Nov 26, 2008

You Know You're In A Small Town When. . .

Self contained toilets on a golf course. That was the main agenda item at last night's Troutdale City Council meeting. Yes, indeed. You know you live in a small town when outhouses are the main topic of discussion at a City Council meeting.

Last night's meeting agenda wasn't exactly full. Two agenda items. One agenda item was a formality- endorsing appointments to JPACT. The other agenda item? A proposed change to our municipal code to allow the placement of self-contained toilets at public recreation facilities (in this instance, McMenamins Edgefield's golf course).

You'd be surprised at how difficult it is to maintain some sense of official decorum when everyone is aware that toilets are the big agenda item. Mayor Paul Thalhofer's slightly off-topic rant about the lack of cleanliness at a public restroom near Mt. Hood was the highlight of the meeting. I think he went on for a good two-three minutes. A close second place for meeting highlight was city staffer Travis Hultin's explanation of how smells are scientifically categorized- it's done by a panel of "sniffers". Hultin was responding to a previous City Council request for more information about how to limit smells from portable toilets after some members of the City Council shared their own portable toilet horror stories.

I didn't have much to say, except to propose that the ordinance be amended to allow only composting toilets, which are virtually odor-free. Everyone agreed to my proposed amendment, the ordinance passed unanimously, we adjourned the meeting, and that was that.

One week, you're discussing million dollar deals. The next week, you're discussing toilets. There's never a dull moment on the Troutdale City Council.

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