Creswell, News

Safley steps aside

Lloyd Safley said he is not a quitter, but after 36 years serving on the Planning Commission, he decided the time has come to ”step aside” from the committee.
”It’s not an easy thing to do,” he said. He almost wanted to ask if there were any short-term committees he could join, but he thought he’d actually take some time off first.
His presence on the commission will be missed. Maddie Phillips, City Planner, said Safley brought ”wisdom” and ”long-standing institutional memory” to the commission.
”It’s very unusual to have such a dedicated member of the community serve on Planning Commission for so long,” she said in an email. ”His comments often reminded other (newer) commissioners how far Creswell has come in the last few decades. His contributions help all of us understand what about Creswell ought to be preserved as we think about how we will grow going forward.”
Safley first got involved with the City after an elementary school boy was killed in 1982 when he got off the school bus. Safley went before the city council and talked about the safety issues, and when a spot opened on the planning commission the mayor at the time recommended he get involved.
”It’s not the way you’d think something would start,” he said.
Although he grew up in Cottage Grove, Safley spent some time in Portland and in the military before he came to Creswell.
Over the years, the planning commission has received praise from developers, saying that Creswell’s commission was ”the best one to work with,” Safley recalled. Even though he’s only one of seven people, he said it made him proud.
Safley has worked with multiple people during his time on the commission, many who were prominent community members such as Francis St Clair and Carol Gemmell.
”We got some good people who have come on the committee,” he said of the current commission. ”Those people all listen and are involved.”
Safley summed up what working on the planning commission does in three words: Read, read, read. Although the commission doesn’t dive as deep as Phillips, he said that he has to reread and make notes for the meetings. He said one of the challenges is how involved the work is, but it’s not overwhelming – like it was serving on the school board, which he also did for 13 years.
”It’s tough because you can’t vote with your heart,” he said about the planning commission. You have code and guidelines to follow, and can’t go in feeling sorry for someone.”
Before Phillips joined, Safley said he was considering stepping down earlier, but she ”made things so interesting.” One of his biggest pet-peeves in Creswell is how some signs are hung, and when she created a sign committee, he was drawn back in.
There have been a few other exciting projects that Safley remembered over the years. One developer wanted to build a casino, and over 100 people attended the meeting with opionins on the matter. Another wanted to put in three Arabian horse barns, a show arena, a helicopter pad and a vineyard with adjoining winery in West Creswell; however, the developer didn’t have the funds, and the plan fell through quickly.
Now, Safley said he’s looking forward to the transportation plan and the focus on safe routes to school. He said he hopes those projects go through, along with the urban renewal and future housing projects.
”Some exciting things and hard work are coming up,” he said.,”but we have people (in the City) who can do it.”
He said he wanted to recognize the job that Phillips, other planning commissioners, mayor and city staff were doing, and how it’s going to help Creswell. He said while he’s pleased with how the City has grown, he knows it could be even better.
”We have good people with the city; they’ve come in and done a great job,” he said.
What’s next for Safley? He said he’s cutting back and putting time towards: fishing, bowling and golf. However, he doesn’t want to completely cut ties with the commission.
”I told (Phillips) to keep me on the email list,” he said.

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