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About Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 1, 2008)
public works specialist, as City Engineer
and to begin the process of a sewer and
City Receives US Flag from Senator water rate study for the city. He also an-
nounced that he has met with Architects
An American Flag that was flown over the Without Borders and had discussions with
Capitol building in Washington DC was re- Portland State University about securing
ceived by the City of Vernonia from the office assistance with flood recovery.
of US Senator Gordon Smith.
VCLC programs postponed...
Remote Control Airplane Flights Allow- Council received a written report from
Community Learning Center Director Jes-
able at Municipal Airport...
City Council repealed Ordinance 820 pav- sica Jones announcing the postponement
ing the way for the use of remote control air- of programs and classes in order to ac-
planes at the Airport. The Airport Commit- commodate more pressing needs of the
tee had previously requested this change to community. The Learning Center building
create more opportunities for use at the city is being used as the central location for
run facility. Councilor Steve Whiteman com- flood relief for Columbia County and was
mented that he was in favor of “...anything also serving as a temporary classroom for
that stimulates use of the airport.” Mayor Vernonia grade school students. In an
Sally Harrison challenged the Airport Com- attempt to recover lost revenue, two of-
mittee “...to get the Airport making money.” fices in the building are being rented to
the Columbia County Rider transportation
Council Adopts Job Description for City system, to Columbia Community Mental
Health, and to DHS Vocational Rehabilita-
Council was presented with a complete tion. Jones reported that once the com-
job description for the position of City Ad- munity no longer needs the space, regular
ministrator. According to Dick Kline who programs will resume.
prepared the description, and who was
serving as City Administrator at the time
City Council January 22, 2008
the description was written, the city has
been operating without a comprehensive
description for this position. The new de- Flood First Responders Honored...
scription spells out the functions, knowl- The City of Vernonia recognized local first
edge/abilities/skills, and qualifications of responders who were instrumental in the
the position. After a discussion that noted initial flood response from the community.
the “vagueness” of the qualifications that Vernonia Police Sergeant Mike Kay, Mayor
are required, it was agreed by the council Sally Harrison and County Commissioner
that the broad scope of the position calls Tony Hyde individually honored those
for allowing the city to consider a range
of potential applicants when attempting
to fill the position. Council adopted the
new job description.
City Council January 7, 2008
Verizon Service to Become Permanent...
Interim City Administrator Aldie Howard
announced that he has reached an agree-
ment with Verizon to provide cell phone
service in the area with the siting of a per-
manent tower on city property.
Council Moves Forward with Flood Re-
Interim City Administrator Howard brought
a number of proposals before council in
regards to the city response to the flood-
ing of December. Howard received per-
mission by consensus to form a Recovery
Committee made up of local citizens and
staff to guide the securing of resources
for the recovery effort. He also received
permission to contract with Dale Merrill, a
ing the first days of the flood. Life Saving
Medals were given to Norm Brown, Ben
Davis, Dean Smith, and Wayne Vaughn for
their heroic efforts during the initial disas-
ter. Certificates of Appreciation were giv-
en to the other responders who served.
Standing ovations were given to Police
Chief Mathew Workman, Sergeant Kay,
and Fire Chief Paul Epler for their out-
standing service. “It warms my heart to
be able to show our citizens’ appreciation
for all of you,” said Mayor Harrison.
Economic Development Committee
Vernonia citizen Bud Dow has proposed
the formation of a formal Economic De-
velopment Committee that would act to
shape the local economy by attracting
new business, retaining established busi-
nesses, and improving the quality of life
in Vernonia. The committee would report
directly to the Mayor and would actively
seek affiliation with state and regional or-
ganizations. City Staff will work to for-
malize this proposal.
Flood Recovery Continues...
Interim City Administrator Aldie Howard
discussed items he is working on for the
city in its recovery efforts. He briefly
discussed the possible citing of FEMA
temporary housing units on Knott Street
and the fact that there is some opposi-
tion to this proposal from area residents.
He noted the scheduling of a Recognition
Ceremony in Salem on January 31 for the
Department of Corrections Inmate Crews
that assisted the community in
flood clean up and announced
that he is attempting to secure
more inmate crews to help with
watershed cleanup. He also an-
nounced that Architects Without
Borders will be creating some
sample designs of raised homes
based on actual home sites in
Vernonia. He also announced
that the city is purchasing a new
multi-line phone system that will
be used at the Community Learn-
ing Center and is being tested
for possible use in other city fa-
Pictured left to right: Tony Hyde, Sally Harrison,
Mike Kay, and Shelley Cota.
Fire and Rescue Personnel, Emergency
Medical Technicians, Citizen Emergency
Response Team members and private citi-
zens who gave selflessly of their time dur-
Cozy fireplace seating
Lunch & dinner
Gifts & UPS Shipping
503-429-3751, 934 Bridge Street, Vernonia, OR
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