May 27, 2007

The Long And Winding Agenda

Ok ok so I haven't written much about city council agendas, meetings etc. lately. Let's see, what did we discuss at the city council meeting this past week?

We approved new pretreatment thermal measurement and mitigation process and rules for our water treatment facility and for certain manufacturers who may dump high temperature water into our water system. Exciting stuff. Hundreds of pages. Good and necessary policy making, but not something you can really get people excited about on a blog.

The rest of the city council voted to increase SDC's to pay for upcoming capital construction projects for water/sewer/roads. I voted no. The increased SDC's would raise approximately $60,000 from now until the estimated time of buildout- around 2016-2018.

But check this out: The total price tag for all the proposed water/sewer/road capital construction projects during this time period is $2,800,000. And we're wasting time increasing SDC's in order to collect $60,000? That barely covers ten years of staff time over the next twelve years. It's not even a drop of spit in the bucket. But what do I know? I know I was one no vote against six yes votes. Que Sera Sera.

Oh yes, we also renewed Jack Glass's lease for his snack and tackle shack at Glen Otto park. And gladly. It's a real asset to the park and the city.

Bracketing the Tuesday night city council meeting, on Monday night and Wednesday night, we met to interview candidates for the vacant city attorney position. We interviewed a variety of candidates, who had various ranges of experience, qualifications, and knowledge.

Total city council time in evening meetings this week: Lets see. Monday, about four hours. Tuesday, about three hours. Wednesday, about three hours. Total meetings this week: ten hours. Add in about two hours of reading staff reports, city attorney resumes and writing samples, maybe an hour of city council related phone calls, my grand total this week for city council business: 13 or 14 hours.

It's not usually like this. Wednesday was a killer. Up at 5am to do garbage/recycling, Toastmasters at 6:30am, work until 4pm, a meeting at church at 4:30pm, pick up the Mrs. at 6pm, city council meeting at 7pm, home at 10pm, run dog around in backyard for 45 minutes, load dishwasher, go to around 11:30pm. I can't remember if I ate dinner Wednesday. . . .

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I love being a city councilor. But Saturday afternoon, I was zonked. I took a nap. A nice long one. And today? The Mrs. and I enjoyed a well deserved day of rest. We had an indoor picnic (Jack Daniels marinated chicken & great side fixin's) and watched the Indy 500. We had a blast. I like NASCAR, but open wheel racing is where it's at.

Once upon a time in the past(1980's), Memorial day weekend always meant camping in central or eastern Oregon. Usually Walton Lake, but sometimes Steens Mountain, Page Springs or Fish Lake. While driving to or from the Painted Hills, Shaniko, Prineville, Kiger Gorge or Denio Junction, we'd listen to either NBA playoff games (Celtics/Lakers/76'ers come to mind), or the Indy 500. The station would fade in and out during the day. Fade in: Ainge steals the ball! Fade out: Mears takes the lead.... Fade in: It's time for the KXXX swap meet of the air, Mildred wants to trade her snow tires for a goat or a trailer hitch. . .

Memorial day weekend also means taking time to honor my dad, who served in the Navy in WWII, my dad-in-law, who served in Korea after WWII as a GI. My dad-in-law, by the way, refuses to go camping. He says he spent years living in tents (and worse) in Korea while in the Army. He's a comfort kind of guy now. I don't blame him one bit.

Thanks for your service, gents.

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