Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Salem City Council meets Monday to consider 2023 budget

June 13, 2022 at 2:32pm

Salem-Keizer School Board considers next budget, recognizing June as Pride Month

The Salem-Keizer School Board on Tuesday will adopt the school district's budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year, which starts July 1 and consider a proclamation recognizing June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

AGENDA

The board will hold a hearing on the budget with public testimony before adopting it. Board members can either adopt the budget as approved by the budget committee or make adjustments.

The $1.4 billion draft budget showed school district leaders want to add more teachers to the district’s programs serving non-native English speakers and shift more educators to address student behavioral problems. The proposed budget largely maintains current district services and staffing despite a projected decline in student enrollment.

The board also will consider a proclamation recognizing June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. The proclamation was written by a group of Salem-Keizer students and staff with community feedback.

"The intent with this proclamation was to capture a sense of celebration that also shows clear and positive support of the LGBTQ+ K-12 students and staff in the district," according to a district report.

Board members will consider appointing two student advisers to the school board. Previously, the board each year has appointed one student as a non-voting member. Two students, Raylin Brennan and Isaac McDonald, applied for the position for the 2022-23 school year. To serve on the board, students must have one year of experience on the district-led student equity committee or student advisory committee.

The board will also consider extending a contract with Valley Inquiry Charter School by five years. The Salem school is expanding. It added sixth grade students this year with plans to expand to seventh grade next year and eighth grade in the 2023-24 school year.

The expansion includes infrastructure upgrades that require a $1 million loan. "The loaning agent has requested a reasonable level of assurance that (Valley Inquiry) will be in operation through the duration of the loan," according to a district report.

To participate: The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 14 and will be held online only. View the meeting live on YouTube using the links below.

English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfYe57I50rs

Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du-OjI4fUXM&ab_channel=CapitalCommunityMedia

The meeting will also be broadcast on CC:Media, channel 21.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

June 13, 2022 at 1:44pm

Salem City Council will discuss upcoming budget, dropping library fines

Salem City Council Chambers. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Citizens get a chance to have their say about the recommended city budget for next year during a public hearing scheduled Monday by the Salem City Council.

AGENDA

The city's budget committee recommended a budget to the council on May 11. City officials said last month that Salem is nearing a "budget cliff" where the cost of providing residents with basic services like firefighting and building inspections is outpacing the city’s ability to collect taxes and other revenue. 

The city’s proposed budget for the upcoming year calls for spending a total of $736 million, about a 5% increase from the 2021-2022 budget which goes through July 1. Of next year's total, $165 million is budgeted for the general fund, which pays for most routine city services including police, fire, municipal court and library and parks operations. That's a 1.7% increase from this year.

Councilors will also consider fee schedule for the 2023 budget year. The city produces a schedule every year for various departmental fees for services including zoning, ambulance and fire safety, water and sewer usage, and building permitting and inspections.

The council will consider a new city code establishing the Salem Public Library's Fine Free Policy. A city committee in late March selected Kim Carroll as Salem's next city librarian.

Carroll recently told Salem Reporter she intended to eliminate library fines, a desire she said stemmed from her experience as a child, when she felt she couldn’t use the library because she owed money.

Councilors will also consider extending a lease with service provider Church at the Park for Village of Hope, the city’s first micro shelter location, at 2640 Portland Rd. N.E. until Nov. 14, 2023. The lease for the city-owned property is currently set to end May 14, 2023.

To participate: The meeting starts at 6 p.m. Monday and is streamed live on YouTube. Submit comments on agenda items by 5 p.m. the day of the meeting at [email protected]. Public comment and testimony may also be provided during the meeting via Zoom. Please pre-register between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting at the following link: https://www.cityofsalem.net/Pages/Public-Comment-at-Salem-City-CouncilMeeting.aspx

-Ardeshir Tabrizian