This spring has brought a combination of fierce storms and seemingly endless rain to our area; peppered with the occasional calm, sunny day. The April 21st Shady Cove City Council meetings were the political equivalent of one of those days of sun. No hot topics were tackled, no heated arguments were had; heck there was even a celebration or two.
Spring cleaning was the theme of the afternoon starting with a Floodplain update from Lois DeBenedetti. There are only 2 open files remaining from the original 26 on FEMA’s “naughty list” and she and Administrator Danise Brakeman are continuing to work on ways to incentivize folks to apply for voluntary compliance. In the cleaning vein, Spring Cleanup Days was also tackled. Last year the city spent $5500 on the event and just can’t manage a similar bill in ’11. To that end they’ve negotiated a new deal with Southern Oregon Sanitation and Cleanup Days plural will become Cleanup Day singular. Additionally only household trash will be taken in May; woody stuffs and leaves will have to wait their turn for pickup until Fire District 4’s fall cleanup. By way of cleaning up the streets the city will pursue a 1 year trial contract with Jackson County for road maintenance.
Last on the afternoon docket was a discussion of how the city can possibly replace soon to retire Public Works Director George Bostic. With Bostic’s retirement date of May 27th looming and pleas for him to stay proving futile, Brakeman will soon run an ad to hire someone to take on at least some of Bostic’s duties. Few in the public works arena these days have Bostic’s expertise, so likely some of his duties will need to be “farmed out” to Public Works Management or a similar firm while the new hire tackles the balance of Bostic’s one man show.
The evening began with lots of praise and applause as multiple awards were handed out to deserving folk. Students of the month Abigail Alexander and Anna Evans each accepted their certificates with grace while presenting sound suggestions to the city under the heading of “if I were on the council I would…” Evans would have more youth oriented, well supervised social events and Alexander would throw an annual parade to celebrate the city. Next to receive an award was CSO Barry Moore. Moore took his award with barely a hint of a smile, feeling it was a bit silly to give a guy a plaque for just doing a job he is so passionate about. The sheriff’s office felt differently as Sergeant Nate Striker lauded Moore with praise and insisted he suffer the crowd’s enthusiastic response.
Then business was cranked out at a high rate of speed. There was the second reading of the amendment to the zoning ordinance authorizing discretion on T1 & 2 applications. On the tail of that Brakeman mentioned that soon she will be asking council to attend planning commission meetings only “as needed”. Council expressed some concern, to which Brakeman replied Debby Jermain would act as planning secretary and it would encourage commission Chair Erin Elder to step up her leadership. Brakeman feels Elder should lead more in the vein of Mayor Ron Holthusen and currently the commission is “seeking leadership outside their body”. No decision was made as the formal request for Jermain to take over a secretary will take place at a May meeting.
In quick succession Cheryl Holthusen was appointed to the Public Safety Committee (Mayor abstained), a resolution to establish a tourism grant was passed, the sheriff’s contract was renewed and the HGE’s draft Water Master Plan was accepted as final. All in all a good sunnys days work was done.
By Christy Pitto
Of the Independent