Guest Column, Opinion

City hall, from the inside, part one

I hear people wonder what we do all day here at City Hall. So, I thought that from time to time it might be worthwhile to give you a snapshot of what is keeping us so busy.
Jennifer is the nice lady at the front desk. She spends the majority of her days helping people with an astounding array of issues – taking payments, answering phones, issuing dog licenses and helping developers with their various city permits and inspections.
Recently she has had her hands full with the transition of Creswell’s building permit process. Additionally, she has become the resident expert on electronic permitting (another new program we have started in the hopes that tracking building projects in the city will be easier).
Michelle works in the reception area with Jennifer. Michelle’s duties focus on producing accurate and timely utility bills for all of the city’s water and sewer customers, and she also serves as back up to Jennifer.
This past week, Michelle has worked on water billing, issued a dog license and a building permit, tracked and billed 17 different bulk water customers and facilitated repairs to the electronic meter reading program.
Carolyn pays all the city’s bills and creates all the city’s checks. She stays up to date on all the rules for issuing paychecks and paying the city’s vendors. She also serves as back up to Jennifer and assists with the annual audit. Carolyn works part-time.
Roberta is the city recorder, court clerk, notary and elections officer. Needless to say, she is extremely busy.
In the next two weeks, Roberta will have prepared the agenda and agenda packet for the city council meeting, wrapped up the minutes from this week’s council work session, assisted the municipal judge with court (there are over 51 traffic violations as well as other people appearing for other municipal code violations), closed the application period for elections, assured that applicants are eligible to run for office in Creswell, taken minutes for the city council meeting and helped the public with public records requests.
She is also a co-signer for all city issued checks.
Maddie is the city planner. She is currently working with a developer who is seeking a permit to fill a portion of his property. It is difficult because it is in a flood zone, as well as possibly impacting wetlands.
Maddie is the person who has to deliver the bad news to developers when the city cannot accommodate a request.
Maddie is also the project manager for the City’s Transportation Master Plan Update, and she has put together a tabloid-sized information sheet that will be distributed in The Chronicle, at City Hall and at the library in the near future.
Maddie is also working on a letter of intent to send to the state, indicating the city’s interest in applying for a grant for the Safe Routes to School Program. Maddie is busy reviewing development plans and helping tighten up the draft Urban Renewal Plan, which will be presented to the city council in September and October.
Jim is the city finance director. On a daily basis he monitors the city’s budget to assure that revenues are received and accurately recorded, and that spending is within the limits authorized by city council.
Jim is working on updating the City’s Capital Master Plan and getting ready for the annual city audit. Jim also handles the city’s IT issues.
Right now, he is working on upgrading computers to Windows 10 and making sure the ”r” on the reader board at city hall actually shows up (for some reason it went missing). Jim will also assist at the front desk when necessary.
Next week, learn about other key players in City Hall, including Shelley, airport manager and code enforcement officer; Michael, the economic developer, Scott, the sergeant; Cliff, public works director; and Michelle, city administrator.