City Council Regular Meeting - Minutes

Date: 
Mon., Feb. 27, 2017

Mayor Drotzmann called the regular meeting to order at 7:00pm. Present were Councilors Kirwan, Beas-Fitzgerald, Primmer, Hardin, Myers, Smith, Gutierrez, and Davis. Staff members in attendance were City Manager Smith, City Attorney Gary Luisi, Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan, Chief Edmiston, Will Johns, Bill Schmittle, Ron Sivey, Amy Palmer, Emma Portello, and Lilly Alarcon-Strong. News media present were Jade McDowell of the East Oregonian. The pledge of allegiance was given.

Consent Items

Councilor Primmer moved and Councilor Hardin seconded to approve all Consent Agenda items, to include:

  1. Minutes of the February 13th, work session and regular City Council meeting.             
  2. Minutes of the February 11th, Goal Setting meeting.
  3. Minutes of the November 21st, 2016, Hispanic Advisory Committee.
  4. Minutes of the January 25th, Library Board meeting.
  5. Announcement of standing committee vacancies for the unexpired portion of a:
    1. 3-year term beginning March 2017 and ending December 31st, 2019
      Budget Committee- positions #1, #2, and #3.
      Recreation Projects Fund Advisory Committee- positions #2.
    2. 3-year term beginning April 1st, 2017 and ending March 31st, 2020
      Planning Commission - positions #4, #5, and #6.
      (Deadline for submitting applications is February 28th, 2017.)
  • Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2053- Supporting a transportation package in the 2017 legislative session.

City Manager Smith gave a brief presentation regarding the importance of supporting the League of Cities with a transportation package at the 2017 legislative session.   

After some discussion in support of Resolution No. 2053 Councilor Davis moved and Councilor Smith seconded to approve Resolution No. 2053 and lay upon the record. Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2054 - Supporting funding for drug enforcement and forensic lab activities.

City Manager Smith gave a brief presentation regarding the Governors proposed budget to cut drug enforcement in Eastern Oregon. If passed, our area would lose three members of the drug enforcement team and would eliminate the forensic lab in Pendleton and move all the staff at this location to other labs in the State, leaving the closest forensic lab to us in Clackamas.  City Manager Smith stated at the Ways and Means meeting, many district attorneys testified that these resources are extremely important with helping them make cases, especially with extremely violent crimes. This resolution encourages the legislature to find ways to fund these aspects of the budget.

Chief Edmiston stated many people already believe justice is slow; so taking these vital resources away from our area would significantly delay the response time in receiving evidence information as we do not know how much of a priority Eastern Oregon will have in their labs.

Mayor Drotzmann stated this is the second time the Governor has acted in such a way, where it seems Eastern Oregon is not a priority for her as well. Mayor Drotzmann stated this is a major resource for our community, as well as surrounding communities; and, taking this resource away would be a significant blow to our public safety agencies and community.

Councilor Gutierrez and Primmer agreed this is a priority and something our community “needs”, not “wants”, and community tax dollars should stay in our community as well.

Mark Gomolski 2020 NW Eucalyptus Dr, stated it is commendable that the City Council is supporting this Resolution and asked if the public could be more involved with this issue, perhaps with a petition from the community to the Governor’s Office.

Mayor Drotzmann encouraged the community to voice their concerns in whatever format they feel the most comfortable with: petition, letter, and phone calls to the legislator’s or governor’s office. Councilor Primmer moved and Council Kirwan seconded to approve Resolution No. 2054 and lay upon the record. Motion carried unanimously.

Corrective Action Plan to address the deficiencies noted in the 2015-2016 Audit Report.

Finance Director Amy Palmer stated the State of Oregon has recently adopted a new requirement for Cities to submit responses to address deficiencies found in financial audits. These responses are submitted to the Secretary of State to be filed. The State can withhold some of the State shared funding if city’s fails to submit a Corrective Action Plan. The information in this Corrective Action Plan is the same information that was found in the audit report.

Mayor Drotzmann stated he noticed many items on the Corrective Action Plan have already been addressed or implemented. Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald moved and Councilor Primmer seconded to approve the Corrective Action Plan as presented by Finance Director Amy Palmer. Motion carried unanimously.

January Financial Report

Finance Director Amy Palmer presented the January Financial Report to the Council.

Judy Meyers 1054 W Madrona Ave, asked how much money the Senior Center has left since some of the money is already being spent.

City Manager Smith stated because the City contributed $700,000 to the Senior Center it has about $2.5 million left.

Councilor Davis moved and Councilor Gutierrez seconded to approve the January Financial Report as prepared and presented by Finance Director Amy Palmer.

EOTEC Monthly Report

Finance Director Amy Palmer presented the Council with the EOTEC Financial Report.

There was some discussion regarding the budget table and displaying other in-kind contribution as they do not feel the report accurately reflects how much the City has fully contributed to EOTEC compared to the County. And it is important for the community to see this displayed correctly as the City and County are equal partners.

Ms. Palmer asked if the Council would like to see this format displayed similarly to the Monthly Financial Report.

The Council said yes.

City Manager Smith gave a construction update stating the ground breaking for the barns was done last week, an additional irrigation well is being drilled today, the Street Department has started work on the fence line so the contractor can complete his work, and a lot more activity. The walls of the Rodeo  arena are 75% complete with arena walls and start compacting soil and back fill, footings for ticket booths and livestock wash racks are also being installed. It is very exciting to see all the work that is being done.

Mayor Drotzmann asked that progress photos of EOTEC be presented to the Council with EOTEC updates to be able to fully appreciate all of the work that is being completed.

City Manager Smith stated he will make sure to include photos in the future.

Committee Report

Rose Parade Float Committee:

Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated some Committee members were able to attend the float training in Portland. The next meeting is on Thursday at 5:30pm.

Hispanic Advisory Committee:

Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated the Committee met last week and one of the subjects spoken about was helping form a Hispanic Grief Counseling Group in the area for non-English speaking individuals/families who may need these services.

Councilor Gutierrez stated the Committee also welcomed a new member, Mark Gomolski who is also present. Councilor Gutierrez stated Maria Duron from the School District will also be presenting the School Bond information at the next meeting in March.

Mark Gomolski stated the Cinco de Mayo Committee is also working very hard on the Cinco de Mayo Parade and Event. Mr. Gomolski stated he has reached out to the Consular General of Mexico in Portland and have asked him to be the Grand Marshall of the Parade. Mr. Gomolski stated State Representatives have also been invited and he hopes the City Council will join Mexico’s Consular General and participate in the parade and festivities.

Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated the event will be held at Butte Park for 2 days, May 6th and 7th, and people can expect to see fireworks the night of the 6th, with food vendors, a carnival, horse competitions, and bands playing. The Parade will travel E from the gas station on 11th and E Elm Street go to Butte Park and travel back to the starting position.

Parks and Recreation Committee:

Councilor Myers stated the Committee met and discussed the different strategies being used to try to get people to vote for the new playground at Sunset Park and water issues at Sunset Park.

Councilor Primmer stated Sunset Park is leading in first place by over 1,000 votes, but still needs to have the most votes by March 20th to win.

Library Board:

Councilor Smith stated there is a lot of movement and changes at the Library and encouraged people to become voting members and join the Friends of the Library Board for $5.00 to be a part of those changes.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Drotzmann stated the Ways and Means Committee Meeting was very well attended with about 400 people from across Eastern Oregon.  Mayor Drotzmann stated he was able to welcome the Committee and express concerns regarding the current taxing system, generating revenues, and controlling costs with insurance and PERS. Mayor Drotzmann stated many people spoke about issues they are passionate about and had good questions. It was a very respectful gathering and encouraged people to attend meetings with elected officials such as these.

Councils Report

Councilor Kirwan voiced concerns over the future of EOTEC and the progress the Board has made thus far; stating essential contracts for the Fair and Rodeo have not been finalized and the Board consistently takes too long discussing, finalizing, and approving decisions on all project topics.  Councilor Kirwan proposed that the City Council temporarily appoint itself as the acting EOTEC Board and fully take over all responsibilities on the remaining project as he feels the City Council could make more progress than what is currently being done as the City has already put in more than its fair share to make sure the community has a successful EOTEC Facility.

City Manager Smith stated EOTEC is a unique facility with many committees and Boards that have special interests in the project, and that is why it has taken so long to make decisions. City Manager Smith stated it would be best to meet with the County Commissioners as they are the City’s partners in this project. Another meeting is being scheduled for April.

City Attorney Gary Luisi stated there are legal aspects of the Intergovernmental Agreement between the City and the County, and cannot be overturned so easily or quickly as Councilor Kirwan proposed.  

After some discussion from all members of the Council disagreeing with the proposition to replace the EOTEC Board, the council agreed that the current EOTEC Board has more background and knowledge in the project and it would be best to continue on this path, provided that the Board does not procrastinate on making decisions. The Council also agreed that a meeting with the County Commissioners should be held prior to April.

City Manager Smith stated he will contact the County Commissioners to schedule a meeting sooner rather than later.

Manager’s Report

City Manager Smith reminded the Council that the Urban Renewal Downtown District meeting will be at 5:30pm tomorrow at EOTEC.

Emma Portello stated the first half of the meeting will be informational and the second half will be used to create 5 action group committees to focus on the main items that were addressed in the steak holder interviews:  

  • Retail and Restaurant needs
  • Events and Activities
  • Beautification
  • Perceived lack of parking
  • Building Upgrades, both exterior and interior.

Each Committee will only focus on its own task above and will meet for about 1 hour, 1 time per month, for the next 3 to 4 months.

Mayor Drotzmann encouraged anyone who is interested in any of the Committee’s please attend tomorrow’s meeting at EOTEC.

City Manager Smith reminded the Council that the Festival Street Committee will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, March 1st at 5:30pm at City Hall. The Committee will be looking at final design recommendations.  

City Manager Smith stated he, along with 3 other Councilors will not be able to attend the next City Council Meeting as they will be in Washington DC for the National League of Cities Meeting.

There was some concern that there would not be a quorum for the next City Council Meeting and may need to be rescheduled. City Manager Smith stated he would look at potential dates throughout the month that the meeting can be rescheduled to and inform the Council and public once a decision has been made.

Adjournment

There was no other business, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:26pm.

SIGNED:
/s/Dave Drotzmann, Mayor

ATTEST:
/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.