Domingo Dominguez Answers Our City-Wide Master Plan Question
Is The Legacy Master Plan Still Relevant?
The City of Salem City Wide Master Plan was written in 1979 under Mayor Jean Levesque. It was last updated in 1996 under Mayor Neil Harrington. Does this Master Plan, as written and updated remain relevant to the needs of the city in the 21st Century?
No, the master plan is not relevant to our current needs in the 21st Century. A lot has changed in twenty years. We need to revise the plan and adapt it to our current situation. In order to do that we need comprehensive input from all residents, and to look at new demographics and trends that have changed our community. The first step in updating the plan is to evaluate what we accomplished from the old plan, and what we did not. Next, we have to revise the plan and prioritize biggest action items we must take to improve our city. After, we can develop how we will measure success, implement the plan, and collect data.
One thing I believe is important is to make it easier for residents to get information. The City has a sustainability plan, buildingsalem.com has updates about major city construction projects, imaginesalem.com has information about affordable housing, Salem For All Ages has information about supporting our seniors, and we have a website that shows all of the capital projects in Salem. When we revise our master plan, we can provide easy access for all residents to view the work we will prioritize and have links to all relevant city projects and programs in one place. We have a great foundation for developing a new master plan because the city is already using multiple city plans to improve different aspects of Salem. To create a new master plan, we must communicate how all of these plans can work together and ask what we are missing to fulfil the needs of Salem residents.