Council satisfied with City Manager, approves ASIF committee

May 12 - In a marathon meeting that lasted nearly five hours last Monday night, May 8, the Cottage Grove City Council spent just over two of those hours in a non-public executive session to review & evaluate the employment related performance of its Chief Executive Officer, City Manager Richard Meyers.

When the council returned to open session at 11:45 pm, Mayor Candace Solesbee read the following prepared statement.  “The Council has reviewed underlying documents related to the ongoing issues and investigations at the police department. Today a majority of the council was satisfied with the city manager’s performance and handling of the tumultuous situation. Absent any new information, the council is moving forward in a positive direction.”

In other council businesses, two new police officers were sworn-in by Interim Chief Jeff Groat who led Captain Sean Marsh and Officer Agnes Lane through a lengthy oath focused on the importance of upholding honor and providing public service in a professional and ethical manner. The council passed a proclamation declaring May 15-21 Police Week and May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor those who died or were disabled in the line of duty.

The council approved the establishment of an Ad Hoc Street Improvement and Funding Committee to look at all options to raise the $1.1 million dollars needed just to maintain the current pavement condition of city streets. The eight-member committee and Youth Advisory Council representative will begin its work immediately.

The council accepted a $1.2 million bid from R & G Excavating to replace a 53-year-old secondary clarifier at its Water Reclamation facility. The project begins on July 1.

In a lengthy discussion on awarding tax benefits to developers to increase the City’s housing inventory, a majority of the council asked staff to come back with public benefit options that include requiring affordable rents and a path to home ownership. 

In both public comment and councilors’ comments concerns were raised about the school board candidates’ forum two weeks ago that ended in a scuffle.

Ellyn Mole, South Lane County Venture Catalyst for the Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network (RAIN) Catalysts program provided an annual report along with two local entrepreneurs who have benefitted from the program. The City annually contributes $21,000 to fund a portion of the two-year program to grow new businesses to enhance the local economy. 

City Manager Richard Meyers announced Kassidy Poetzl, Cottage Grove’s first place high school winner in the “If I Were Mayor…” Contest took first place in the statewide Digital Media Presentation category and won $500.