City Council Regular Meeting - Minutes
Mayor Drotzmann called the regular meeting to order at 7:00 pm. Present were Councilors Myers, Hardin, Primmer, Gutierrez, Davis, Beas-Fitzgerald, and Smith. Councilor Kirwan was excused. Staff members in attendance were City Attorney Gary Luisi, Kelly Parsons, Chief Edmiston, Larry Fetter, Ron Sivey, Judge Creasing, Emma Porricolo, and Lilly Alarcon-Strong. News media present was Jade McDowell of the East Oregonian. The pledge of allegiance was given.
Faith-Based Advisory Committee Chair Pastor James Lafolette presented the Council with their plans to partner Hermiston’s Family Promise Initiative with Kris Dammeyer’s Made to Thrive. Pastor Lafolette stated the Committee felt their goals were the same, to help children and families succeed in all aspects of their life for the overall benefit of the family. The Committee received funding from the City to get started but will be working with Dave Hughes from Agape House and Kris Dammeyer with Made to Thrive for grant writing opportunities for continued funding for Hermiston’s Family Promise.
Councilor Hardin stated the Committee has been very focused on finding a good director for the program and they believe Mrs. Dammeyer is very committed and will be able to manage both Hermiston Family Promise and Made to Thrive.
Mayor Drotzmann thanked Pastor Lafolette and the Committee for their commitment to help those who truly need it the most.
Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald moved and Councilor Davis seconded to approve all Consent Agenda items, to include:
- Minutes of the September 12th, regular City Council meeting.
- Minutes of the July 13th, Planning Commission meeting.
- Minutes of the August 15th, Hispanic Advisory Committee meeting.
- Announcement of standing committee vacancy for the unexpired portion of a 3-year term beginning November 1st, 2016 and ending October 31st, 2019.
Airport Advisory Committee- position #5
Parks and Recreation Committee- positions #4, #5, #6 and #7.
(Deadline for submitting applications is September 26th, 2016.)
Motion carried unanimously.
Resolution 2040- Approval to install two “STOP” signs North and South bound on E. McNary Street at NE Beebe Avenue.- was read and discussed. Street Superintendent Ron Sivey stated this was a request from a resident that felt this intersection was becoming dangerous as more drivers are seeking alternate routes throughout the City to avoid traffic.
Councilor Primmer moved and Councilor Hardin seconded to approve Resolution No. 2040 and lay upon the record. Motion carried unanimously.
August Financial Report
Due to the absence of Finance Director Amy Palmer and City Manager Byron Smith, Councilor Gutierrez moved and Councilor Myers seconded to table the August Financial Report for the following meeting. Motion carried unanimously.
Hispanic Advisory Committee: Councilor Gutierrez and Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated they were presented with voting statistics from our County and throughout the state, School District updates from Maria Duron, and the City’s proposed fixed-route bus system.
Mayor Drotzmann thanked the School District for keeping the community informed and encouraged the community to participate in the fixed-route bus system survey that can be found on the City’s website. The survey will be available until September 30th, 2016.
Mayor Drotzmann stated he received an invitation to Octoberfest sponsored by Altrusa. Octoberfest will be Saturday, October 8th at the Conference Center. Tickets can be purchased at the Conference Center and through LuAnn Davison.
Councilor Hardin gave the Council an overview of his time at the NLC Small Cities Council Steering committee Conference in Greenbelt Maryland. Councilor Hardin presented the Council with NLC’s new logo which is a better representation of the 80% of small cities (with populations under 150,000) that make up NLC. Councilor Hardin stated Greenbelt Maryland is a model city that still features original sidewalks and bike paths from the 1930’s. The population is about 25,000 and about 80,000 commute to work in Greenbelt. The average medium income is $97,000 and medium housing is $325,000. Greenbelt has a grand Agricultural Research Center, museums, is planning for a new FBI Headquarters, and also has a strong community outreach as they participate in a Community Survey every two years, and are very proactive in elderly care instead of nursing homes.
Councilor Hardin stated he also noticed a 5th sign leading to Hermiston from Portland.
Councilor Gutierrez stated many senior citizens used the indoor pool at Columbia Court Club to exercise. Due to its closure, people do not have access to the type of exercise they need. It is time for the City to work towards building an indoor pool facility.
Mayor Drotzmann reminded the Council that an indoor pool was the Communities first priority in the Livable Hermiston Survey done earlier this year.
City Managers Report
Parks and Recreation Director Larry Fetter introduced Main Street Coordinator Emma Porricolo.
Ms. Porricolo stated she is originally from New York and a graduate of OSU. She is part of the RARE program (Resources Assistance for Rural Environments) which is a federally funded grant program that helps rural communities improve their economic, social, and environmental conditions, through the assistance of trained graduate-level participants. Ms. Porricolo stated she will live in and serve the community for 11 months while helping implement these changes. She has already held many stakeholder interviews to create a report on what needs the downtown should focus on and encouraged the Council to share their vision with her as well.
Mayor Drotzmann welcomed Ms. Porricolo to the community and thanked her for her participation in this project.
There was no other business, and Mayor Drotzmann adjourned the regular meeting at 7:45pm.