Shady Cove proved once again that small town life is diametrically different to life elsewhere. Where else can folks speak through attorneys in one meeting, and receive awards in another? Where else do heroes rise out of grammar schools and gas stations? Where else do council members go from jeans to sports coats and ties with equal ease?
The week began with a Monday executive session, followed by a brief special meeting where council voted to have Attorney Kurt Knudsen reject a partial release agreement requested by Flywater, LLC. The only details presented in the public meeting were that Knudsen felt the agreement wasn’t in the city’s best interest and he would like to contact Flywater’s attorney to request additional time to review the ongoing zoning issue in its entirety.
However no attorneys were needed in Tuesday’s standing room only Shady Cove/Upper Rogue Chamber of Commerce meeting when Flywater owner Mike Malepsy received an award for “Shining a Light” on local businesses for his 34 years of business in and around the city.
Thursday’s afternoon council study session was quick and casual. With both Mayor Ron Holthusen and Councilor Gary Hughes absent, business was kept to a brief FEMA update by Lois DeBenedetti. Inspections are progressing and now that DeBenedetti is settling in there will be an increase of public outreach to encourage folks to come into voluntary compliance. Both DeBenedetti and the city want to avoid a return to the random selection of properties to inspect. The council was also reminded of the Feb. 28th Planning Commission public hearing on the floodplain ordinance. Lastly DeBenedetti introduced BDS employee Angela Barry who will be aiding the planning commission while DeBenedetti focuses on FEMA issues.
Thursday evening meeting, though also brief, was an affair to remember with awards given by both council and the sheriff’s department. Any event that can get Councilor Bill Kyle into a coat and tie is bound to be a memorable one indeed; one of “heroic” proportions if you will – and so it was. First on the agenda was the presentation of two Exemplary Citizenship Awards. These were presented by Undersheriff Rod Countryman on behalf of the sheriff’s department. The recipients, Lindsey Winsbury and Sara Lowe certainly exemplified “exemplary” with their bravery, clear thinking and quick actions. The two recognized an individual trying – for a second time – to pass a stolen check at the Shady Cove 76 station; where they are employed. Teaming up, one distracted him while the other called dispatch giving a description of the individual and their vehicle. That done, they refused the check, the suspect left and the sheriff was able to quickly apprehend him in the Happy’s Tacos parking lot. Location irony aside, sheriff’s found not only the balance of the stolen checks, but also drugs in the suspect’s vehicle and made an arrest.
As the well deserved applause faded for Winsbury and Lowe, up stepped the “local heroes the next generation” in the form of February’s students of the month; Jessica Kostenko and Amber Boyd. Both girls are excellent students and avid readers. Kostenko also has a knack for mathematics and Boyd writes with such skill she just might be a guest reporter for a certain local weekly paper some day.
As there can’t be a council meeting without a water related issue or two, council also voted to aid RVCOG with approximately $1000 in funding to finish up year 1 of the 5 year TMDL plan and approved a petition to intervene with Northridge Water Company’s request for exclusive rights to homes within the city. Why? If Northridge keeps those rights, the city can’t include those homes in grant proposals if/when they apply for monies for a city wide water system. The more of the city a water system would service; the better the chances the city has of acquiring grant money. If the city successfully intervenes Northridge can still supply water to their customers – if there ever is a city system – it’s years in the making. The settlement conference will be on February 23rd at the Edgewater Inn.
So pencil in all the upcoming meetings in your day planner, for this week has surely shown that in small towns, all voices are heard and good deeds rewarded.
By Christy Pitto
Of the Independent