Salida’s new City Council has an unusually packed agenda for its work session, set for 6:00 p.m. tonight, Monday December 4 in Council Chambers in the Touber Building, 448 E. First Street.
Process for work sessions
No decisions are made at work sessions, nor are the three major discussion topics yet slated for future formal council action. However, given their timeliness and the two new members of the council, the meeting tonight provides an opportunity to hear the give and take of all members in an informal setting.
The public is welcome to attend in-person or observe online; however, the public is muted and off-camera. To access the session remotely, please register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
First on the agenda is an update from the Extraordinary Teen Council (ETC), which will focus on the results of surveys the group has undertaken and reports on recent and upcoming events they have organized.
The bulk of the SCC’s work packet is the result of a survey on the future of the F Street Pedestrian Plaza. This is not the first survey the city has undertaken to gauge community response to the closure, which came about originally because of COVID-19 restrictions on gathering indoors for dining or other recreation.
Since the first F Street vehicle closure in 2020, its continuation has been the subject of debate every year; with advocates both for and against.
Opponents have questioned the need for the F Street closure, citing the lack of close-in parking downtown, inadequate handicapped patron access, and unfairness to merchants and other businesses not on F Street. The latest survey questioned participants about the amenities available during the closure, the effectiveness of the closure, and how often residents and visitors traveled downtown.
Parking in the core of downtown (or lack thereof) remains an evergreen issue regardless of the F Street vehicle closure. Because of this, the SCC is also considering a downtown parking program, possibly outsourced to a parking specialist contractor. Rounding out the “downtown” issues for consideration is a discussion of whether or not to ban the open carrying of firearms in the F Street area, prompted by the presence of such open-carriers who have staked out F Street.
An agenda, agenda packet, and instructions for remote access for tonight’s meeting can be found here.
Featured image: Salida City Council members sworn in after 2023 election. Left to right: City Clerk Erin Kelly, returning members Alisa Pappenfort and Dan Shore (Mayor), with new members Aaron Stephens and Suzanne Fontana. Treasurer Ben Gilling was ill and sworn in remotely. Merrell Bergin photo