To the editor:

The city council met on a busy Thursday night in October in Salem.

What we heard from some of our council was logic and support for an obviously helpful ordinance.

From a choice few, we heard that they still don’t support letting seniors, young people and residents who staff our service industry live in accessory dwelling units, also known as garages, basements, attics — the literal Harry Potter under the staircase of apartments.

Why, you ask? Why would they vote against a badly needed, and usually cheaper, housing option?

Because from their mouths: they don’t want apartments in R1 zones. This isn’t a zoning issue for them really. It’s about not allowing apartments anywhere near single-family homes.

These aren’t short-term rentals. They’re literally just apartments that allow for homeowners with a little less income to make money off of their homes and for people who can’t afford a luxury apartment to live in Salem.

We’re hearing the message loud and clear: Some of our councilors don’t care about our young people trying to start their lives and our elderly trying to stay in their family homes.

They talk in circles about “common-sense solutions” but won’t pass proven solutions. It’s embarrassing to be watching people who are supposed to be running our city refuse to pass logical ordinances that would help alleviate housing issues.

Ask yourself: Why re-elect those who can’t do what is needed for our city?

Cheryl Rafuse


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