Ed Berg, Candidate for Salida City Council Ward 1
Candidacy Media Announcement Like many Salidans, I am a retired professional who escaped urban life by moving here. My wife Paula and I moved to Salida in 2005 with our daughter, son-in-law and infant grandson. Our goal was to be the village to help raise their child, but we found a larger village here, and our three generations continue to grow in Salida’s great mix of folks from many different walks of life. A diverse community like this needs broad-based governance, and this drives my involvement in efforts to protect its heritage, enhance its assets, and address its challenges. I have served in multiple roles in professional societies, and am familiar with budgeting, conflict resolution, and other aspects of representing diverse interests. I also serve on the Upper Arkansas Conservation District Board. The recent recession slowed down growth in Salida. It was a challenging time economically, but our family came to appreciate the easy-going pace of life here. Our kids were able to buy a home a few years ago, but times are changing and Salida is rebounding; they couldn’t afford a home now. I talk to neighbors every day, and they are all concerned about the lack of housing for both the younger and the older members of our community. I want to work to help solve this critical problem. Salida continues to attract people who want a more connected way of life than they can find elsewhere, but growth has its pros and cons. Sales tax revenues are increasing and some new businesses have opened, and more people are moving here who, like us, love what our town offers. Salida’s growth pains are much like small towns all across the West: housing shortages, rising cost of living, a shortage of jobs paying a living wage, and a clash of cultures from an influx of newcomers who want modern services and wish to contribute their skills to the community, but don’t always understand local issues and how things came to be. I ought to know: I was one of them. After ten years here, I still have a lot to learn, but I’ve come to know who to ask to find the information and insights that I need to make balanced decisions. The American West is a place of constant change. Salida is at a crossroad and needs thoughtful leadership and informed, engaged citizens if we are going to avoid the mistakes that other small towns have made. With foresight, cooperation, and willingness to learn from others, we can make some good choices for what Salida needs to be now, and what it will be in our future and in our children’s futures. This is why I am running for City Council. As your councilor for Ward One, I will need to know your concerns for our community and for your families. I will seek ways to provide housing and living-wage jobs here. I will work with the many organizations in the region to create new business and job opportunities. Through cooperation we will continue to build a community that is consistent with Salida’s values, and strives to meet every Salidan’s needs for now, and for the future.