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File #: 20-20    Version:
Type: Informational Report Status: Filed
File created: 1/14/2020 In control: City Council
On agenda: 2/18/2020 Final action: 2/18/2020
Title: 2020 Policy Agenda. Ward(s): All Wards Councilor(s): All Councilors Neighborhood(s): All Neighborhoods Result Area(s): Good Governance; Natural Environment Stewardship; Safe Community; Safe, Reliable and Efficient Infrastructure; Strong and Diverse Economy; Welcoming and Livable Community.
Attachments: 1. 2019 Progress Report, 2. Policy Agenda Issues for Consideration (November 18, 2019), 3. Policy Agenda Issues in Depth, 4. Tentative 2020 City Council Work Session Schedule, 5. Strategic Plan Result Areas, 6. Written Testimony received by 3:30 p.m. 1-21-20, 7. Written Testimony received by 5:00 p.m. 1-21-20, 8. Climate Action Audit, 9. Corrected - Climate Action Audit
Related files:

TO:                      Mayor and City Council   

FROM:                      Steve Powers, City Manager  





2020 Policy Agenda.   


Ward(s): All Wards    

Councilor(s): All Councilors    

Neighborhood(s):  All Neighborhoods    

Result Area(s): Good Governance; Natural Environment Stewardship; Safe Community; Safe, Reliable and Efficient Infrastructure; Strong and Diverse Economy; Welcoming and Livable Community.  





What issues shall City Council include in the City’s 2020 Policy Agenda?       






Provide policy direction on issues to include in the 2020 Policy Agenda.  





Through its annual policy agenda, City Council sets overall priorities and direction, aligning resources toward desired Strategic Plan result areas.  On November 18, 2019 City Council received an update on progress the City is making toward Strategic Plan (2017) priorities, the 2019 City Council Policy Agenda, and on-going service commitments (Attachment 1).  At the November 18, 2019 work session, City Council created a list of issues for consideration at a future Policy Agenda Work Session (Attachment 2).  


To assist City Council, staff have analyzed each issue for assessment of current practice, estimates of cost and operational impact, and recommended actions (Attachment 3). 

One conclusion from the analysis is that continuing current initiatives and projects will accomplish most Policy Agenda priorities without additional investment.   




2020 Policy Agenda Context.  The City is providing a robust response to community needs through long-standing service commitments, activities from the 2019 Policy Agenda, and significant building and infrastructure projects.  


Existing resources are allocated to support ongoing work toward Strategic Plan projects and initiatives carried forward from previous years.  These efforts include ongoing multi-year initiatives around affordable housing and homelessness, bicycle and pedestrian safety, community-wide emergency preparedness, environmental and climate action, and a revenue strategy to support valued services in addition to specific support to Our Salem, the new Police Station, the Library Seismic and Safety Upgrade, infrastructure investments for safe drinking water, restoration of the Willamette River, and a long-term bonding strategy. 

2020 Policy Agenda Issues  

Below are the issues from the November 18, 2019 work session, with recommended actions.  The number and letter designations refer to Attachment 2. For an explanation and analysis of the recommendations, refer to Attachment 3. 

Continuing initiatives

                     Lobby State legislature for mental health resources (1f)

                     Encourage employees to use alternate modes of transportation through Smart Commuter Program to include bus passes (2)

                     Focus economic development activities to specific geographic areas like the Downtown through an Entertainment Zone, redevelopment in the North Downtown, and the West Salem industrial area (4a, 4b, 4c)

                     Consider expanding the high-speed internet idea to the entire City (9)

                     Consider Library policies (like collection management, paid parking) (6a, 6b)

                     Increase transparency and trust with community through communications and engagement (10a - 10h)


Current and continuing Initiatives that would be enhanced with additional funding

                     Develop more affordable housing in our community (1a, 1b)

                     Increase safety for cyclists and walkers to include missing connections for safe routes throughout the City (8)

New investment required 

                     Plan and site a low barrier shelter (1c)

                     Develop a Climate Action Plan (7)

                     Establish an organized camping site for the unsheltered in our community (1g)

                     Expand the work of the Downtown Clean Team (1d)

                     Support mobile response unit for assistance to people in need (1e)


Consider in future Policy Agendas

                     Develop a mobile application for officers to access available shelter beds (1h) -

                     Relocate and harden emergency communication center (5)


Additional Council Direction

Policies to stabilize and possibly reduce waste management fees (3) may require a work session to provide specificity on available City actions and the City’s role in solid waste management.

Remove from Policy Agenda

Sobering center initiative (1i) 


Available Resources for Making New Investments

Policy agenda initiatives requiring new investment will also require trade-offs within the City’s budget or new funding.  Continuing current initiatives require budget resources. For example, the Police Station will require additional maintenance and technical support and creates an opportunity for a customer-focused redesign for the vacated space at the Civic Center. 


Continuing support for existing Strategic Plan projects and initiatives, and addressing critical ongoing operating needs, absorb most City Council, advisory board and commission, staff and organizational capacity, and available funding.  The Council’s time is also finite resource.  A tentative schedule for the City Council’s 2019 Work Sessions is attached (Attachment 4). 




City Council’s Policy Agenda helps define the Council’s priorities and provide policy guidance for the coming year. The policy guidance may include issues that require additional City Council or community discussion and engagement before any specific actions can be determined and resources allocated.  City Council forms its Policy Agenda prior to the annual budgeting process and before the City Manager’s Recommended budget is presented to the Budget Committee in April and May each year. 


The Policy Agenda report is organized around the community’s and Council’s expectations of service and desired results from the City or result areas.  The six result areas are based in the Strategic Plan’s vision, mission and values: Safe Community; Welcoming and Livable Community; Strong and Diverse Economy; Safe, Reliable and Efficient Infrastructure; Natural Environment Stewardship; and Good Governance (Attachment 5).


                     Courtney Knox Busch     

                     Strategic Initiatives Manager    



1. 2019 Progress Report.

2. Policy Agenda Issues for Consideration (November 18, 2019)

3. Policy Agenda Issues In Depth

4. Tentative 2020 City Council Work Session Schedule

5. Strategic Plan Result Areas