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Tom Andersen

for State Representative
House District 19
 
 
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A Proven Record of Accomplishment On the Salem City Council
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September 29, 2015

Salem Council axes Urban Tree Commission

The Salem City Council voted on Monday not to establish an Urban Tree Commission, after a public hearing and first reading of an ordinance proposing changes to the city code dealing with removal of trees on city-owned property. Councilor Tom Andersen was the sole vote against the motion.

November 29, 2016

Benjamin's time on council ends in censure

City councilors unanimously voted to censure Daniel Benjamin and accept his resignation to open the seat for northeast Salem's Ward 6. The meeting came after Benjamin drew fire for a a post he shared on his Facebook account. Tom Andersen said he had received 130 emails from Salem residents that expressed "disgust" over the post. "I find that this is a reprehensible act," he said. "It has no place in America and no place in Salem."

February 28, 2017

Council makes Salem 'inclusive city'

Supporters of a resolution making Oregon's state capital an "inclusive city" crowded into city council chambers Monday for what turned out to be an emotional meeting of officials and members of the public. The resolution brought forth by Councilor Tom Andersen resembled the idea of sanctuary cities, which have come into the spotlight following the election of President Donald Trump. Andersen appeared to be moved to tears as he thanked people for coming to the meeting. 

 

March 30, 2017

Fight during Trump rally probed; 2 injured

Oregon State Police are investigating the fight that sent two people to the hospital during counter protests at the Oregon State Capitol. Tom Andersen, Salem City Councilor for Ward 2, was at the Governor's Cup Coffee Roasters on Court Street NE Saturday when he saw masked protesters dressed in black on their way to the protest. No matter what your political views are, that is asking for trouble," Anderson said. Andersen condemned the violence at Monday's Salem City Council meeting and said the conduct displayed at the protest from either side of the political spectrum was inappropriate. "Society is already divided and we don't need that in our country," Andersen said. "This is not the way we have civilized discourse."

July 17, 2017

Legislature funnels millions into region

The Legislature committed to fund a seismic retrofit of the Center Street Bridge, addressing a long term concern that West Salem would be left unable to access emergency services across the river in the event of a large earthquake. "We have to take action to protect the things we have so they don't come down in an earthquake," said Salem City Councilor Tom Andersen, a vocal supporter of the retrofit. "The sooner we get started on this the better."

October 10, 2017

Council approves garbage rate increases

Garbage rates will slowly ratchet up for Salem residents over the next two years after city councilors approved a set of increases. The first round of new rates will kick in Jan, 1, 2018. Councilor Tom Andersen was the sole "no" vote in the room.

April 11, 2018

Salem OKs plan for foot, bike path

The Salem City Council on Monday approved a plan to construct a bike and pedestrian path connecting the Capitol Mall and Salem Parkway areas. The decision followed a debate over whether to include last-minute additions proponents expect will slow traffic near the Oregon School for the Deaf.  Councilor Kaser changed her motion to add speed bumps close to the School for the Deaf.

Soon afterward, Councilman Tom Andersen tacked on an amendment to Kaser's motion to introduce a 20-mile-per-hour speed limit on the west side of the school, along Maple Avenue NE. "I see there's a bigger safety issue right now."

May 12,2018

Councilor proposes plastic bag ban

Councilor Tom Andersen will move Monday "that Council direct staff to research and prepare an ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags in the City of Salem," according to the city agenda. Andersen told the Statesman Journal he has been thinking about a plastic bag ban since he joined the council in 2015. "This vote is starting the ball rolling," he said. "I know there is a whole lot of support for it. 

June 8, 2018

Water advisory may be lifted Friday

City officials received passing water results Thursday from samples taken earlier in the week, but they still need one more day of safe results be-fore lifting the city's do-not-drink advisory.

The water warning, reissued Wednesday with the potential to lift Friday, has also given city officials a second shot to improve communications between themselves and the public. Public criticism became intense at public meetings and on social media during the original advisory that ended Saturday. City Councilor Tom Andersen said recent days have "led to a loss of confidence in the Salem water that I am sure we can restore." Andersen said there have been "clearly some communication issues in how this was handled." That applies to both how city staff communicated with councilors and how the city communicated with residents, he said.

June 8, 2018

Councilor wants limit on resolutions

A Salem City Councilor wants to limit what he and other councilors address with city resolutions after his colleagues approved one last month to decry President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy. Councilor Brad Nanke wants the City Council to stick to city business. Should councilors weigh in on issues they have little authority over or should they keep out of the fray, committing themselves to the municipal matters — zone changes, bond measures, public works projects — they were elected to oversee? Councilor Tom Andersen is arguing that even if local resolutions don't have any effect, "morally, it's the right thing to do." "We want to indicate that all people are welcome in our city," Andersen said. "If people don't feel welcome in our city, that makes your city a weaker, less complete city."

December 16, 2018

Council member says why he voted to reject Costco by Councilor Tom Andersen

I voted against the project on three grounds. First, it would destroy either eight or eleven white oak trees, which are protected under city statutes. Second, Costco is not a "retail store" as that is defined by Salem statutes. Third, I believe that the mandated traffic studies were flawed and showed less traffic than the site would actually produce. 

April 14, 2020

Salem to enforce tree policy

Nine Salem property owners who have illegally trimmed or cut down city street trees over the past four years must pay $107,220 for their restoration, in addition to fines already imposed. That includes $38,220 in restoration costs owed by lawyers Richard and Dan Gatti, who illegally topped six city-owned trees over the 2019 holiday season, essentially destroying them. City councilor Tom Andersen said he thinks the amount is fair. "These are huge trees. They cannot be replaced," Andersen said. "These trees are in my neighborhood, my ward. They were taken down by an office full of attorneys. That was a very gross failure on the part of that attorney firm. That to me is unacceptable."

May 28, 2020

Council approves grant program to help small businesses hurt by COVID-19

Nearly $400,000 in funding will soon be available for small businesses in Salem impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic after Salem City Council passed a motion Tuesday allowing the creation of a grant program. City officials said the program is expected to provide funding for about 100 local businesses to help with reopening, staffing, inventory, protective equipment, rent and utilities. "I think this is wonderful," councilor Tom Andersen said during the meeting. "I urge everyone in the small business community in the affected areas to apply for a grant. Hopefully, we can get everybody something."

May 28, 2020

Councilors question response to Proud Boys rally

Several Salem city councilors are calling out some participants in an Oct. 17 Proud Boys march, and asking why police allowed them to drink alcohol while carrying guns in Bush's Pasture Park.

During Monday's City Council meeting, councilor Tom Andersen, who lives near the park, said he received "tons of emails from citizens who are rightfully disturbed" by march attendees who donned tactical gear, carried guns and allegedly openly drank and made threats against people. "This is our park, and persons and their families should be able to use it without fear of mortal danger," Andersen said in a letter to the police chief and city leaders. "I understand that these dangerous people are looking for a confrontation to justify their cause, and I understand the desire of the SPD to not give them what they want, but we are beyond the 1st Amendment here."