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City of Oakridge Budget Meeting May 24, 2022

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Oakridge City Hall Herald photo

By GARY CARL/for The Herald  —  The first meeting to discuss the 2022 -23 Oakridge City Budget was called to order by acting interim City Administrator, Kevin Martin, (Martin is also the Oakridge Chief of Police) at 6 pm on May 24th, 2022.  It was held live at City Hall and available by Zoom.

This first meeting was administrative in nature wherein a budget committee Chair (Mayor Hollett) and the Vice Chair (Jerri Reed) were elected.  Brenna Chrisman was elected to be the citizen audit committee member.

Several budget committee members declared “Potential Conflicts of Interest”, as distinguished from an “Actual Conflict of Interest”.   Mayor Chrissy Hollett, Councilor Bjornson, April Allen and Brenna Chrisman all declared they had a potential conflict of interest.

Martin thanked the city council for approving the funds to allow Lane Council of Governments (LCOG) to provide assistance to him and Finance Director Colleen Shirley.

Martin also thanked Administrative Sergeant Mikal McPherson, Jackie Simms and Leah Brewer, who all pitched in to help develop the proposed budget.  Martin said Tina Wolf, a consultant from LOCG, was instrumental in helping them to establish “Beginning Fund Balances” and he doubted that he could have gotten it done without everyone’s help.

Martin also noted that Ms. Wolf will attend the next budget committee meeting.  Martin went on to say that it would be helpful to him and staff and provide for the most efficient use of time if questions could be submitted ahead of the budget meeting to allow himself and staff to formulate responses.

Mayor Hollett commented that in the past budget meetings were drawn out, and that perhaps with members submitting their questions ahead of the time, the meetings could be run more efficiently.

Councilor Kinyon asked whether verbal questions would still be allowed.

The meeting ended about 6:45 pm.

Below is the Oregon Revised Statute that describes the types of conflict of interest.

ORS 244.020

(1) “Actual conflict of interest” means any action or any decision or recommendation by a person acting in a capacity as a public official, the effect of which would be to the private pecuniary benefit or detriment of the person or the person’s relative or any business with which the person or a relative of the person is associated unless the pecuniary benefit or detriment arises out of circumstances described in subsection (13) of this section.

 (13) “Potential conflict of interest” means any action or any decision or recommendation by a person acting in a capacity as a public official, the effect of which could be to the private pecuniary benefit or detriment of the person or the person’s relative, or a business with which the person or the person’s relative is associated, unless the pecuniary benefit or detriment arises out of the following:

      (a) An interest or membership in a particular business, industry, occupation, or other class required by law as a prerequisite to the holding by the person of the office or position.

      (b) Any action in the person’s official capacity which would affect to the same degree a class consisting of all inhabitants of the state, or a smaller class consisting of an industry, occupation or other group including one of which or in which the person, or the person’s relative or business with which the person or the person’s relative is associated, is a member or is engaged.

      (c) Membership in or membership on the board of directors of a nonprofit corporation that is tax-exempt under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Gary Carl is a retired judge of the Lane County Justice Court. He currently lives with his partner, Lynda Kamerrer & their cat, Lucy. Gary can be reached at [email protected] Gary Carl photo

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