Strategy for Salem

Jim Wallace is committed to making a difference for our children and the future of our community. That’s why he’s running for Salem City Council. (Please vote May 5.)

Stronger Schools

We need a school board that will establish a clear vision and high expectations for quality teaching, engaged learning, and effective school leadership. Strong schools equal economic opportunity for our children.

  • We need to mandate that Salem Schools will take advantage of all positions offered by the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School so that children interested in the sciences and research have more opportunity to develop their skills.
  • We need to mandate continuous improvement within our schools and not be satisfied with being average.
    • According to the Virginia Department of Education school quality profiles, our schools have become close to average and are not headed in the right direction. (See the data here.)
    • According to Great, a leading national nonprofit that gathers and provides school information for parents, Roanoke County schools are doing better than Salem. (See the data here.)
    • School Digger aggregates state wide school performance data. See how Salem compares to other state wide schools. Salem schools statewide rankings dropped another 11 positions last year putting as at 44 out of 132 districts. (See the data here.)
  • We need to address teacher morale so Salem can hold on to great teachers.
  • We need to do more to root out drugs and vaping from our high school.

Revamped Economic Development

Salem’s last comprehensive plan for the entire city was created in 2012 and it contained some economic development objectives, many which appear to remain unfulfilled, and progress reports are not readily accessible.

  • We have a comprehensive economic development plan for downtown and are beginning to implement some of the objectives.
  • Economic development activities need to become more proactive so we can grow revenues, which will allow us to minimize tax increases.
  • Salem needs to develop a plan to help it grow and retain younger generations who want to live and raise families here.

Stronger City Government

Create more accountability, transparency, and due diligence.

  • Develop a strategic and operational plans for every department to move the comprehensive plan forward.
  • Each item on the plan should have an objective and associated with each objective should be performance measures that allow the city to demonstrate accountability for results with progress reports.
  • We need better due diligence before committing city resources.