SALEM — Council Chairman Tom Baker recently announced new committee assignments for council members, using a more modern array of committees to meet the city’s needs.
Board members approved the new list of committees last month, keeping a few intact and revising the groupings of topics covered by the committees. Each committee includes an alternate member in case one of the three committee members is unavailable.
New committee names include Finance and Credits/Claims, Residential, Rules and Ordinances, Economic Development, Utilities, Downtown, and Security. The Committee of the Whole, which includes all seven Board members, remains the same.
Councilor Cyndi Baronzzi Dickey was again chosen as Protem Chair, automatically making her Chair of the Committee of the Whole. Councilor Andrew Null was again chosen as protea clerk, meaning he will serve as clerk in the absence of reappointed council clerk Debbie Bricker.
The composition of the new committees also eliminated the need for liaisons, with the chair of the committees serving in those areas assuming those roles. For example, schools fall under the new utilities committee which also covers utilities, streets, alleys and sidewalks, parks and the shade tree commission. Utilities, Parks and Streets, Alleys and Sidewalks were previously separate committees.
Part of the idea behind the committee redesign was to make better use of the time and talents of board members and to better define what each committee covers. There is a new Downtown Committee that covers all things Downtown including the Downtown Salem Partnership, Designated Outdoor Recreation Area, C2/C3 zoning issues, the design review board, historic district and businesses.
The residential committee covers the housing department, planning commission, zoning appeals, residential education, relationships and concerns. The safety committee covers police and fire services, emergency management services and communal matters.
The Finance and Rules and Orders Committees remain the same. The economic development remains intact, covering the sustainable opportunities development centre, M zoning issues, the tourist office and the chamber of commerce.
Null remains finance chair, joined by new councilor Sara Baronzzi and councilor Jake Gano, with Dickey as alternate.
Dickey remains Chair of Rules and Ordinances, with Councilor Dennis Plegge and Null and Councilor Ron Zellers as alternate.
Gano remains chairman of economic development with Null and Baronzzi and alternate Plegge.
Plegge will chair the residential committee, joined by Councilman Steve Faber and Zellers, with Null serving as alternate.
Baronzzi will chair the utilities committee, along with Zellers and Plegge and alternate Faber.
Faber will chair Downtown with Gano and Dickey and Baronzzi replacing.
Zellers will chair safety with Dickey and Faber and Gano alternate.
At the recent council meeting, Mayor John Berlin announced several appointments and reappointments to various councils, some of which required council confirmation, which the council provided. One nomination was for former councilman Bob Merry to fill a vacancy on the city’s Planning Commission, with the term ending December 31 this year.
There have been two new appointments, Robin Falk to the Board of Housing Appeals and Shelby Fender to the Tourism Board, with both terms ending on December 31, 2024.
Appointments include Lucille Karnofel to the Parks Commission, Karen Carter to the Board of Housing Appeals, Camille Franzen and Shane Franks, both to the Tourism Board, all whose terms end December 31, 2024. Tim Baillie was reappointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals, whose term ends May 31, 2025.
All appointments mentioned are volunteer positions.
The next Council meeting will not take place until 7:00 p.m. on February 15 since members have decided to meet at one meeting per month until further notice due to the increase in the number of pandemics.