Although the bill promotes some “smart growth,” it also significantly streamlines oversight, which is pretty much what brought down our financial services industry — and nearly our country — a few short years ago. And from Salem’s point of view, we have so many beautiful historic buildings, neighborhoods and vistas to protect that our development processes should be as watertight as possible. Development shouldn’t be rushed through the process and misused as a cash register. The real strength of Salem’s local economy is our historic tradition, which will not benefit from “streamlined” development.
It’s a shame that special interests overtook a piece of well-meaning legislation. This bill should be rejected and a more responsible one written.