the Strategic Plan Update in February 2021. 

Find the Strategic Plan, and annual policy agendas, community reports, and satisfaction surveys here.

Survey Finds Salem Residents Satisfied with Core Services, Concerned About Homelessness

Homelessness and affordable housing are top concerns for Salem residents, according to the 2020 Community Satisfaction Survey, but they are generally satisfied with core City services.

Since 2016, the City has commissioned the Community Satisfaction Survey to better understand community priorities. Insights drawn from the survey and other outreach activities help City leaders plan for the future of Salem. Survey results factored into the Strategic Plan Update and the City Council Policy Agenda, the Council’s annual work plan and direction to the organization.

Core Services. Consistent with responses since 2016, almost eight of 10 residents are generally satisfied with core City services including police and fire protection, parks and recreation, library, and water and sewer services.  Residents also expressed satisfaction with the City’s protection of our natural environment and support of arts and culture.

Homelessness.  Homelessness and affordable housing remain top concerns. More residents (49%) list these issues as most important for Salem.  Since 2017, we’ve increased investment in affordable housing, allowed for more housing types, and initiated the Homeless Rental Assistance Program (see Meeting Housing Needs). Since its inception, more than 260 people in our community have been served through the program.

Other Needs.  Residents also see room for improvement in walking and biking safety, creating more job opportunities, and street maintenance.  The City has focused on walking and cycling safety in recent years.  Adding lighting, pedestrian crossing improvements and new bike lands has helped. We’ve also made investments in off-street bicycle and pedestrian trails. For more details, see Biking and Walking Improvements.  Residents also asked to hear from the City more often. The City produces a weekly email newsletter to help keep residents informed of policies and activities. It’s easy to sign up.

The 2020 Community Satisfaction Survey was conducted from September 1 to September 19, 2020 via cell and land-line telephone calls and an on-line option to both English and Spanish-speaking Salem residents. Measures were taken to ensure that survey responses accurately represented all areas of the City and the diverse backgrounds of its residents. 

 

Temporary Street Closure on Chemeketa Street NE for Railroad Repairs - 10/09/20

Beginning Mon., Oct. 12, 2020, at 7:00 a.m., Chemeketa Street NE will close to all traffic between 12th Street NE and 13th Street.  Local access will be maintained from 13th Street NE.  Bicycle and pedestrian detours will be in place. This closure is necessary for Union Pacific Railroad to complete repairs.  Chemeketa Street NE is expected to be open by Sat., Oct. 17.  Please use extra caution through this area through the week.

The  Current Road Conditions Map on the City of Salem website provides up to date information on scheduled or emergency road closures in Salem.  For additional information, please contact the City of Salem at 503-588-6311 or vice@cityofsalem.net">service@cityofsalem.net.

 

Annual Reports on Stormwater Management Plan and Stream Temperature Plan Open for Public Comment - 10/07/20

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem’s Stormwater Management Plan Annual Report and its plan to reduce stream temperatures are available for public comment through October 21, 2020.

In the Stormwater Management Annual Report, you will find information about daily actions performed by the City to care for the stormwater system and to help prevent pollution of local streams. 

One example is that our street sweepers swept a total of 14,485 miles of streets; this number equals more than half the number of miles around the equator! The amount of debris swept off the road roughly equals the weight of 54 large gray whales and the volume of leaves collected could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pools with more leaves bursting onto the deck!

The annual report regarding stream temperature, called the Temperature Total Maximum Daily Load Plan, documents the activities the City conducted to help reduce stream temperatures, including planting 2,404 native trees and shrubs along the streams at Orchard Heights Park and McKay Park.

The two reports document the City’s activities for fiscal year 2019-2020 (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020). The annual stormwater management report is a requirement of the City's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) MS4 Permit.

The MS4 Stormwater Annual Report and Total Maximum Daily Load Annual Report are open for a 14-day public comment period, beginning October 7, 2020, at 5 p.m., and closing October 21, 2020, at 5 p.m. Comments may be emailed to mwateroutreach@cityofsalem.net">stormwateroutreach@cityofsalem.net or mailed to Stormwater Services MS4 Comments, 1410 20th Street SE, Building No. 2, Salem OR 97302. 

City of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties Extend Burn Ban - 10/01/20

Salem, Ore. - Marion County Fire Defense Board has extended the area ban on backyard burning and land clearing or slash burning, due to continued above-average temperatures.

However, recent rainfall has reduced dry conditions in our communities, so some restrictions are being relaxed.

What is allowed?

  • BBQ or outside cooking fires in an approved device, fire ring or fireplace
  • Warming fires in an approved fire ring or fireplace. 

As a reminder, burning garbage is never allowed.   

Please check with the Department of Agriculture and your local fire agency before agricultural burning.

Those living in rural areas are urged to maintain their defensible space by monitoring growth surrounding homes and structures, and to maintain adequate access for firefighting equipment entrance and escape. 

Due to COVID-19, a request to voluntarily curtail outdoor burning is also in effect.

For More Information

For the most current burning information, in Salem, Keizer and Marion County Fire District #1, call 503-588-6524.  For those in all other areas of Marion County, call 877-982-0011

The City of Salem will distribute any updates through local media, its website, and social media channels.

For more wildfire prevention information and restrictions, visit Keep Oregon Green at the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Background

On September 4, 2020, both the Marion and Polk County Fire Defense Boards issued a total burn ban for all areas of both counties.  At the time, weather conditions were extremely hot and dry.  Open burning and recreational fires posed a hazard to persons and property throughout the entire City of Salem area.