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Oakridge City Council meets yet again on December 12/27 with still more to come

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By GARY CARL/for The Herald  —  The Oakridge City Council met on Tuesday, December 27th. This was an effort to complete an extensive agenda of business they were unable to complete at their regular council meeting on December 15th.  After an intense two-hour session, Mayor Hollett and the councilors were still unable to complete their agenda. This left a number of issues unresolved. These items will be put over to yet another special meeting.

That meeting is set for 6 pm on Thursday, December 29th, one day from now.

During Public Comment, Mayor Hollett read into the record a letter from Mr. Harvey Barnes, resident of Oakridge.

Mr. Barnes wrote:  “Mayor Hollett and City Council, I am asking that you cancel the proposed supplemental budget hearing scheduled for tonight December 27, 2022 for several reasons. 

             First, the lack of information provided to the public.  I requested a copy of the proposed supplemental budget on December 19th, 2022, and today is December 26, 2022. I have not received any information as of this writing. 

            Secondly, I truly believe that as of this late date in the calendar year the budget amendment should be left to the new administration that will take over in January, just a few days from now.  You have had six months to amend the budget and                you willfully ignored or denied that there is a problem.

           And finally, I think it is very clear to all that Mr. Cutchen has an excellent grasp of the city’s budget and will be able to work with the staff to generate an appropriate budget for the city.”

Kinyon responds

Councilor Kinyon informed the council and the public that she had reviewed Mr. Barnes’ letter prior to the current council meeting. She had replied to Mr. Barnes informing Mr. Barnes that tonight’s meeting was scheduled as a discussion of the Supplemental Budget and not an actual hearing or adoption of the Supplemental Budget. *

Councilor Kinyon went on to say, Once the Supplemental Budget is prepared and ready to bring to the Council to consider for adoption, it will also be available to the public for inspection.

Mayor Hollett will promote TLC Magazine to businesses

The Council discussed whether to advertise in the Travel Lane County Visitor’s Guide Magazine. And, since the funds were available in the TRT account, the Council voted to pay $ 2,370 to renew the City’s annual partnership with Travel Lane County to have Oakridge be represented.  Additionally, there is a marketing opportunity for any Oakridge business. Whether a member of Travel Lane County or not, a business can purchase an advertisement in the Guide.  Mayor Hollett indicated that she would like to promote this marketing opportunity to the Oakridge business community in an effort to increase merchant participation.

There was an extended discussion of items for the Supplemental Budget enumerating income received and items listed under spending.  All of this information will be showing up again once the City’s Supplemental Budget is presented.

Bonding of City staff in question

There was a protracted discussion regarding the required staff bonding. The positions of “City Recorder”, “Finance Director” and “City Administrator” were in question. Council directed the City Administrator to discuss with the city’s attorney the issue of exactly who appoints the City Recorder.

Public Safety Fee may come up in Council’s last meeting of the year

The meeting ran into the agreed upon overtime. With that, it became clear there would not be enough time to complete the agenda at the present session.  Therefore, another Council Session would be necessary. Thursday, December 29th 2022 was selected as the date.  A discussion of the Public Safety Fee will surely come up at the next session. It appeared to be quite high on the list of “important topics” the council wanted to discuss before the year ran out.

*The published Agenda for the Council Meeting for December 27, 2022  lists at  # 9.5

      “Discussion of setting a date for a Special Work Session to discuss the Supplemental Budget.”

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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