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MAYOR NEWSLETTER for May 2024

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Significant City Council Actions

May 2, 2024 – Regular Session

Motion: Councilor Brewer moved to direct the CA to have transactions 135672, 136243 and 135699 reviewed for

accuracy and included in the 24/25 budget proposal as needed. Councilor Kinyon seconded the motion. Vote: Bjarnson (aye), Mayor Cutchen (aye), Hollett (aye), Tarman (aye), Kinyon (aye), Coker (aye), Brewer (aye). Motion passed 7-0.

Motion: Councilor Brewer moved to direct the CA to have the remaining prior year transactions reviewed for

oakridge,covid-19 clinic, vaccinations,bryan cutchen
Mayor Bryan Cutchen

accuracy and included in the 24/25 budget proposal as needed. Vote: Brewer (aye), Bjarnson (aye), Hollett (aye), Kinyon (aye), Coker (aye), Tarman (aye), Mayor Cutchen (aye). Motion passed 7-0.

Motion: Councilor Tarman moved to approve $4000 in OIP funds for the OIP Pump Track Geotechnical Study. Councilor Brewer seconded the motion. Vote: Tarman (aye), Kinyon (aye), Coker (aye), Mayor Cutchen (aye), Brewer (aye), Bjarnson (aye), Hollett (aye). Motion passed 7-0.

Comment: These funds would be used in conjunction with $5,000 of matching funds from Lane County. This study is a prerequisite to apply for a larger, $25,000 for the conceptual design of a pump track, which has the potential to bring many more visitors to Oakridge.

 

Motion: Mayor Cutchen moved to the council requests the charter review subcommittee to develop a realistic target completion date. Councilor Tarman seconded the motion. Vote: Brewer (aye), Bjarnson (aye), Tarman (aye), Mayor Cutchen (aye), Coker (aye), Kinyon (aye), Hollett (aye). Motion passed 7-0.

Comment: I asked for an expected finish date to see if the city charter amendment would be ready to go on the ballot for the November 2024 election.

 May 16, 2024 – Regular Session

 Motion: Councilor Hollett moved to approve Kristyn Dodge’s application for seat 2 on the budget committee, for a 1 year of a vacated 3-year term, expiring at the end of December 2024. Vote: Coker (aye), Mayor Cutchen (aye), Brewer (aye), Tarman (aye), Hollett (aye), Bjarnson (aye), Kinyon (aye). Motion passed 7-0.

Motion: Councilor Brewer moved to approve the street closure of 1st Street between High and Beech Streets on Saturday, May 4th from 10:30 -12:30pm for the Tree Planting Festival Parade. Councilor Hollett seconded the motion. Vote: Tarman (aye), Kinyon (aye), Mayor Cutchen (aye), Brewer (aye), Bjarnson (aye), Hollett (aye). Motion passed 6-0.

Motion: Councilor Tarman moved to approve the Community Yard Debris Program memorandum of Understanding with LRAPA and SWS/Oakridge Air and to allow the CA to sign it. Vote: Brewer (aye), Bjarnson (aye), Tarman (aye), Kinyon (aye), Hollett (aye), Mayor Cutchen (aye). Motion passed 6-0.

Motion: Councilor Tarman moved to accept the $5,000 contribution from Travel Lane County and to collaborate with them to apply for an Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Grant for a pump track feasibility study. Councilor Brewer seconded the motion. Vote: Mayor Cutchen (aye), Hollett (aye), Tarman (aye), Bjarnson (aye), Kinyon (aye), Brewer (aye). Motion passed 6-0.

Motion: Councilor Brewer moved to enter the Facebook discussion into the record and have It available online and at city hall. Vote: Hollett (aye), Tarman (aye), Coker (aye), Brewer (aye), Mayor Cutchen (aye), Bjarnson (aye), Kinyon (aye). Motion passed 7-0.

Motion: Councilor Brewer moved to approve the alcohol permit for the 2024 Bus Fair. Councilor Hollett seconded the motion. Vote: Mayor Cutchen (aye), Brewer (aye), Tarman (aye), Coker (aye), Kinyon (aye), Hollett (aye). Motion passed 6-0.

 Motion: Councilor Hollett moved to approve the alcohol permit for the 2024 Concerts in the Park. Councilor Tarman seconded the motion. Vote: Tarman (aye), Coker (aye), Brewer (aye), Mayor Cutchen (aye), Kinyon (aye), Hollett (aye). Motion passed 6-0.

 Motion: Councilor Brewer moved to approve the alcohol permit application for the 2024 Sasquatch Festival. Councilor Coker seconded the motion. Vote: Brewer (aye), Hollett (aye), Kinyon (aye), Coker (aye), Tarman (aye), Mayor Cutchen (aye). Motion passed 6-0.

 Motion: Councilor Tarman moved to approve the alcohol permit application for the 2024 Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder. Councilor Brewer seconded the motion. Vote: Tarman (aye), Kinyon (aye), Coker (aye), Mayor Cutchen (aye), Brewer (aye), Hollett (aye). Motion passed 6-0.

Motion: Councilor Tarman moved to approve the alcohol permit application for the 2024 Triple Summit Challenge. Councilor Brewer seconded the motion. Vote: Tarman (aye), Kinyon (aye), Hollett (aye), Coker (aye), Mayor Cutchen (aye), Brewer (aye). Motion passed 6-0.

 

The following 7 motions were to correct a procedural error. Since the previous motions were not unanimous, the city attorney advised the city council to vote on the 2nd reading again for Resolutions 04-2024 through 102024.

 

Motion:   Councilor Tarman moved to approve and adopt Resolution 04-2024 [Administrative Advisory Committee] after a 2nd reading by title only.

Councilor Tarman moved to approve and adopt Resolution 05-2024 [Audit Advisory Committee], after a 2nd reading by title only.

Councilor Tarman moved to approve and adopt Resolution 06-2024 [Library Board] after 2nd reading by title only.

Councilor Tarman moved to approve and adopt Resolution 07-2024 [Parks & Community Development Committee], after a 2nd reading by title only.

Councilor Tarman moved to approve and adopt Resolution 08-2024 [Public Safety Advisory Committee], after a 2nd reading by title only.

Councilor Tarman moved to approve and adopt Resolution 09-2024 [RTMP & TRT Advisory Committee] after a 2nd reading by title only.

Councilor Tarman moved to approve and adopt Resolution 10-2024 [OEDAC], after a 2nd reading by title only.

All motions passed unanimously.

Motion: Councilor Tarman moved to approve Resolution 11-2024 Authorizing a loan from the Safe Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund, after a 1st reading. Councilor Coker seconded the motion. Vote: Mayor Cutchen (aye), Brewer (aye), Tarman (aye), Hollett (aye), Coker (aye), Kinyon (aye). Motion 6-0.

Motion: Councilor Kinyon moved to approve and adopt Resolution 11-2024 authorizing a loan from The Safe Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund, after a 2nd reading by title only. Councilor Tarman seconded the motion. Hollett (aye), Brewer (aye), Mayor Cutchen (aye), Coker (aye), Kinyon (aye), Tarman (aye). Motion passed 6-0.

Comment: This is to address a cost overrun on the refurbishment of Well #2, our largest producer of drinking water. The overrun was in the amount of $29,902, bringing the loan total to $289,902. Of this amount, $139,951 is forgivable if the city abides by the terms of the agreement, making the actual cost to the city for the refurbishment $149,951.

Motion: Councilor Tarman moved to approve Resolution 12-2024 authorizing applying for an Oregon State Parks Planning Grant for the OIP Pump Track after a 1’1 reading. Councilor Hollett seconded the motion. Vote: Brewer (aye), Tarman (aye), Mayor Cutchen (aye), Coker (aye), Kinyon (aye), Hollett (aye). Motion passed 6-0.

 

Motion: Councilor Tarman moved to approve and adopt Resolution 12-2024 Authorizing and applying for an Oregon State Parks Planning Grant for the OIP Pump Track, after a 2nd reading by title only. Councilor Brewer seconded the motion. Vote: Mayor Cutchen (aye), Brewer (aye), Tarman (aye), Hollett (aye), Coker (aye), Kinyon (aye). Motion passed 6-0.

May 30, 2024 Work Session

This session was called by the CA to discuss the city’s hiring and promotion policy as detailed in the City of Oakridge Employee Handbook and if the policy was followed in recent hirings by the city.

 

James-opened up the discussion with an explanation of his understanding of when and how Chief Hollett was promoted to Fire Chief. James said he thought Chief Martin had already promoted Chief Hollett to Fire Chief while Chief Martin was pro tem CA.

He said that if he knew this had not happened, he would have made Chief Hollett the Chief the correct way, but that he effectively did make Chief Hollett the Chief when he approved his salary increase on September 7, 2022, but retroactive to July 1, 2022, and/or when Chief Hollett was sworn-in by City Council during a City Council meeting on October 20, 2022.

James read the June 23, 2022 email that was sent out to all fire department staff by Chief Martin when Martin was the pro tem CA, which made Chief Hollett acting-in-charge (AIC) Chief. James pointed out that he (James) never received this email because he was not the CA until after July 5th and not Included in the June 2022 email and no one told him the promotion was just to AIC Chief, rather than full Chief.

Councilor Kinyon-asked what we need to change in the employee handbook?

Mayor Cutchen-we don’t need to change anything; we just need to follow the Employee Handbook. It was redone in close coordination with the city insurance company and adopted by the city council in 2021.

Comment: My concern is it does not appear that policies adopted by the city council in the Employee Handbook were/are being followed. In my opinion, hiring policies requiring job vacancies to be advertised and completed were not adhered to. In addition, it appears that vacation accrual rates and end of year carryover policies were not followed, resulting in excess vacation buy backs.

* The official city position is determined by a majority vote on a motion. Comments reflect my opinion and the reasoning behind my vote on the motion, however I will support the majority decision.

 

Oakridge Annual Drinking Water Quality Report Received

In June the city received its Annual Water Quality Report. The city is pleased to report that our drinking water is safe and meets all federal and state requirements.

Our water source is a field of five wells located near Salmon Creek south of Hills Street. The water is treated with chlorine in a continuous chlorination chamber located in the same general area. In addition to this rigorous annual test, the city independently tests the water on a regular basis. The test is available at city hall for viewing.

Definition: Serial Meeting

serial meeting in Oregon refers to private communications [including social media] among members who constitute a quorum of a governing body for the purpose of deliberation or decision-making. A new law, HB 2805, prohibits public bodies subject to Oregon’s Public Meeting Law from conducting such meetingsThe Oregon Government Ethics Commission (OGEC) has the authority to enforce this standard.

Upcoming Meetings

Audit Comm – 6/24 5pm

CC Special Session – 6/24 6pm

Public Safety Committee – 6/25 6pm

Charter Review Comm – 6/27 4:30pm

WAC Subcommittee – 7/3 5:30pm

Parks & CS Comm. – 7/8 5:30pm

Library Board – 7/9 5:15pm

RTMP/TRT – 7/9 – 7pm

OEDAC – 7/10 5pm

Charter Public Hearing – 7/11 6pm

City Council Work Session – 7/15 6pm

 

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