Conrad Prosniewski Answers Our Questions
Taxes, Development, and Housing
QUESTION 1 – Salems tax rate, both residential and commercial, has consistently gone up around 2% every year. Do you feel that this “stability” best serves the city, or should we take another approach? Please be specific as to the impact on city services that your approach would bring.
We all understand that taxes will increase due to several factors such as inflation, wage increases, and costs of products and services. It is the duty of our city leaders to see to it that our spending is done in an effective and responsible manner. As long as tax increases are fairly proportional and maintained with strict oversight, our city services, through proper administration, should effectively serve the citizens of Salem.
QUESTION 2 – Salem has, and is, undergoing a long-term development boom that has impacted every neighborhood in the city. Should Salem take steps to slow development?
As strange as it may appear, data shows Salem is developing at a slower rate than our surrounding communities. We have already developed most of our open spaces and have little room to grow further. The main concern is what we will do with our surplus properties and how we will do it. Neighborhood impact is the number one priority in making these decisions and the input from our residents must be taken seriously. We should not slow development, we should do it wisely.
QUESTION 3 – Entry level workers, lower income families, hospitality employees, and seniors find Salem to be an unaffordable place to live. How can we best plan to meet the housing needs across all demographics in Salem?
I believe that affordable housing is all about diversity, not in our culture but in our housing. In order to prosper we must grow in a manner to reflect the diverse needs of our community which means developing properties that affordably house those who help our community grow.