City Council Regular Meeting - Minutes

Date: 
Mon., Mar. 20, 2017

Mayor Drotzmann called the regular meeting to order at 7:22pm. Present were Councilors Kirwan, Beas-Fitzgerald, Primmer, Hardin, Myers, Smith, and Gutierrez. Councilor Davis was excused. Staff members in attendance were City Manager Smith, City Attorney Gary Luisi, Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan, Chief Edmiston, Scott Clark, Clint Spencer, Bill Schmittle, Roy Bicknell, Ron Sivey, Larry Fetter, Nate Rivera, Brandon Artz, and Lilly Alarcon-Strong. News media present were Jade McDowell of the East Oregonian and Michael Kane of NE Oregon Now. The pledge of allegiance was given.

Recognition - Larry and Marjorie Davidson, Christmas Tree Donation.

Mayor Drotzmann thanked Larry and Marjorie Davidson for their tree donation that was used in the Downtown Christmas Festival and, as a thank you, presented them with an engraved piece of the tree they donated.

Introduction of new Recreation Supervisor

City Manager Byron Smith introduced the new Recreation Supervisor Brandon Artz.

Recreation Supervisor Brandon Artz stated he is from Vancouver, Washington and is excited to move into the area with his wife and two daughters. His first day was March 13th and thanked Larry and the recreation staff for helping him while he gets settled in.

Unscheduled Communication

Pastor Terry Haight from Hermiston Assembly stated his congregation has reached out to other churches in the area to join the “I Love My City” message. Their service to the community will be on Saturday, April 8th, where 400-500 faith-based members will help the City do a neighborhood cleanup in the down town area, around the train tracks and help with the Recycling Day Event. Others can get involved and/or order an I Love My City shirt at www.ilovehermiston.com.

Pastor Haight stated many congregations will also hold a joint service the following day at EOTEC on Sunday, April 9th at 10:00am. Pastor Haight invited the City Council and staff to attend and asked that a member of the Council join in the service and share a positive message about the City.

Mayor Drotzmann thanked Pastor Haight for all their service to the community and stated he will not be in the area to be able to participate in the service but hopes that someone from the Council will be able to participate that day.     

Consent Items

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

  1. Minutes of the February 27th, regular City Council meeting.     
  2. Minutes of the November 17th, 2016, and January 19th, Parks and Recreation Committee meeting.
  3. Minutes of the February 1st, Airport Advisory Board meeting.
  4. Minutes of the February 7th, Faith-Based Advisory Committee meeting.
  5. Recommendation of standing committee appointments for the unexpired portion of a:
  6. Remaining 3-year term beginning March 28th, 2017 and ending December 31st, 2019
    1. Budget Committee- position #2- Jason McAndrew, position #3- Joshua Roberts
  7. Recreation Projects Fund Advisory Committee- position #2- Jody Frost
  8. 3-year term beginning April 1st, 2017 and ending March 31st, 2020
    1. Planning Commission- position #5-Kathryn Erz, position #6-Dean Fialka
  9. Announcement of standing committee vacancies for the unexpired portion of the remaining:
  10. 3-year term beginning 2017 and ending December 31st, 2019
    1. Budget Committee - position #1.
  11. 3-year term beginning 2017 and ending March 31st, 2020
    1. Planning Commission - position #4.

(Deadline for submitting applications: OPEN UNTIL FILLED.)

Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 2243 – Correcting certain bad cross-references to the Hermiston Code of Ordinances.

City Manager Smith stated this Ordinance would correct certain bad cross-references, i.e. Links to non-existent sections of the Hermiston Code of Ordinances.

City Attorney Gary Luisi stated the City changed code publishers in 1999; during the codification process, the code publishers found housekeeping issues that needed to be addressed. These items cannot be corrected without an adopted ordinance from the Council.

Mayor Drotzmann requested that the first reading be by title only. Hearing no opposition, City Attorney Luisi read the ordinance by title only. Mayor Drotzmann requested that the ordinance be put on for final adoption at this meeting and that the second reading be by title only. After City Attorney Luisi read the ordinance by

title only for the second reading, Councilor Smith moved and Councilor Myers seconded that Ordinance 2243 be adopted tonight and be effective 30 days after its passage by City Council. 7 votes for; none against. Motion carried unanimously.

Ordinance No. 2244 – Amending the TRANSIENT ROOM TAX from the Code of Hermiston.

City Manager Smith gave a brief presentation regarding amendments to Section 112.13, entitled “EXEMPTIONS,” of Chapter 112 TRANSIENT ROOM TAX of the Code of Hermiston and declaring an emergency. This ordinance would exempt federal employees from being charged the TRT, as required by law.

Mayor Drotzmann requested that the first reading be by title only. Hearing no opposition, City Attorney Luisi read the ordinance by title only. Mayor Drotzmann requested that the ordinance be put on for final adoption at this meeting and that the second reading be by title only. After City Attorney Luisi read the ordinance by

title only for the second reading, Councilor moved and Councilor seconded that Ordinance 2244 be adopted tonight and become effective immediately after its passage by City Council. 7 votes for; none against. Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2055- Employee Handbook Updates.

City Manager Smith gave a brief presentation regarding the three newest updates to the Employee Handbook to comply with state law, to include:

  • Cell phone policy
  • Whistle blower policy
  • 3rd employee classification for ¾ time employees

Councilor Primmer moved and Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald seconded to approve Resolution No. 2055 and lay upon the record. Motion carried unanimously.

Long-term Leases between EOTEC and the Umatilla County Fair and Farm-City Pro Rodeo.

Mercantile Lease

City Manager Smith presented the Council with the Mercantile lease.

After some discussion, Councilor Primmer felt that the lease amount of $500 per year was too inexpensive. Councilor Kirwan moved and Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald seconded to approve the Mercantile Lease as presented. Councilors Kirwan, Hardin, Beas-Fitzgerald, Myers, Smith, and Gutierrez voted in favor; Councilor Primmer voted against. Motion carried 6-1.

Arena Lease

City Manager Smith presented the Council with the Rodeo Arena Lease.

The majority of the Council agreed that not holding events for 90 days prior to and 30 days after the pro-rodeo events in August (as stated in the lease) is a detriment to EOTEC as this time frame, during the summer, is a major time in the year to host outside events, and asked why this time period was chosen.

Rodeo Board member Dennis Barnett stated the Board uses a minimum of 45 prior to the event to prepare the soil for the rodeo, as the process is very intensive and time consuming. The 30 day time frame after the event is needed to do repairs and paint the facility, this process is also very intensive and time consuming. But the Board would be willing to lower this time frame from 90 days to 60 days. Mr. Barnett stated the contract is not asserting that no events can be held during this time period, only that the Board will need to approve them prior to confirming scheduling. In most cases the Board will approve the events if the event does not affect the rodeo grounds and/or does not directly compete with the rodeo. Because our community is small, their event cannot directly compete with other events and still be successful, so they need to make sure to protect their investment as well. Mr. Barnett also reminded the Council that the Rodeo Board is also investing over 1 million dollars of their own funds into this project and they are all volunteers.

EOTEC Operations Manager Heather Cannell asked what the process would entail reserving EOTEC during this time frame.

Mr. Barnett stated a request would most likely need to be in writing to himself or another member of the Board who will review and respond to the request in writing with an approval or denial; and if denied, a reason for the denial.

After more discussion Councilor Kirwan moved and Councilor Primmer seconded to amend the lease from 90 days prior to 60 days prior. Motion carried unanimously. Councilor Kirwan moved and Councilor Primmer seconded to approve the lease as amended. Motion carried unanimously.

Fair Lease

City Manager Smith presented the Council with the Fair Lease.

There was concerns from the Council regarding not holding concert events for 60 days prior to and 30 days after the County Fair in August, and asked for more information regarding this proposal in the lease.

Fair Board Member Dan Dorran stated, like the Rodeo, the Fair also needs time to set up and tear down; and, like the Rodeo, the Fair Board is not stating they will deny all requested events that want to take place during this time frame but do need the option as they too cannot compete with other venues and concerts.

After some discussion Councilor Primmer moved and Councilor Smith seconded to approve the Fair lease as presented. Councilors Hardin, Beas-Fitzgerald, Primmer, Myers, Smith, and Gutierrez voted in favor; Councilor Kirwan voted against. Motion carried 6-1.

G2 Construction Contract for the Harkenrider Center

City Manager Smith presented the Council with the construction contract from G2 Construction out of Kennewick Washington for the construction of the Harkenrider Center. Mr. Smith stated G2 Construction was the low bidder and will be able to add the elevator as an add-alternate to the bid as well.

Councilor Gutierrez moved and Councilor Kirwan seconded to approve the construction contract to G2 Construction. Motion carried unanimously.

Cinco de Mayo beer garden in Butte Park

Cinco de Mayo member Clara Bea-Fitzgerald requested that the Council consider approving a beer garden in Butte Park for the Cinco the Mayo weekend celebration. The celebration will be on Saturday and Sunday May 6th and 7th. The beer garden would open at 2pm and go till 8pm both days. The Committee has had a beer garden for the last few years and have never had any issues or problems. The event has outgrown its current location on 2nd street and that is why it has moved to Butte Park to accommodate for the larger event, vendors, carnival, and competitions. Mrs. Beas-Fitzgerald stated the beer garden will help generate revenues for the event as the event continues to grow bigger and bigger.

Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald returned to her seat at the dais and declared she would not be participating in the Council discussion or vote.

The Council asked if there was any other location where the event could take place for the beer garden and were concerned that allowing beer for this event would open the doors for others to submit similar requests.

Parks and Recreation Director Larry Fetter stated not only has the Cinco de Mayo event outgrown the current location on 2nd Street, but they would not be able to host the event there either because of the construction of the Harkenrider Center. EOTEC was considered but not reserved as the facility has not been completed, but would like to host it at EOTEC in the future.

Cinco de Mayo member Mark Gomolski 2020 NW Eucalyptus Drive stated the Cinco de Mayo event has already been completely planned out using Butte Park so it is too late to change the location, and encouraged the Council to support the event by approving the beer garden.

After more discussion Councilor Kirwan moved to approve the Cinco de Mayo beer garden request at Butte Park, there was no second. The issue died due to the lack of a second.

Committee Report

Hispanic Advisory Committee:

Councilor Gutierrez stated the Committee will meet tomorrow.

Rose Parade Float Committee:

Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated the planning of the parade float is going very well. There have been many community donations made by: Marlette, Ross Machine, Ross Brant Electric, Cycletown, and more. Karie Walchli has done a great job in organizing the Committee and getting everything to move forward. The parade will be June 9th but the Committee needs volunteers for June 8th, 9th, and 10th to put the float together while in Portland and take it apart as well.

Parks and Recreation Committee:

Parks and Recreation Director Larry Fetter stated as of right now, Hermiston is in the lead by 4,000 votes and has over 19,000 total votes in the Moda Trail Blazer Assist Competition. The winner will be announced shortly after the voting deadline, which is tonight. Mr. Fetter stated this is the 3rd time this competition has taken place, the highest score ever was under 4,000 votes, so Hermiston has really pushed through getting an amazing amount of votes to come in.

Mayor Drotzmann asked for an update on the Riverfront Park flood progress.

Mr. Fetter stated the water receded, with the worst damage being mud left in the parking lot. The Street Department has helped clean up the area with the street sweeper.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Drotzmann stated he participated in a housing workshop meeting with the planning commission a couple of weeks ago. Mayor Drotzmann stated in his opinion he believes not having sufficient housing is the greatest hurdle the City has as it continues to grow. Moving forward the City needs to address how it will meet these needs to house the population that is coming or wants to come here, but cannot find housing. The group met with a lot of builders regarding their concerns as well. The meeting was very productive and the work being done to move forward on this issue is outstanding.

Mr. Smith stated City Planner Clint Spencer and the Planning Commission will be working on addressing the housing growth issue and coming back to the Council with some  recommendations.

Mayor Drotzmann stated he attended the EOTEC neighborhood meeting. The meeting was very well attended and well ran by Mr. Smith. Mayor Drotzmann stated the EOTEC Board did a great job addressing the concerns brought up at the meeting by local residents, to include: water, noise, and changing the name of Airport Rd.

Mayor Drotzmann declared he is on the Political Action Committee and is advocating in the community for the Hermiston School District bond and thanked those who have supported those efforts. There is a lot of economic value that comes from the investment in schools and education that is far beyond the price tag of the bond.

Mayor Drotzmann stated the West End Mayors and City Managers meet monthly to discuss issues that are pressing within the region or issues affecting certain areas but can spread to affect other communities as well. One of the most recent ideas that was discussed is to work on a long range project that we could all work on together to enhance our local friends and neighbors. The project would be beneficial for all the communities and will be presenting the ideas to our communities in the future.

Manager’s Report

City Manager Smith stated he, Councilor Myers, Councilor Hardin, and Councilor Gutierrez attended the NLC Washington DC Conference where they met with all of Oregon’s Delegation and were able to have great conversations about Hermiston’s issues.

City Manager Smith stated Assistant City Manager Morgan will give a Council update at the next meeting regarding HART.

Mr. Fetter stated the Annual City Recycling Event will be held Saturday, April 8th in the Parking area at UEC. The Hazardous Materials Group will be located at EOTEC on Saturday, April 22nd to collect any liquid hazardous materials. The last time this group came to Hermiston was over 8 years ago, so we are very lucky to welcome them back.

City Manager Smith stated Anderson Perry will be awarding another scholarship to a Hermiston High School graduate this year. A selection process will be developed this spring to award the scholarship. 

City Manager Smith stated Columbia Grange #867 has invited the Council to participate in its 80th anniversary celebration on Saturday, April 29th.

Adjournment

There was no other business, and the meeting was adjourned at 9:22pm.

SIGNED:
/s/Doug Primmer, Council President

ATTEST:
/s/Lilly Alarcon-Strong, Assistant City Recorder