Thursday, September 08, 2005

local politics

beth and i rode our bikes to yesterday's open forum for councilmen-at-large (councilpeople) and mayor. heard the candidates speak to the issues and answer questions submitted by the townspeople in the audience. there were about 250 people there, and even though Salem has a lot of diversity in its population, the population of this forum was about 98 percent white. which was weird. anyway we have a coal power plant in salem. a company called Dominion runs it, and apparently they are more responsible and accountable than PG&E used to be in running it. but this is a coal power plant... even though it may not spit black smog up into our sky, it gives people cancer, and generally lowers the health and well being of salem citizens. not one candidate approached the issue of the powerplant from anything but a financial perspective. "your residential taxes have gone up by 62 percet in the last 3 years and the powerplant is our biggest tax base! we can't afford to lose it!" i mean... i guess i see the point. you can't fund a $105million budget and have adequate services for 42,000 people without some good industry to provide some tax dollars. and at least the powerplant is not near the hospital... but there are 65 acres of land that could be used for some clean industry or even alternative power generation. i'm going to do some research on the power plant and viable, profitable alternatives that could exist on 65 acres of land...


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