City Council Meeting - Minutes
Mayor Drotzmann called the regular meeting to order at 7:00 pm. Present were Councilors Myers, Hardin, Primmer, Kirwan, Gutierrez, Davis, Beas-Fitzgerald, and Smith. Staff members in attendance were City Manager Smith, City Attorney Gary Luisi, Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan, Kelly Parsons, Chief Edmiston, Larry Fetter, Ron Sivey, Judge Creasing, Bill Schmittle, Roy Bicknell, and Lilly Alarcon-Strong. News media present was Michael Kane of NE Oregon Now. The pledge of allegiance was given.
Mayor Drotzmann read a proclamation recognizing Sophia Gispert Tello and Andrea Gispert Tello for earning the Girl Scout Gold Award. Miss Sophia Gispert Tello and Miss Andrea Gispert Tello were unable to attend but were thanked by the Council for their outstanding commitment, hard work, and dedication to the community.
Citizen Input on Non-Agenda Items
Sunita Parke 175 E Main St stated she and her associates have opened a new business on September 1st, 2016, The Hermiston Wellness Center. Ms. Parke offers various healing modalities, including detoxing foot baths, and much more. Starting next month they will have a Massage Therapist and Acupuncturist David Chung who is well known in the area. Ms. Parke left brochures for the Council and public.
The Council welcomed Ms. Parke and her business to Hermiston.
Councilor Primmer moved and Councilor Kirwan seconded to approve all Consent Agenda items, to include:
- Minutes of the September 26th, regular City Council meeting.
- Minutes of the September 6th, Faith-Based Advisory Committee meeting.
- Announcement of standing committee vacancy for the unexpired portion of a 1-year term beginning November 28th, 2016 and ending October 31st, 2017.
Parks and Recreation Committee- position #6.
(Deadline for submitting applications is October 27th, 2016.)
- Recommendation of committee appointments for the unexpired portion of a 2-year term beginning November 1st, 2016 and ending October 31st, 2018.
Parks and Recreation Committee- position #4-Carlisle Harrison, #5-Steve Williams, #7-Michael Kay.
- Recommendation of committee appointment for the unexpired portion of a 3-year term beginning November 1st, 2016 and ending October 31st, 2019.
Airport Advisory Committee- position #5- Ron Linn
Motion carried unanimously.
August Financial Report
Councilor Myers moved and Councilor Hardin seconded to approve the August Financial Report as prepared by Finance Director Amy Palmer and presented by City Manager Smith. Motion carried unanimously.
Councilors stated the Hispanic Advisory, Parks and Recreation, and Public Transit Committees will all meet next week, with the Public Safety Committee meeting on October 24th.
Mayor Drotzmann encouraged the public to apply for the open position on the Parks and Recreation Committee. Applications are due to Executive Assistant Lilly Alarcon-Strong by October 27th.
Faith-Based Advisory Committee- Councilor Hardin stated he was contacted by a group in Pilot Rock who are interested in forming a Faith-Based Advisory Committee in their community. The Committee has been hard at work finalizing details in hiring a director for their Family Promise initiative.
Mayor Drotzmann stated he attended the LOC Conference last week. It was well attended with specific Mayor workshops. These workshops focused on legislation and LOC moving forward with next year’s session. Mayor Drotzmann stated he believes the City should have a work session in the next few months to participate in a discussion on priorities with Representative Smith and Senator Hansell.
City Manager Smith stated the City has had discussions with Mr. Smith and Mr. Hansell regarding these items, but further discussion can be arranged. City Manager Smith stated Councilor Hardin and he attended a meeting in LaGrande during City Hall Week and were able to speak with Senator Hansell regarding these priorities.
Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated as a member of the Oregon Commission for Women, the Commission is drafting a bill of rights for children of incarcerated parents to help preserve the family connection and keep families together. The Commission also recently visited incarcerated women at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility and the vast array of festivals that are very family oriented with child activities and food. It is very impressive to see all the family events the facility holds. The facility also has various kiosks placed throughout the facility so inmates receive notification when they have a video call waiting for them. Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated it was great to see all the programs they have available to help rehabilitate inmates after they are released. Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated the experience has been very humbling.
Mayor Drotzmann thanked Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald for her service on the Commission, as well as service on the Hispanic Advisory Committee that she and Councilor Gutierrez serve on. Mayor Drotzmann stated there was a lot of conversation at the LOC Conference about Hermiston’s success with the establishment of the Hispanic Advisory Committee and other cities who would like to form similar committees in their community.
Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated the Cinco de Mayo Committee has also contacted the Hermiston High School for student help designing a logo for Hermiston’s Cinco de Mayo and volunteering to participate in the event.
Councilor Kirwan stated he was approached by citizens regarding installing a cross walk on Elm St to NW 7th St to accommodate parking at UEC to the soccer fields at Butte Park.
Assistant City Manager Morgan stated the City has had conversations with ODOT, as this area is a State Highway, and UEC to relocate the cross walk across from the Hospital.
Mayor Drotzmann stated this is a public safety concern, especially when it gets darker earlier and there are so many families crossing the street in that area.
City Manager Smith stated UEC is ok with citizens parking on their property so this is something the City will continue to work on. The City has also had conversations about increasing parking stalls by having angled parking instead of parallel parking to accommodate more vehicles. This paving project would be expensive, but it is an option.
Councilor Gutierrez stated this is a major safety concern as there are lots of children in this area. The City must work hard to be proactive for a solution instead of reacting after a tragedy has happened.
The Council agreed and City Manager Smith stated the City will continue to work on this priority.
Councilor Hardin stated he also attended the LOC Conference and was able to attend work sessions dealing with code enforcement and stated the City may need to consider some of these ordinances in the future. Councilor Hardin stated Keizer School District offers different certification programs for students to enter the work force right after high school graduation. These programs range from: cosmetology, construction, manufacturing, audio visual, and many more. There are 90 students in each program and are able to reach about 1,000 student per day that participate in these trade school programs. Students are also taught professionalism, and it showed. These students are also very excited about the skills they learn in these programs. This program was a partnership with the City as it was in the Urban Renewal District and were able to use funds for the 150,000 sq. ft. building they operate in. Councilor Hardin stated the City of Silverton has 23 murals in their downtown. Paintings are not just on walls they are also on free standing panel so they can be taken down at a later date. The recycled water from the treatment plant is also used for the Oregon Gardens.
Councilor Primmer stated he was recently appointed to the Oregon State Bar Board of Delegates as the Eastern Oregon Citizen member. The Board sets the rules for the state bar association of attorneys in the state.
Councilor Gutierrez stated October is Domestic Violence Month with a Domestic Violence Walk last week. Domestic violence is not only dangerous for victims but for officers who respond as well. The goal of this month is to help remember those affected by domestic violence, including the two recent police officers that were killed in the State of California responding to a domestic violence call.
Councilor Myers stated she too attended the LOC Conference. One of the work sessions she attended was Cultural Diversity. In this session, information was given on how parents rely on their children to learn English so they can translate for them and also help them understand literature as many are illiterate. Some of the challenges with this are that because parents are unable to read Spanish documents being sent home by the school, children are not relaying the information correctly to their parents whether it’s on accident or on purpose.
Councilor Gutierrez stated many of these parents come from different parts of Mexico or Guatemala that speak little to no Spanish as they have their own dialects as well.
Mayor Drotzmann stated one of the conversations he had at the LOC Conference was Bridging the East-West Divide. There is a cultural difference between the State of Oregon and we often think about how each side doesn’t care about the other side, but both urban and rural sides of the state have similar problems. And it was interesting to hear all of this information and conclude that we’re all trying to do the best we can for our communities.
Councilor Myers stated that was one of the items she and Councilor Davis were discussing after they attended the LOC Conference. When the recession hit, Hermiston for the most part was lucky and was not affected as much as other cities and communities based on what members from those cities stated.
City Managers Report
City Manager Smith stated Sunset Park is showing major improvement and will be seeded on Wednesday.
Painters have been hard at work painting the water tower. Rain is expected later this week but there is significant progress.
Hydro seed at Newport Park has taken well but more work will continue at this site.
There was no other business, and Mayor Drotzmann adjourned the regular meeting at 7:47pm.
/s/Dave Drotzmann, Mayor
/s/Lilly Alarcon-Strong, Assistant City Recorder