City Council Regular Meeting - Minutes

Mon., Nov. 28, 2016

Mayor Drotzmann called the regular meeting to order at 7:00pm. Present were Councilors Myers, Primmer, Gutierrez, Hardin, Kirwan, Beas-Fitzgerald, and Smith. Councilors Gutierrez and Davis were absent. Staff members in attendance were City Manager Smith, City Attorney Gary Luisi, Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan, Sergeant Kelly Parsons, Chief Edmiston, Clint Spencer, Bill Schmittle, Roy Bicknell, Ron Sivey, Larry Fetter, Amy Palmer, Judge Creasing, and Lilly Alarcon-Strong. News media present were Jade McDowell of the East Oregonian and Michael Cane of the East Oregonian. The pledge of allegiance was given.

Citizen Input

Louis Hansen 2110 S Highway 395, invited the Council and public to attend the Journey to Bethlehem tour on December 2, 3, & 4, from 5:00pm to 8:00pm at the Seventh-day Adventist Church located at 855 W Highland Ave. Mr. Hansen stated there are usually about 2,500 people who attend the free event.

Councilor Myers stated it is always a great event.

Marlena Avila 325 NE 6th St, Irrigon, stated she has recently been elected as an Irrigon City Councilor and came to introduce herself and see a City Council Session at work.

Mayor Drotzmann stated Miss. Avila spoke at the Hispanic Advisory Committee and presented herself eloquently, had a great life story to share, and is an 18 year old High School Senior. Mayor Drotzmann thanked Miss. Avila for her effort in participating in her City Council and wished her well.

The Council congratulated Miss. Avila on her new City Council position.

Consent Items

Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald moved and Councilor Hardin seconded to approve all Consent Agenda items, with the exception on item E, pulled by Mayor Drotzmann, to include:

  1. Minutes of the November 14th, work session and regular City Council meeting.    
  2. Minutes of the October 13th, Parks and Recreation Committee meeting.
  3. Minutes of the September 7th, and November 2nd, Airport Advisory Committee meeting.
  4. Liquor License Application - “Limited On-Premises Sales, New Outlet” for Holiday Inn Express & Suites located at 245 N. 1st Street.
    (Deadline for submitting applications is November 29th, 2016.)

Motion carried unanimously.

Items Removed from the Consent Agenda

Mayor Drotzmann asked if the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center Board were losing a member as there is a vacancy announcement listed on item E, iii.

City Manager Smith stated no, the term has expired and as is custom, the position needs to be opened to the public. This appointment is a joint-appointment from City and County.

Mayor Drotzmann encouraged the public to apply and participate in any open committee position.

Councilor Hardin stated the Budget Committee only meets once to twice a year, but is a very important committee.

Councilor Primmer moved and Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald seconded to approve Consent Agenda item:

  1. Announcement of standing committee vacancies for the unexpired portion of a:
    1. 1-year term beginning November 28th, 2016 and ending October 31st, 2017

      Parks and Recreation Committee- position #6.


    2. 3-year term beginning January 1st, 2017 and ending December 31st, 2019

      Budget Committee- positions #1, #2, and #3.


      Recreation Projects Fund Advisory Committee- positions #1 and #2.


    3. 4-year term beginning January 1st, 2017 and ending December 31st, 2020
      Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center Board- Combined (City/County) Motel Position.
    4. Remainder of a 3-year term beginning December 28th, 2016 and ending June 30th, 2017
      Hispanic Advisory Committee- position #3.


Motion carried unanimously.


Public Hearing-Surplus Real Property

At 7:10 pm Mayor Drotzmann opened the hearing to consider declaring City property surplus real property.

City Manager Smith gave a brief presentation regarding declaring surplus real property located at the City’s Well #6 property, approximately 950 feet west of Highway 395 S and 1,100 feet east of SE Kelli Blvd. The proposed use for the property is commercial retail development and the City proposes to sell this real property to George Dress for $6,565 for the development of Ranch and Home.

Proponents: Jeff Dress stated he is in favor of the proposed as they have been working with City staff on this project for a long time.

No others in the audience wished to comment and the hearing was closed at 7:13 pm.

Mayor Drotzmann read the four findings of fact.

City Attorney Gary Luisi stated a fifth finding of fact should be included to read: The City has no current or future use for the property.

Councilor Myers moved and Councilor Hardin seconded to accept the five findings of fact. Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2045- Declaring surplus real property and agreeing to sell property to Ranch & Home.

City Manager Smith gave a brief presentation stating this resolution would allow the sale of the property per the terms presented in the public hearing.

Randy Smith Highway 395, asked if ingress and egress issues had been addressed regarding this proposed property.

City Manager Smith stated this property is not adjacent to the Highway so there would be no changes to the ingress or egress. Before building, the property owners would need to have permits from ODOT for proper access. The City has also been working with adjoining property owner, Hermiston Foods, to make sure any concerns they have are addressed.

Councilor Primmer moved and Councilor Myers seconded to approve Resolution No. 2045 and lay upon the record. Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2046- Waive six months of utility charges for the former Umatilla County Fairgrounds.

City Manager Smith gave a brief presentation regarding waiving water, sewer, and electric charges and fees for the former Umatilla County Fairgrounds for six months, from December 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017. Mr. Smith stated the City has been working with the County and the School District to move all Fair and Rodeo events to the new EOTEC site. Some events that have been held annually in Hermiston will need to be housed at the old Fair Grounds until the Fair and Rodeo Facilities at EOTEC are completed. In order to continue to allow these events to take place and remain in Hermiston, the School District will allow these events to continue at the old Fairgrounds after January 1st, 2017 but is asking that the City waive the utilities in return. The City does not expect to forgo more than $2,000 in combined utilities for the proposed time frames.

Mayor Drotzmann stated it is important that these events stay in Hermiston and thanked the School District for their willingness to temporarily house these events until EOTEC is complete.

The Council agreed and Councilor Smith moved and Councilor Primmer seconded to approve Resolution No. 2046 and lay upon the record. Motion carried unanimously.

Select a name for the new intra-city fixed-route bus system.

Assistant City Manager Morgan stated the Council has approved the new intra-city fixed-route bus system, but it still needs a name so KAYAK can begin to publish materials regarding the new bus route. Based on the online survey results of the names suggested by the Public Transportation Committee, HART (Hermiston Area Regional Transit) and Watermelon Express were the two highest rated names.

Councilor Primmer moved and Councilor Myers seconded to name the fixed-route intra-city bus route HART for Hermiston Area Regional Transit. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Drotzmann thanked the Public Transit Committee for all the time and effort they placed in this process.

October Financial Report

Councilor Kirwan moved and Councilor Smith seconded to approve the October Financial Report as prepared and presented by Finance Director Amy Palmer. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Committee Report

Hispanic Advisory Committee:

Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated the Committee elected a new Chairman Jose Garcia, as Eddie De La Cruz recently resigned. Miss. Marlena Avila the new Irrigon City Councilor also introduced herself to the Committee. Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated she will also be taking over Saturday’s Radio talk show La Voz del Pueblo to give information to the Hispanic community regarding current issues, new, services, and anything else that can help them live a better life.

Mayor Drotzmann encouraged the public to apply for the open Hispanic Advisory Committee Position, the deadline to apply is tomorrow, November 29th, 2016, and stated this Committee has received not only local, but national recognition for its meaningfulness to our community. Mayor Drotzmann stated he attended the most recent meeting and it gives a lot of good information that is spoken in both English and Spanish.

Public Infrastructure Committee:

Councilor Kirwan stated the Committee met prior to the City Council meeting and plan to present the Council with recommendations in January. Councilor Kirwan stated it is obvious that Assistant City Manager Morgan and City Engineer Chas Hutchins put a lot of work focusing on items the City needs to work on and prioritizing these items for the betterment of the City and its citizens.

Mayor Drotzmann thanked the City for going forward with this Committee as it helps address infrastructure issues before they become problems and helps to understand the outcome that lack of action can cause.

Parks and Recreation Committee:

Councilor Myers stated the Committee reviewed the Park Program for 2017, to include completion on the: Harkenrider Center, Victory Square Park, Sunset Park, Belt Park, Highland Trail, Greenwood Park, Skate Park, Disc Golf setup, and more.

Mayor Drotzmann thanked Parks and Recreation Director Larry Fetter and the Park Department for their work in addressing the Parks that needed it most in our community.

Councilor Primmer stated the Committee is also working on making all parks Smoke Free Zones. Councilor Primmer stated Mr. Fetter has done a tremendous job on all of these projects.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Drotzmann stated the Council has been invited to the Simmons Agency for their ribbon cutting event, tomorrow from 12:00pm to 12:30pm.

Mayor Drotzmann asked City Manager Smith to share information regarding the Tree Lighting event.

City Manager Smith stated the City will have its Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, December 1st on NE 2nd St. and Main St. in front of City Hall. Entertainment starts at 5:30pm with the Tree Lighting at 6:00pm.

Mr. Fetter stated this year, there will be over 5,000 LED lights that will be decorating the Christmas tree; more than double from the year before.

Chamber Director Debbie Pedro stated this Thursday, and every first Thursday of the month, downtown businesses stay open later and have special discounts as well.

Councilor Primmer stated Santa will also be arriving on a fire truck to participate in the Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Mayor Drotzmann stated he participated in the School Districts Bond Campaign meeting and encourages everyone to get involved and learn more about what this entails. The School District is growing faster than Portland State projections and will have 34 modular buildings in our district to house students, these modular buildings are expensive and take away from resources that can be used in the classroom for students.

Council Report

Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated she and Councilor Smith attended the NLC Conference in Pittsburgh. Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated she was pleasantly surprised by everything that Pittsburgh had to offer and sites to see, especially in the Art District. She also learned a tremendous amount of information regarding the opiate epidemic that is sweeping the nation, how to address citizen complaints, and more.

Councilor Smith stated although Pittsburgh is a very large city, everything is within walking distance and has pleasant scenery to view while you walk. There was a lot of good information and is looking forward to sharing this information with city staff.

City Managers Report

City Manager Smith stated he has heard back from most of the Council on whether or not to hold a second City Council meeting at the end of month in December, but will address the issue at the next meeting to give the Council an update on any items that may need immediate review.


There was no other business, and Mayor Drotzmann adjourned the regular meeting at 8:02pm.

/s/Dave Drotzmann, Mayor

/s/Lilly Alarcon-Strong, Assistant City Recorder

Accessibility Statement - The City of Hermiston is committed to making its electronic and information technologies accessible to individuals with disabilities. We are currently in the process of upgrading our web site to ensure we meet or exceed the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA and the Web Accessibility Initiative Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (WAI-ARIA) 1.0 for web content.

For more information on how to report an issue related to the accessibility or how to file a formal Section 504 or ADA (Title II) complaint about the accessibility of any content on our website, please see our full Accessibility Statement.

Anti-Discrimination Policy - It is a policy of the City of Hermiston that there will be no discrimination or harassment on the grounds of race, color, sex, marital status, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability in any educational programs, activities or employment. For more information, visit the Anti-Discrimination Policy page.