City & Government, Cottage Grove

Year In Review Briefs

New Cottage Grove city manager announced

COTTAGE GROVE — It’s time for Cottage Grove to say goodbye to interim city manager David Clyne and hello to city manager finalist Michael Sauerwein, who will be appointed at the Jan. 8 city council meeting.

“Both my wife and I are looking forward to joining the Cottage Grove community,” he said.

Native Oregonian Sauerwein has experience ranging from serving as the city administrator for the cities of Snoqualmie and Medina in Washington to being an assistant city manager in Sammamish, Wash. He earned his master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Oregon.

Ciao, Clyne

Clyne has been serving Cottage Grove since early October, and will be assisting with the leadership transition. Clyne described his time as interim city manager as “interesting,” adding that Cottage Grove is a “very active city.” He said the recall attempt of councilors Mike Fleck, Jon Stinnett, and Chalice Savage “added a complexity” to his work.

“It was a good experience. I don’t think we’ve really heard a lot of complaints … during those three months,” Clyne said. “The lights are still on, progress is being made … I feel good about it.”

When Sauerwein begins as city manager, Clyne will re-enter retirement for the fourth time, allowing him to take a trip to Costa Rica in January and focus on community service upon his return back to the U.S.; he mainly volunteers with Court Appointed Special Advocates and his local food bank. 

Clyne will also continue his volunteer work with the Oregon City County Management Association (OCCMA), where he is a senior adviser who uses his four-plus decades of career experience to guide city managers through difficult situations.

What’s Meyers up to now?

Meyers recently took a volunteer role as a senior adviser with the OCCMA. He was also awarded with a life membership to the organization due to his “years of service and my contributions to the profession on the state and national levels.” He has already begun his work as senior adviser with the City of Tangent to assist city manager Joe Samaniego in receiving an All America City award.

“It’s a fun opportunity to give back to the profession and stay up-to-date on everything as well as share the information that I do have with the current managers and staff,” Meyers said.

Since Meyers is part of the Benton, Lane, and Linn County region of OCCMA, he could potentially provide insight for Sauerwein, should he request it – so Cottage Grove may not have had to say goodbye to Meyers just yet.

Marcola Meadows completes final phase of residential development

SPRINGFIELD — In August, The Chronicle reported that Marcola Meadows, a project to build housing in northern Springfield on an about 100-acre site, was ahead of schedule.

“Comparatively speaking, this neighborhood has experienced a rapid approval and construction process for nearly 425 new residential lots and 312 apartment units,” said Andy Limbird, city planner.

He added that “City and Springfield Utility Board staff completed inspections and fire hydrant flow tests for the fifth and final phase of residential development in the neighborhood” on Dec. 21, making the fifth subdivision phase “now substantially complete in terms of streets and structure.”

According to Limbird, this means construction of homes can begin, which will probably continue through the first half of 2024. He added that work continues on the nearby Northwood Church site, and a neighborhood convenience store has been approved for one of the two commercial sites.

— Amanda Lurey 

Clean-up crew building community

SPRINGFIELD — The Chronicle last reported on Love Where You Live (LWYL) in July; Julie Sonam started LWYL in April, a grassroots effort to rid Springfield of litter.  

Since then, she has effectively collected a team of litter haters who meet once a month to clean up trash. An unanticipated consequence, Sonam said, is building a tense of community.

“Last time we were doing the cleanup, it was pouring rain; it was miserable, wet, and disgusting – and I know this is kinda funny to say, but you know that song ‘Singin’ in the Rain?’ Well, we weren’t singing, but we were laughing – and there was so much laughing,” Sonam said. “People who have never met each other before, they’ll talk there, and people will exchange phone numbers. People … are getting a sense of community from it.”

Sonam said LWYL collected 880 pounds of trash at the November cleanup, which was the most of all nine so far. She loads up all the trash and takes it to Lane County Waste Management herself.

“I’m happy with how it’s going. If it just keeps going this way for eternity, I’m thrilled, but it’ll continue to grow and keep evolving – I just know it will,” Sonam said.

— Amanda Lurey



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