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Salem City Council poised to pass road race oversights

Posted by Justin Rice  February 8, 2012 11:54 AM

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A city council subcommittee last night agreed to the creation of a master calendar for road races in Salem that will be merged with a schedule of other events slated to take place in the city.

The controversial measure was passed unanimously in the committee on public health, safety and the environment and will go to a vote of the full council tomorrow, Ward 1 City Councilor Bob McCarthy said.

McCarthy said the number of road races in the 8-square-mile city doubled from about eight or 9 in 2009 to about 18 last year and there has been no coordinated effort to make sure that the races don’t conflict with other races or other events in Salem.  

He said the new list will be merged with a month-by-month calendar of events in the city that city officials can refer to when races apply for permits.

McCarthy said the list of races will be overseen by Doug Bollen, the director of parks and recreation.

“There’s been no big picture oversight,” McCarthy said in a telephone interview this morning. “There’s going to be more coordination.  We’re not trying to micromanage road races. We don’t want to get into the middle of the whole thing. We identified a problem and said ‘How can shift road races around so we are giving more oversight to Doug Bollen and Parks and Recreation?’

“Let Doug take a more active role and work with the master calendar to see how to plug in races and make sure there’s no overlap.”

Justin A. Rice can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com.

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