The other two amendments negotiated by Ryan and Driscoll also have merit and are welcome additions. Requiring the developer to begin work within a year adds a degree of certainty to a project many have grown to believe will never happen. I also agree with the “hold harmless” agreement protecting the city should anyone be injured by toxic waste at the site. While I tend to believe the assertions of the mayor and developer of the site that proper testing has been done and that the site can be built on safely, it never hurts to have this legal protection in place.
Again, I am glad to read the council could come to a consensus and move this project forward. As council president, Jerry Ryan did what so many talented councilors before him were unable to do. Recognizing the possibility of such a valuable project not coming to fruition, rather than simply voting against the project as he did in 2009, he worked with the mayor to amend the bond proposal to the point where he and his colleagues could vote for it. This is the kind of working toward compromise that the residents and businesses of Salem need from our elected officials.
James R. Willis Jr.