Communities, Front Page, Oakridge/Westfir

City Council Regular Session Meeting July 7, 2022

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Oakridge City Hall Herald photo

By RICK ZYLSTRA/for The Herald

City Council Regular Session Meeting July 7, 2022

The meeting was called to order at 7:06 with the pledge of allegiance, followed by roll call with all councilors present, six on zoom and one present at city hall. With no additions, corrections or adjustments to the agenda, the meeting moved directly into Public Comment.

Public Comment

Public Comment was given via zoom, starting with Dan Barclay congratulating Mr. James Cleavenger on his promotion to the position of City of Administrator and thanked council for picking someone he feels will do the job with honor and integrity.

Trudy Hammond echoed Mr. Barclay’s sentiment and thinks the city now has the perfect team in leadership for years to come. Secondly, she read a prepared comment regarding a denial of her rights as an animal advocate when an animal was removed from her Safety Center. Trudy requested council invite David Rosengard of the Animal Legal Defense Fund to review our city’s animal ordinances.

Bryan Cutchen, prior city administrator, emailed a written public comment to council prior to the meeting. The letter, read by the mayor, described multiple mistakes found within the posted and approved budget. One council member wished to respond to the mistakes found and started to do so before the mayor could finish reading his comment.

The mayor continued to read the written comment after Mr. Cutchen requested his statement be read in whole before being admonished by the council. After providing responses to each of Mr. Cutchen’s findings, it was thought that the budget document that had been acquired by Mr. Cutchen from the City’s website the day before adoption, was possibly a draft version.

Council also went on to say the final budget document will be available on their website around July 16th, soon after it is presented to the State. Mr. Cutchen ended the interaction by providing a comment that not having the proper budget documents available to citizens is a problem for the council, council agreed.

Mayor and council Comments

Mayor read a statement prepared by the new City Administrator expressing the City’s condolences for the recent passing of previous Mayor Judy Rowland. Flags will continue to be flown at half-staff through July 11th in her honor.

The Volunteer Appreciation Group was briefly discussed. The council decided to move on with the three previously chosen councilors who would get something scheduled to get things moving.

Mayor Hollett also thanked the city staff for the many hours given to the 4th of July festivities. They helped make it a great event.

Consent Agenda

Consent Agenda approving meeting minutes of April 7th regular session, May 5th regular session, and the May 19th regular session, were unanimously approved.

League of Oregon Cities Legislative Priorities Ballot was presented. Council chose to review and take time to read through the information provided and revisit the councils’ priorities for their vote to the League of Oregon Cities.

Westfir Fire IGA

The contract to provide fire services to Westfir was negotiated by Mr. Cronin for the timeframe of July 1st, 2022, to June 30th, 2023. The Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) is for Oakridge to provide fire suppression response, training, dispatch, rescue services and other related services to the City of Westfir.

There was discussion of the schedule of payments and how Westfir had agreed to increase the amount by $18,391 each year for the next five years. Nonetheless, the contract presented was an annual one-year contract and could be negotiated by either party at the end each year. Council unanimously approved the IGA for fire services at a cost to Westfir of $35,191, to be billed quarterly at $8,797.75.

Westfir Police IGA

The contract presented to the council was negotiated by Mr. Cutchen and later by Mr. Cronin for the timeframe of July 1st, 2022, to June 30th, 2023. The IGA contract is for Oakridge to provide policing services to Westfir for 20 hours of patrol each month.  It also provides emergency response as needed. There was discussion of the schedule of payments and how Westfir had agreed to increase the amount by $15,000 each year for the next five years. The contract presented was an annual one-year contract and could be negotiated by either party each year. Council unanimously approved the IGA for police services at a cost to Westfir of $55,263, to be billed quarterly at $13, 815.

Lowell Police IGA

The contract was presented to council for the timeframe of July 1st, 2022, to June 30th, 2023. The contract is for Oakridge to provide policing protection services, patrol, enforcement, or related services to Lowell for an average of 40 hours per month, or 480 hours for the year. The rate for these services would be $66.85per hour, totaling $32,087.83 and to include a Motorola software license of $1,575.00. This contract represented a one-year contract and could be negotiated by either party at the end of each year. Council unanimously approved the IGA for police services at a total cost to Lowell of $33,662.83.

To wrap up the meeting City Administrator Cleavenger said even though the new job was like drinking from a fire hose, he was excited, proud and grateful to be selected, and hoped to live up to everyone’s expectations.

Mayor Hollett provided an update on the Willamette Activity Center sub-committee. At this time the council would like to invite citizens to participate on the subcommittee and are looking for individuals wanting to be a part of the building’s future.

Public Comment

Mr. Barclay requested clarification whether there would be a transfer of funds from general funds to emergency services corresponding with the amount of the Westfir Fire IGA. Council answered that the payments from the Fire IGA would go directly into the Emergency Services Fund for the Fire contract.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:34.

Rick Zylstra grew up in Oakridge. He attended the University of Oregon where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Geography, and a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning. He most recently worked for the City of Oakridge in both the Planning and Public Works Dept. Sunny Zylstra photo

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