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PUBLIC COMMENTS RETAINED 7-20-16 LMS

Earlier this month, after discussing the possibility of eliminating one of the two opportunities for public input provided during each Salmon City Council meeting, the council voted to retain both of them. One takes place at the beginning of the meeting and one at the end. The opportunities are not a two way conversation with council members; they just allow the public to express opinions. Hearing public comments outside of a formal public hearing is not a legally required duty of the council; it is what the Salmon City Council elects to do.

During the first comment period at the July 20 council meeting Robin Phillips commended council members for continuing the comment opportunities. She said the second comment period provides a chance for those arriving late to still comment and also provides the opportunity to comment on what has taken place that evening.

Phillips also thanked City Clerk Mary Benton for alerting the council about door to door solicitations and the subsequent review of the city’s policy which prohibits them.

When the July 20 council business was concluded Phillips returned to the microphone to comment on that evening’s actions.

Responding to complaints received by city officials about the city sanctioned Street Dances held at Veterans Memorial Park during Salmon River Days she labeled the late night phone calls, the abusive language, the threats and texts from a neighboring residence, “harassment.” She said any consideration of moving the Street Dance out of town to the Sacajawea Center is letting the tail wag the dog. She said it reminds her of someone who buys a house next to a railroad and then complains about the trains going by. Phillips pointed out the city owned park is in a commercially zoned area of town and said rather than let the complainants dictate what events can and can’t be held at a city park the focus should be on letting the people know their actions constitute harassment.

Her second comment was regarding the change to the city budget the council ordered due to complaints about cutting the Salmon Outdoor School budget. Phillips said the city departments were asked to develop budgets and they worked hard to do so. She said the change was an example of the squeaky wheel getting the oil and she doesn’t think that’s a good way to do business.

Robert Dunlop noted the advertising budget for the Sacajawea Center is only $2,000. He said he can’t see how the attendance at the center can be increased without getting the word out that the center exists. He said that is like winking at a girl in the dark. “You know what you’re doing but she don’t.” Dunlop went on to say the city does a good job of keeping up city facilities but in his opinion the tax increase is because there are just too many facilities to keep up.

Dunlop complimented the businesses, volunteers and Steve Demick of SD’s Green Thumb Nursery for the hanging baskets of flowers along Main Street. He said he had a customer at his campground that intended to just drive through town but stayed four days just because the town looked so nice.

City Clerk Mary Benton commented on the council’s decision to change the budget by saying, “When you make a decision on the budget, and it was a good one, you should stick to it.” She said after so many hours of budget work the council is back to where it was in the beginning.


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