Newly elected Eagle Point City Council members are being put through their paces. First, they had to make a decision about a council person. Not easy when there were several very qualified people. And last week, they had seven candidates for five planning commission positions. But that wasn’t all. After the regular meeting ended, they met in executive session (closed to the public) to receive information they can’t talk about at this time. And they learned meetings can be long, last week’s lasted nearly 3 ½ hours.
Much of last week’s meeting was the exception rather than the rule for most council meetings, but the “newbies” learned quickly about public meting laws–where there are no secret ballots and decisions must be made in public to the other end of the specrum, where Oregon law permits a sharing of certain information, such as real estate discussion and labor negotiations, to be made in private or in executive session. But no decision may be made in those sessions.
The council may have to appoint members to fill vacancies on the economic development commission and perhaps on the park and recreation commission. If they didn’t have broad shoulders after the first or second council meeting, they surely will be by the time they fill all the commission positions.
Last week’s planning commission candidates included the three incuments; Suzi Collins Sharon Coupe and Steve Hunter as well as Rachel Chartier, Mary Phillips, Jana Tepper and Kevin Walruff.
Chartier lived in Eagle Point as a child. More recently she has lived in Medford where she spent seven years on the Medford Urban Renewal Board of Directors, served on the West Medford Coalition, and has spent 15 years in the field of social services.
Phillips is a member of the Little Butte Watershed, has extensive background in environmental horticulture, worked in urban planning for the Marin County Planning Department and spent 10 years as the horticulturist/landscape supervisor for Children’s Fairlyland in Oakland, Ca.
Tepper was unable to attend the meeting but asked to be considered for economic development. She has a background in site design, CAD drafting and construction.
Walruff is a detective sergeant with the Medford Police Department. He has been involved with the July 4th events and the Eagle Point Community Association. Additionally, he has some familiarity with the planning process as his father was still on the commission at the time of his death.
After discussion, councilors appointed four year members as Collins, Hunter, Chartier and Walruff, and Coupe as a two-year member.
Under audience comments a homeowner in the Eagle View subdivision said he is losing the foundation under his house. He said there is a 2 to 3 inch drop in his house and he can’t close the doors to the closets and rooms. He said there are water leaks in the street. The homeowner said he has talked to the county, to public works and to the city administrator and was addressing council because nothing has happened. He said he has had an estimate of $12,000 to $21,000 to repair it.
Rob Miller, public works, apologized for not getting back to him and said he would meet with him.
A father and young daughter came to the podium to express frustration over missing the sign up deadline for Jr. Eagles. He said he and his wife have three children who have participated in the program for seven years and have never been late. This year his wife came to the city at 8:08 a.m. Monday to register their daughter to sign up and was told it was too late.
City staff explained the cutoff time was actually the previous Friday at 5 p.m. but they allowed any registration that came over the weekend to be included.
A compromise was offered by councilor Alan Curriston and agreed upon by the family and city staff that said if a vacancy occurred the child would be first in line to fill the slot.
The updated FEMA ordinance was unanimously approved. There were no comments from the audience regarding the minor changes being made by the federal government on the flood plain.
One item not on the agenda concerned the lamp posts at Centennial Plaza. While the lights were to be the same as those on Platt and on the Dahack Bridge, the poles were to be black to fit the black accessories in the Plaza. The poles will be removed temporarily and sandblasted to fit the Plaza decor.
Eagle Point will dedicate Centennial Plaza, Main and Royal, at 1 p.m. Feb. 12. That will be followed by a reception at the Ashpole Center with many displays of the history of Eagle Point.. The public is encouraged to attend.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent