Thursday, November 21, 2013

RAY"S MARKET IS CLOSING

It's a sad time for the community of Creswell during this holiday season, Ray's market is closing.  There must be a reason in the minds of the higher ups at C & K markets, parent company of Ray's Food Place, but could it be possible they are making a huge mistake?  Ray's market in Creswell has to be one of the most revered stores in their system.  The managers of Ray's and the employees have been a considerable part of our community because of their kindness and generosity.  It is well known, that you can count on Ray's for their support when needed to make a success of many civil occasions.  They allow girls scouts, VFW and others to sell whatever, to help those organizations.  The fourth of July and the fireworks will not be the same. 

While it's a sad day for the people of Creswell, our hearts go out to the managers and employees of Ray's.  You have been like family and make shopping a pleasure.  We would like to believe those in charge will re-consider and find other ways and other stores to close before Ray's.  We can't believe all your stores and employees are as respected as much as they are here in Creswell.

 Please give this a second thought and make this holiday season one we will remember for a long time and be thankful for.       

         



         

Monday, October 7, 2013

High Water Rate Study


There is no question, we have one of the finest city councils this city has seen in years.  But still, is the cost of this study going to be justified by the results? Only time and taxpayers' money will tell.  

Since the city council voted to spend $20,080 for a water rate study, there must be a few questions in the minds of those paying for it.  What are the possible outcomes of such a study?  Here are a few possibilities,

What  if for some reason, the city built a water treatment plant far too large for the present and future population of Creswell?  For example, this large treatment plant is said to have the capacity to handle a population of some 20,000 people.  According to LCOG, the population of Creswell won't reach 12,500 until the year 2035.  Is it possible that by that time our treatment plant will be obsolete or in need of major repairs?

Another thought, maybe a previous administration was trying to accommodate the possible use of a great deal of water by businesses such as Foster Farms.  While such planning is admirable, was there protective planning in place in the unlikely event, or in this case the likely event, of the business pulling out and closing the plant?  It doesn't seem unreasonable to ask such businesses for some kind of a protective contract for a period of time to cover the excessive cost being passed on to the Creswell taxpayers in the case of closures.

Maybe this study will find that a previous council passed a resolution to exhilarate the payments cutting back on interest and saving money in the end.  But do the people really want this and can they afford it?  Maybe this study will suggest rescinding such a resolution.   


In any case, it will be interesting to see what you get for $20,080.  You have to wonder, how did they get so accurate as to come up with that extra $80.00? 

Monday, September 9, 2013

City Council Meeting, September 9th 2013

The September 9th Creswell City Council meeting was chaired by council President Jacob Daniels.  Jacob was right at home chairing this meeting and did a great job. 

Jacob introduced the interim City Administrator Larry Patterson.  Larry comes to Creswell with a host of credentials and a pleasant way about him.  Accepting Larry who has only been here one week, was a smooth transition from Jamon Kent and Steve Carmichael.  He fit right in and was up to speed on all subjects.

Next on the Agenda, was to give recognition to several people who have contributed to our city.  First, Steve Dobrinich was given recognition as the RARE Intern for the past couple of years.  There was a laundry list of Steve's accomplishments.  As President Daniels said, he will be missed. 

The next order of business was to welcome Madeline Phillips who will be taking the place of Steve Dobrinich as the new RARE intern.  Madeline, who likes to be called Maddy, comes to Creswell with a great deal of experience.  We can look forward to her time as our new RARE intern. 

Last, but definitely not least, Roberta Tharp, was given recognition for her time as CMC (Certified Municipal Clerk).  Roberta wears many hats in our city, too many to mention, but you can always depend on Roberta for most needs in our community.  Good for you Roberta. 

On the public forum, a nice young lady who is active in our neighborhood watch, suggested that we have signs at our parks to let those using the parks know when it's time to leave.  A very good idea.  As she explained, "you can't expect those using the parks to know when it's time to leave, if it's not posted."

There was an AWOS update that was inconclusive.  Evidently, there needs to be further information before they can move forward.  There was a request for payment for Environmental Solutions, LLC working on the AWOS that was approved.

Under "City Administration" there was a request for $24,080 to do a "Water Rate Study".  Jane Vincent asked some good question, "Why do we need a study, what can this study tell us that we don't already know?  How much will the council be involved?" And the questions went on.  Sitting in the audience, one has to ask, what if we/they find that Creswell is paying more than any other city our size for water, what then?  This will be very interesting to see what you get for the $24,080.  Will that lower the water rates?  This contract was approved by the council.

There was a resolution 2013-21 Providing for an Interfund Transfer of $50,000 appropriation from the general fund to the airport fund.  Evidently, this is the amount that is to be given to Eugene Skydivers as settlement of the law suit.

Jane Vincent reported on the public safety meeting that was held on the subject of forming a neighborhood watch program.  It was attended by a large number of people from our community and the local area.  There were three sheriff's in attendance to help with this program.  Doug Osborn, Steve French and one other deputy, sorry didn't get his name.  There will be a follow up meeting next month as there was a lot of interest in curbing the neighborhood problems. 

AJ O'Connell asked permission to contact a publication that supplies the routes for those following the Transamerica Bike Route from Virginia to the west coast.  AJ was given that permission and will look into having the bike route come through Creswell.  Should be a good thing for local businesses . 

All in all, it was a productive meeting well chaired by the council President Jacob Daniels.         

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Creswell Police Department CPD


If that has a good sound, we can thank our Councilman Jacob Daniels for looking into this for our city.  Jacob spent several hours with Junction City's Police Chief Mark Chase discussing this possibility.
Mark, as he likes to be called, pointed out the many benefits of having our own police department here in Creswell.  He explained about the police academy for training and sharing a dispatch center.  Jacob came away with several pages of information and suggestions by the chief, (Mark) one sergeant and Brandy the dispatcher.


One of the main benefits is patrolling our city on a regular basis.  At present, it seems the sheriff will come when they are called, most times.  With our own police, you will see them more often than we are seeing our sheriff cars.  It will be much easier to recruit people for a "Neighborhood Watch" organization.  The reason being, if they see something suspicious we can have one of our police cars there in minutes.  Creswell is about one and a half square miles in area.  Junction City is six and a half square miles in area, making Creswell easier to cover.
Jacob is also talking about our outlying areas that are in the Creswell School District.  This may take a bond measure, but well worth it.  This could then cover Camas Swale and other close areas that are not in the city proper.  Mark offered his ongoing help.



                 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

City Administrator Steve Carmichael



While that may have a great sound to it, don't get used to seeing Steve at city hall after a week or so.  While it would be a good thing for our city, Steve is being kind enough to sit in for a week until the "new" interim city administrator, Larry Patterson can get situated in Creswell.  At that time, Steve, who is retired, can get back to the important things in life, playing golf and enjoying his lovely wife Jenny.


Thank you Steve and welcome Larry.   


Friday, August 16, 2013

City and Eugene Skydivers Settle Complaint

The Creswell City Council voted Thursday in a special meeting to develop a policy to allow skydivers to cross the runway at our municipal airport, and to settle a lawsuit with Eugene Skydivers for $50,000 and other conditions.
Mayor Dave Stram called the meeting to solicit community input on the question of whether parachutists, after landing on city-owned property to the east of the Hobby Field airport, would be allowed to walk across the runway to return to the hangars.
Apparently, the skydivers had used that same method for some twelve years before it was somehow decided it was no longer safe.  From all indications, it appeared the FAA would have found in favor of Eugene Skydivers in an FAR part 16 complaint.  It seemed both, the city and Mr. Moore, owner of Eugene Skydivers wanted to settle this and move on.  Most likely a savings to the city.
There was testimony for and against the skydiving operation.  In the end, the councilors voted six to one in favor of settling.  This settlement will remove a civil lawsuit filed by Mr. Moore and the FAA part sixteen complaint.     

“We felt it was of such magnitude that we needed to hear from the community and airport users,” Stram said.  The vote to allow skydivers to cross the runway was 5-2 with Stram and Pelatt  voting no.  The vote to settle the lawsuit, was 6-1 with Adam Pelatt voting against.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Negotiations Failed With the Selected City Administrator Applicant, Andy Parks


Mayor Stram explained at the August 12th council meeting that negotiations with the selected candidate for city administrator, Andy Parks failed.  It appears the process will start over.  There were forty people who had originally applied for this position.

City Council Votes for More Police Presence

The Creswell City Council took two major steps Monday night towards improving public safety in its area.
The council voted unanimously to fund and request a third Lane County Sheriff’s deputy to work in Creswell.
A number of people spoke at the meeting expressing their concerns surrounding public safety. “Response time here in town. I mean I waited 15 minutes for somebody to answer the phone is ridiculous.,” added one Creswell resident.
Another pleaded with council saying, “Without 24 hour effective police we are just waiting for tragedy.”
And another resident said council needed to improve safety to, “Make this a safe place for our children and to we make it a safe place for our families for our businesses and to attract business.”
Councilors also voted unanimously to direct the city administrator to look at long term solution to the safety issue like partnering with forces from nearby cities for instance Veneta or Cottage Grove.
The extra deputy will cost the city about $168,000 and that takes into account some dispatch and administrative costs.
A Lane County Sheriff’s Deputy who was at the meeting wanted to make it clear that it would take a total of five deputies to get 24 hour coverage and the timeline is unclear as to when that third deputy would be hired for Creswell.
The Sheriff’s Office delivered some good news to residents when it comes to a recent rash of burglaries in the city that prompted the safety conversation to begin.
“We have made four more arrests on unrelated crimes on folks that we were directly looking at for the burglaries,” said Sgt. Doug Osborne.
Sgt. Osbourne says to his knowledge both of those men are still behind bars.
Both of the council’s unanimous votes were met with a lot of applause  from residents who were packed in to City Hall.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Creswell City Council meeting July 8th



Once again there was a full house at the Creswell City Council meeting.  It's apparent the people of Creswell are enjoying the feeling of participating in our local government.  Several times during the meeting, people from the audience raised their hands during a particular subject.  Mayor Stram recognized these people and allowed them to go to the podium and speak.  It turned out, the mayor and council learned a great deal from these individuals.  Though few raised their hands, audience members could see, they too could raise their hands if they had something to contribute. 

Officer Doug Osborne of the Lane County's sheriff's office gave a report on hours of service to Creswell from the sheriff's department.  While it seems we have good coverage, there is still an average of one home break-in per week.  Officer Osborne gave some helpful hints on protecting our homes.  Most importantly, to watch out for each other and lock your home at all times.  He explained how important it is to write down any serial numbers you have on firearms and anything that could be identified if retrieved after a burglary.  He mentioned that it would be a good idea to take pictures as well.

During the public forum, Commander Rick Higgins of the VFW explained there was a misconception that they were charging the Creswell food pantry $500.00 per year.  It turns out, they were not charging the food pantry, but that the food pantry was donating $500.00 per year in appreciation for the use of the VFW space they were using.  The council and Susan Blachnik thanked the VFW for their kindness in making the VFW available for those in need and served by the food pantry.

In another example of open mindedness by our councilors, they supported using 2,000 square feet of the Cobalt building for the food pantry.  I say open mindedness because some councilors had previously wanted to sell the building as it didn't seem to have a realistic purpose.  The concern they have for our community and those in need, made the difference.  Good for them.

On the same subject, Ann O'Connell explained the food pantry was growing in size and need.  It was becoming too small for what the volunteers needed to function effectively.  She too explained that they needed more space.  It worked out for all concerned.  Most importantly, it shows this mayor and council are willing to listen and act on suggestions from the community. 

There seems to be some management concern for the Centro Latino Americano Organization.  Should it be subject to the Ad Hoc Committee for contributions program, or be "Grandfathered" in and have representatives here in Creswell as they did in the past.

All in all, it was an organized meeting and many issues were covered.   Good Job.   

Jacob Daniels, said,

"Great City Council meeting last night. We got our public safety committee up-and-running; decided to enter an agreement with the Food Pantry to move them into a 2,000 square foot space (from roughly 500 square feet); partnered with the library to expand recreational activities for senior citizens; entered into a series of contracts to bring fiber-optic services; and established an ad hoc committee to provide grant-funding to non-profits. Great to see the People, City Council and other local organizations working together. More good things to come." 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Responsive City Council

The June 10th city council meeting was attended by approximately 40 people. There is a good reason for the growing number of attendees to these meetings. First and foremost, we have a Mayor and council who make it comfortable for those with concerns who sign up to speak. Public speaking is difficult at best for most people, but after watching how respectful these individuals are being treated, it should encourage more people to feel free to express their concerns. A good example would be, one audience member spoke at the public forum about the high water rates that were on the agenda to be raised. This gentleman spoke passionately about the present water rates being high enough without raising them further. Later, during the council meeting when that agenda item came up, the councilors showed a great deal of concern over the water rates and pending increase. They spoke at great length about the problem and discussed a number of ideas, ALL because this gentleman spoke at the meeting. The council voted to not raise the water rates at this time and look into it further. Because, they were concerned and responsive.

An airport user also spoke of the pending increase in rates to those owning hangars on the airport. It seems, there is something in the leases that allow the city to raise the rates each year by the Portland CPI, which is two percent this year. As the businessman pointed out, his rate has been raised by some 30 percent since he's been on the airport. That can get very expensive as time goes on. It was pointed out, that is not a very business friendly contract. Again, the council listened and suggested the rate not be raised this year. Just because it says you can, it doesn't say you must.

Also on the agenda was Jerry and Barbara Norcia's airport access fees. The council lowered these fees to what is the standard for State Airports. Actually, a bit higher, but a reasonable decrease after five years of trying to get previous administrations to look at the information showing a tie down fee would be the reasonable fee. The Norcia's have been charged over four times what is charged at State Airports. Another example of our council willing to listen and act.

Sadly, the question of an existing conflict of interest at the airport was answered when the airport manager's husband implored the council to continue the Norcia's excessive high access fee, because he doesn't get his plane worked on at the airport, or buy fuel there. Two things which are not true. While Norcia quit taking his plane to the airport manager's husband, he does get his plane worked on by another mechanic on the airport and mostly buys fuel at Creswell when he fly's, which is not too often these days. Fortunately, the councilors had enough information to make the long overdue rate decrease.

The most important message for those in attendance, was that the people now, fortunately, have a council willing to listen and act.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

New Councilors Selected

Once again the people of Creswell have a reason, a good reason, to be proud of our New Government. In place of our Mayor hand picking councilors he feels will blindly go along with his agenda, this mayor made the selection of new councilors a public meeting and included those concerned about our city's politics. There was even the opportunity for anyone to speak before the selection process was underway. There were approximately thirty people in the audience. Many to support the candidate of their choice.

Councilors scored the five applicants on their answers to essay questions and on their professional and service backgrounds. At Thursday’s special council meeting, the applicants also were judged on prepared statements and their answers to three questions pertaining to Creswell’s future and strengths, and on relationship building. Several applicants highlighted the importance of the council being more transparent and accessible to the citizenry.

The most touching part of the evening was a heartfelt statement by Councilor Nora Reynolds when she said "I'm happy that the city is once again going to have a full council, of the people, by the people and for the people,” there was a warm applause.

After it was all said and done, Adam Pelatt and Brent Gifford were selected by the council among the five people who applied for the council seats. The others were Ruby Miller, Roy Robertson and Alan Pointer.

It could not have been an easy choice for the councilors as Roy Robertson has lived in Creswell 53 years and has a real view of past and present history. Ruby Miller, is well known as a person of concern and has a good background. Alan Pointer has served on the airport commission and is well known. You would have to say, each and every one would have been a good choice.

We wish the best for Adam and Brent, who are coming on board with our new Mayor, councilors and a new and better way to run our city.

Watch the video:






Tuesday, April 9, 2013

First Council Meeting in New City Hall Chambers, Great Success


The initiation of the new city hall council chambers couldn’t have been better.  You would never have known there was a championship basketball game on TV with the standing room only audience. You could literally feel the enthusiasm from those in attendance.   

Mayor Stram, the councilors, City Administrator Jamon Kent and Roberta Thorp looked right at home sitting at the very attractive semi circle council table.  The room had a welcoming new smell and a feeling of comfort. 

When asked why he wasn't sitting closer to the councilors, Jamon Kent, sitting at one end of the table by himself, said, "I work for them, they don't work for me, I feel it's better to sit here."  Wasn't that a thoughtful statement, something we have not been used to for many years.  

The meeting was well managed by Mayor Stram.  He seems to be a natural at handling situations with concern and caring.  There were a couple of people wanting to speak, who didn't speak at the public forum part of the meeting.  Mayor Stram made it clear, "While there is a public forum and that's the place to speak, I don't want anyone to feel they can't be heard."  He made a couple of exceptions and that was fine with the audience and showed our mayor knows how to treat people.  

It will be interesting to see how many people have put in a request to be on the council for the remainder of terms vacated by two councilors who resigned.  That meeting will be on April 11th at 7:00 pm.  Hope to see you there.  

Watch the video:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Jamon Kent Selected as Interim City Administrator

The Creswell City Council unanimously voted to hire Jamon Kent as interim city administrator. Jamon, who is no stranger to Creswell, will fill in for the previous city administrator, Mark Shrives, who resigned by letter at the March 11th council meeting.  

Ironically, it was Jamon Kent who was selected to be city administrator when Mark Shrives tendered his resignation during his initial employment while Ron Petitti was Mayor. Mr. Shrives was offered a special assignment for a government position, which he accepted. After a number of interviews, Mayor Petitti felt they couldn't find anyone as qualified as Mr. Shrives and left the position open until his return.

During Jamon's first employment as interim city administrator, he worked with many of the same city staff and knows his way around. It appears Mayor Stram and this council, made a good choice in Mr. Kent while the search goes on for a permanent city administrator.

Photo by Martha McReynolds Jr. 

It should be mentioned that our Mayor and council are also looking for two new councilors to replace Mike Anderson and Jean McKittrick who resigned at the same March 11th meeting. Interested parties are asked to send their desire to be on the council to city hall before noon on April 9th. On April 11th, there will be a special meeting for the Mayor and councilors to meet with those interested in being on the council. There is a great deal of responsibility, and hopefully, a lot of satisfaction knowing you are working with those elected by the people of Creswell.


Watch the KMTR video:





Tuesday, March 12, 2013

City Administrator and two councilors resign

Three resignations were tendered at the March 11th City Council meeting. Mayor Stram read the resignation of City Administrator Mark Shrives. All councilors voted unanimously to accept Mr. Shrives resignation. Shortly thereafter, Mike Anderson read his letter of resignation followed by Jean McKittrick. Both councilors got up and left the council table after resigning. Former Mayor Hooker who received 98 votes in his bid for re-election, sat in the audience witnessing his two councilors making their final statement as they once again followed his lead in resigning. Former Mayor Hooker resigned by letter read by Mike Anderson several days after losing his bid to continue as Creswell's Mayor.

Watch the video response:



It was sad to see McKittrick and Anderson resign before giving our new Mayor and councilors the opportunity to show they are organized, fair-minded and caring people. Possibly they could have been a help with their experience of being on the council.

Mayor Stram will now fill those seats and move on with the business of running our city.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

State of the City Address

Mayor Stram delivering his State of the City address, Creswell, Oregon. This is the beginning of a new era.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Positively Creswell 2013

The first meeting of the "Positively Creswell" forum was attended by approximately 35 people; including Mayor Elect Stram and five councilors, three active and two elected. It was a diverse group of people with different and positive suggestions.

Steve Dobrinich, the RARE intern, gave a good talk about the Cobalt building and possible uses. He suggested anyone interested in volunteering, to please do so. Evidently, Steve met with the Willamalane people who may help with ideas and planning.

Su Liudahl deserves a great deal of credit for putting this evening together. Su has a naturally positive attitude and the evening went as planned, "Positively Creswell." There were no negative comments and everyone seemed pleased. We have to wonder, can you really make the necessary changes and still be positive? Sadly, sometimes there are difficult choices and someone may not like the outcome. Nevertheless, when all those changes are made, we can truly move on in a very positive way. Creswell needs that.

Since this was the first meeting of "Positively Creswell", there is always room for improvement. With the diverse group that attended, improvement should evolve as this group continues to meet. There may be the possibility of "opposing viewpoints" down the road, if so, we're sure Su will keep it civil. Again, thanks to Su and, of course, we should mention that Scott Olsen from Our Chronicle was at the meeting. Creswell owes a great deal of gratitude to Scott and Jeanne Olson for the representation they have given the people of Creswell.

TILL WE MEET AGAIN.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Mayor

To say the least, it was an exciting evening at the January 7th Creswell City Council meeting. There was standing room only for the swearing in of our new Mayor David Stram and three councilors, Jacob Daniels, Nora Reynolds and Jane Vincent.


Watch the swearing in:



You could feel the enthusiasm in the audience, and a new found hope they seem to have in this administration. It will be interesting to see what changes are made under this new Mayor and council. One thing for sure, this Mayor has the experience of listening to those he's served as a Pastor and now as our Mayor. We have to hope people will continue to come to our council meetings as they did this evening. Past meetings at best would draw maybe twenty people, of which several were city staff.

So, let's keep up a good attendance and support our new Mayor and council.

Happy New Year