Salem City Council Affirms 2024 Priorities

Posted on January 11, 2024
  • Sustaining infrastructure and services tops 2024 City Council Policy Agenda.
  • Priorities guide budget development for the coming year.

Salem, Ore. — At its January 8 meeting, Salem City Council approved changes in its 2024 Council Policy Agenda that put sustaining infrastructure and services at the top of the priority list.

Council reordered priorities to reflect pressing issues for 2024 and limited resources:

  1. Sustaining infrastructure and services
  2. Engaging our community
  3. Planning for our future
  4. Responding to our sheltering crisis

“In addition to furthering work from 2023, our first priority is to ensure adequate funding to provide the essential services that our residents deserve,” the Mayor’s introduction to the Policy Agenda states. “We’ll begin 2024 by empaneling a task force to explore new, additional revenue sources and adjustment to fees to sustain services without a dedicated revenue stream.”

Through its annual Policy Agenda, the City Council makes its priorities for action clear to staff and the community. It also provides direction on aligning resources toward the Strategic Plan policy areas through the City’s budgeting process.

Changes to the Policy Agenda were discussed at a November 2023 work session where the Council heard about annual progress in 2023 including Salem Housing Authority’s 52-unit affordable housing at Yaquina Hall, the 75-bed Navigation Center and the one-stop Customer Service Center at Salem’s Civic Center. In June 2023, City Council adopted the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan. At a July 2023 work session, Council received a briefing on the Strategic Engagement and Communications Plan findings and recommendations.

The 2024 Policy Agenda identifies specific projects under each priority.

Priority 1 projects: Sustaining infrastructure and services:

  • Convene a community conversation about increasing revenue to continue community services,
  • Deliver projects in the Community Improvement Bond and report progress,
  • Continue to pursue opportunities to lower expenses and improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Priority 2 projects: Engaging our community:

  • Improve engagement and communications,
  • Expand neighbor to neighbor communications,
  • Incorporate equity in delivery of Salem programs and services,
  • Review City Charter,
  • Continue investment in Community-Engaged Policing,
  • Strengthen our community’s resilience and emergency response.

Priority 3 projects: Planning for our future:

  • Connect people and places, advancing Salem in Motion,
  • Advance housing production strategy,
  • Further Climate Action Plan,
  • Prepare solid waste policy.

Priority 4 projects: Responding to our housing and sheltering crisis:

  • Expand housing options to prevent homelessness in our community,
  • Respond to community complaints with clean-up at scattered unmanaged tent, car, and RV camping sights, and clean up accumulated trash,
  • Pursue partnerships and funding support for our most vulnerable, including funding to keep micro-shelter village communities and the Navigation Center open,
  • Transition more households into supportive housing,
  • Build more permanent supportive housing,
  • Support regional efforts through the Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance.

Related documents:

Salem Strategic Plan

2024 City Council Policy Agenda

2023 Annual Community Report

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