Opinion & Editorial

City hall, from the inside, part two

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. Last week, I wrote about Jennifer, Michelle, Carolyn, Roberta, Maddie and Jim.
Shelley has two big areas of responsibility: managing the airport and code enforcement. Her code enforcement job has kept her busy removing garage sale signs from utility poles, making sure that people remove graffiti from their property and abating properties that get overgrown. Right now blackberries are a big problem.
When Shelley is at the airport, she is handling the day to day tasks associated with having an aviation fueling station, assuring that navigation equipment is working properly, applying for grants, selling pilot accessories to pilots, monitoring the drinking water well at the airport, keeping the reader board along the freeway current and meeting all FAA rules and regulations.
She also supervises Jerry, who is the airport’s all around handyman (part time).
A big project she has undertaken is getting the airport certified for GIS non-precision approach (this will move our airport up into a new classification). Part of that process has been an evaluation by the FAA.
During their evaluation, the FAA identified clumps of trees that present a hazard to landing planes and need to be removed. Shelley hired a contractor to remove the trees, but between being called off to fires and with the restrictions in place locally, the project has been stalled midway.
Michael is the city’s economic development person. As such, he fields phone calls from property and business owners interested in Creswell.
He works closely with the city planner, finance director, public works director and city administrator.
Additionally, Michael helps with parks and special events. He assures that the city receives the Tree City Designation every year.
Right now, he has his hands full as the City is working on establishing an Urban Renewal District that will encompass Bald Knob, additional industrial property located north off of HWY 99 and downtown Creswell.
The Urban Renewal District is a tool for generating reserves to be used to install water and sewer lines, and streets that are needed for these properties to be developed. Michael is also the project manager for the City’s Parks Master Plan Update, which is nearing the completion stage.
Michael is also working with the First Baptist Church to purchase a portion of their property for a new neighborhood park on 2nd Street.
Scott is the city’s sergeant. He supervises three full-time deputies assigned solely to the City of Creswell. Each month he holds ”Coffee with a Cop” at various locations around town and citizens can join him for an informational chat.
Additionally, he is working on traffic issues such as identifying speeding and parking violations. He also responds to code violations and the public calls for service.
Cliff isn’t really at City Hall, but he is an important person here in Creswell. Cliff is the city’s public works director. He supervises 7.5 people who do everything related to bringing you safe drinking water to assuring that you can flush your toilet. Much of this work is underground.
Additionally, he and his folks install signs, maintain street lights, hang the banners you see on the lights downtown, keep the parks looking their best, trim trees, maintain planters, clean bathrooms and other city buildings and work on streets. I am sure that I have missed a lot of what they do in this list.
One of the more obvious projects they have undertaken is the 5th Street upgrade. A project like that takes a lot of planning, work on utilities in the ground, tree removal, moving utility poles, working with contractors and paving. The project should be coming to a close in late September, and include new sidewalks and a bus drop off area for the Historical Society. Cliff is also a co-signer for city issued checks.
I am ”the other Michelle” at city hall. My job is to support the work of everyone listed above in addition to meeting the goals set out by the city council. This week, I have met with city council, as well as most everyone listed above. I have prepared agendas for various council committee meetings, met with the mayor and council president, prepared draft language for amendments to the city code and a building lease, which are under review by the city attorney. I have prepared six Agenda Item Summaries to be included in the agenda packet for the next city council meeting, met with staff on this year’s update to the Capital Improvement Plan, worked on the Urban Renewal Plan, along with staff, and updated the City’s Strategic Plan. I talked with a developer interested in industrial property within Lane County, sent the preparedness article to The Chronicle, set up training for staff and closed an insurance claim and, of course, put together this email. Oh, and I also sign checks.
The thought that I hope you take away from learning a little more about our week is that there is a lot of talent, planning and care taken to assure that we are providing quality, reliable and affordable city services to city residents and businesses creating a safe, livable and attractive community with a unique small town atmosphere to those we serve in Creswell.



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