City & Government, Creswell

Stram’s last hoorah, other council biz


It was Creswell Mayor Dave Stram’s last hoorah at this week’s city council meeting. He began by recounting all the steps, favors, good graces and helping hands that guided him through his six years of service, many of them present for his speech Monday. He then ended the meeting by passing the gavel to a teary-eyed council president – as though he were passing a symbolic torch to the new helm, Mayor-Elect Richard Zettervall.
But between all that, it was business as usual at Monday night’s regularly scheduled council meeting.
In the public hearing period, two residents piped up – one about speed control and the other about upkeep at a local park.
The first was Creswell resident Ron Jessen, who came to council to advocate for speed bumps at 5th Street and Oregon Avenue.
Jessen told council about a previous experience he had. Jessen said a child was killed on a street where he used to live, struck by a car. Appalled, Jessen went to the state, which apparently told him there would have to be another fatality on that street in order to implement a stop sign there. A year and a half later, another child was killed by a vehicle on his street, and he does not want to see the same thing happen here.
He said, ”There are more children than you can imagine in the summertime next to that road.” He noted that with the completion of the 5th Street Project earlier this fall, he was expecting to see some speed restricting speed bumps.
”It’s a safety factor,” Jessen said. ”People go through that stop sign like it is a race, and sometimes people don’t even bother to stop because they don’t have a reason to.”
Jessen said he spoke with Mayor Dave Stram recently at the coffee shop about this matter, and said Mayor Stram said that the City uses ”calming devices” for traffic instead of speed bumps, and Jessen wanted to clarify specifically what that meant.
Creswell resident Jack Gradle also spoke to council about Garden Lake Park and said he wants to see the property ”get back to being used as a park as originally intended.”
He said with no running water going to the property, the park is ”going downhill so fast it’s not even funny.” He told council the stagnant water causes unhealthy living conditions and makes it unlivable for fish.
The lake ”looks like a garbage pit, the way the weeds are overgrown at the bottom of the water,” he said.
He suggested getting running water to the property to make it a clean place for fish to live.
Because council is not allowed to respond to public comment at these meetings, Stram and council did not respond to either inquiries.
In other news:
■ On Dec. 7, current councilor, and write-in candidate Misty Inman accepted the nomination for Creswell City Council;
■ City Economic Planner Michael DeHart’s resignation was announced, as he will be moving to Vermont at the end of the month;
■ City council adopted the Community Fund Policy Update and entered into a contract with Creswell First!;
■ Council adopted a resolution amending the General Fund and appropriating professional services within the General Fund;
■ Council adopted the Citywide Parks and Open Space Master Plan;
■ Council adopted the city attorney’s review policy; and
■ Council adopted the ordinance amending a chapter of the Creswell Municipal Code regarding animals, specifically chickens.
Councilor Gary Mounce was absent from Monday’s meeting and the absence was unexcused.



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