8/6/2013 12:39:00 PM Citizens talk with officials at town hall meeting
By John Griffith
City officials and citizens kicked around topics ranging from road work to airport annexation, from street sweeping to economic development in a town hall meeting at Hop N Bean on Cascade Avenue Tuesday evening, July 30.
About a dozen local folks took the opportunity to dialogue with Council President McKibben Womack, Councilor David Asson and City Manager Andrew Gorayeb.
The town halls were a campaign promise of Womack to hold frequent meetings in Sisters to allow citizens to
quiz council members and city staff on issues of interest in a less formal, more relaxed setting.
The councilors and Gorayeb provided updates on a number of significant projects happening around Sisters. These presentations were interspersed with input and questions from the lively group of citizens assembled.
They discussed an upcoming Barclay/Locust intersection shutdown and renovation, a precursor to the eminent Cascade Avenue Project, the Sisters Eagle Airport annexation process, street sweeping and snow removal, the Economic Development Manager search, the Barclay/Highway 20 roundabout, and even a letter to the editor from Ky Karnecki.
The Barclay/Locust intersection will be closed for part of August to prepare the intersection for the freight-route traffic during the Cascade Avenue construction (see www.nuggetnews.com "Roadwork scheduled for Barclay Drive" for details).
Gorayeb indicated that the Barclay/Highway 20 roundabout at the other end of town appears to be funded, with work expected to start in 2015.
Progress on the airport annexation process is covered in this edition on page 5. Gorayeb reported that the second-round search for an economic development manager is in its final phase, with a decision expected shortly.
There were several question about Wild Mountain's Ky Karnecki and his letter to the editor that appeared in the July 24 Nugget. In his letter, Karnecki contended that Mayor Brad Boyd had instructed the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office (DCSO) to "use discretion in the enforcement of parking regulations during special-event weekends," and that these instructions resulted in a deputy ignoring vehicles parked in front a fire hydrant during a recent Creekside Park event.
Gorayeb reported that he had personally talked to the mayor, the deputy involved, and Captain Erik Utter of DCSO and that "there was no truth to the allegation whatsoever."
Both the local officials and the attendees expressed pleasure with the discussions and with the concept of the town hall meeting format. Womack indicated that he intends to make the meetings more frequent. Oregon public meeting laws prevent the attendance of more than two councilors at such meetings without adding a lot of regulation and formality, so Womack will be "rotating" the council members that join him in these meetings.
Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Article comment by:
Public meeting laws do not prohibit all 5 councilors from attending a town hall meeting. They can all go.. it just has to be noticed.. (and probably recorded) which is really no big deal. It would be great if town halls were held on a regular basis... perhaps quarterly, with all 5 councilors present.