The first Work Session of the year gave Councilors a team-building opportunity to do something a little different than Councils of the past. Using the Meyers-Briggs Personality rhetoric; Councilors were offered to voluntarily participate in the MBTI and bring their individual results to the work session to find out more about each other, the Mayor, and some City Staff. Participation and sharing of results was completely voluntary, per the public meeting setting. 

Mark Weiss,, the exercise's facilitator gave a presentation regarding the different characteristics of Meyer-Briggs personality types. Interesting discussion ensued around what "energizes us" and what may exhaust us. For example, we applied specifics of introversion and extroversion to Council Meetings; many of us agreed that we were energized by meetings, to the point it is difficult to wind down at the end of the night because the interactions, the discussion "amps" us up. A couple of personality types felt the opposite, as the meetings were exhausting to their nature. Another discussion around how we process information and make decisions was extremely enlightening. Personality types seemed to fall under a few genres: those who needed all the details in order to make a decision; those who rather focus on the big picture; and a couple of us needed both details and the big picture when it comes to making an informed decision.

At the end, Mark Weiss asked us each to individually share what we can give to the Council and what we need from the Council. I found that this Work Session was extremely productive and useful. Learning these fine aspects of one another really gives us greater understanding when collaborating and making informed decisions, with the consideration of each other in mind. I gave the entire experience 2 enthusiastic thumbs up!

January 17, 2017:  The Consent Agenda opened with various confirmations for appointments to boards and commissions. Including a notice of change in the 509J appointment to the King Legacy Advisory Board and the OSU appointment to the Community Relations Advisory Group. The next issue regarded the issue of no inflationary adjustment to the Transportation Maintenance Fee for this year; as Council voted to not implement an increase until the trip count issue (founded in December 2016) could be resolved. 

Ordinances & Resolutions                                                                                                                                                                              Council voted approving the amendment of two city ordinances. Amendment to "Restricted use of bus and taxi stands" was changed to include the language of "during Corvallis Transit operating hours; including late night service".  The next ordinance amended was in regards to the taxation of marijuana and marijuana infused products, adding language from the Oregon Revised Statutes regarding late penalty fees if taxes were not paid timely.

Tobacco Retailer Licensing                                                                                                                                                                     Several members of the community used Community Comment to express concerns relating to the update of Tobacco Retailer Licensing. Both the Chief Medical Officers for Benton County and the Corvallis Clinic spoke towards the critical need to amend the Corvallis Municipal Code regarding Tobacco Retailer Licensing regulations. The initiative to pass code regulation changes includes several community members, all voicing the importance of mirroring Benton County’s modified County sales regulations, which BC Commissioners passed on December 22, 2016. The amendments to the current Municipal Code include: adding electronic “vaping” devices and products; new retailers must be at least 1000 feet away from any school (however, existing retailers are already grand-fathered in); new retailers must be at least 1000 feet away from any other retailers; no tobacco retailing at a temporary event (such as farmer’s markets, the fair); retailer licenses must be visibly displayed; and no one under the age of 18 can sell tobacco products. There was a vast amount of testimony highlighting the current trends, especially in the arena of “vaping,” and its effects and availability to minors. City Staff also presented a concern that new coding may constrain new development in South Corvallis which I found interesting. The groundwork for these efforts began in 2013, and the community urged for Council to prioritize the need for these regulatory changes. Council decided that because of the significant efforts invested into this, that there would be limited burden on Staff to make this a priority. It was decided that scheduling a hearing and moving forward would be to the Council’s interest. I will be meeting with several members of the effort on Wednesday, Feb 11th in order to become better versed at all the issues relating to regulations.  

CDBG/HOME 2017-18 Action Plan Public Hearing​                                                                                                                                       Each year Council holds two Public Hearings for Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnerships (HOME); in order to receive comments about the housing and community development needs of lower-income Corvallians. CDBG/HOME funding is received from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Corvallis is required to create a consolidated plan every 5 years for planning for expenditures under these funds. For the 5 year plan, the City digs into demographic data and demonstrates the certain needs in areas of our community. Each year within the consolidated plan, a one-year action plan is created in order to distill the needs of development in this arena. This hearing kicked off things for this year’s action plan, from both the community and proposals coming forth from community partners.

There were two testimonies made by community partners, the first was Jim Moorefield from WNHS. Jim identified that the section of Housing Burden under the consolidated plan was “his favorite part.” The need this year falls in the Low income housing tax credit program, as when the city awards a project it is the largest, single source of funding; demonstrating the importance of these programs. Second and lastly to testify was Collette Marshawn, the executive director for Stride: a residential service licensed in senior, developmentally disabled and mental health housing. Collette shared that Stride is looking to develop property along the 2400 block of SW Pickford, which is surrounded by 2 acres of empty parcels. She shared the intent to develop a 24 bed senior living unit, identifying that Stride’s proposal will include 50% of the facility will be primarily reserved for Medicaid (most are only 10-15%); with the added highlight that “the private pay beds will be the lowest in town.” She also stated that all Medicaid occupants will have single, not shared bedrooms.


New Work Session Day & Time!
It was decided amongst the 2017-18 Councilors that a shift in the Work Session schedule was more formidable this term. In my prior discussions with other incoming Councilors and constituents, it has been brought up that the Tuesday Work Session Schedule was prohibitive towards the attendance of several community members, who may wish to provide Community Comment. I also felt that no days in between Council Meetings and Work Sessions was counterproductive; I could not be as prepared as I could be if I was given an extra day or two to thoroughly go over anything and everything I deemed necessary for the Work Session. We are only given two of these per month to get together informally as an entire Council, and having time to go over the next meeting’s agenda and adding to it, as a key advantage of continuing Work Sessions during council meeting week would allow for any prospective changes to be submitted to Council Leadership before the following Council Meeting.

Strategic Operational Plan vs. Council Goals

As per this term’s recommendation, Council decided and voted to switch to a Strategic Operational Plan (SOP) rather than the past practice of “Council Goals.” The key difference between an SOP and the former Council Goals model is that an SOP implements strategies that can focus on longer term goals, that tend to go across multiple, and perhaps all future council terms. For example, the previous Council identified six goals for their respective term; however, the goals all inspired recommendations that will take several years to implement and utilize. The SOP organizes a larger framework model, that includes foundation for developing priorities and goals; can be used to provide objective measures, accountability and communication about specific goals.

The other benefit of the SOP is that its framework can correspond with the 2040 visioning process. Several aspects of community goals align with the Community Action Plan outlined in Imagine Corvallis 2040. The development of the SOP will be drafted by Staff and Council is planned to receive the initial draft in March. Council will then review and discuss and it is intended that the SOP may have a few iterations before its final product. There is also no measurable budget impact of the SOP, in the end the hope is that it will better organize and structure of the 2017-18 Council’s inspirations over the years to come. Although Staff will be key in providing measures, targets and action items in the SOP, Council will own it.

Other Business
In the agenda for Ordinances and Resolutions, the Council voted to update the Climate Action Task Force, disbanded the Sustainable Budget Task Force and voted on a resolution to create the Community Action Plan and Implementation Plan Task Force in order to develop the next phase of Imagine Corvallis 2040.

Two other significant agenda items were (1) the scheduling of the Public Hearing for the Kings Blvd Extension per LUBA’s recent  for February 6th @ 7:30pm and; (2) scheduling a Public Hearing for the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Action Plan for 2017-18 on January 17th @ 7:30pm.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2017 opened the new term to four new Councilors: Myself (Ward 3); Charlyn Ellis (Ward 5); Nancy Wyse (Ward 6); and Mark Page (Ward 8).  As part of the first meeting’s agenda, Barbara Bull (Ward 4) was elected Council President and Penny York (Ward 1) was elected Vice President. All Councilors were also appointed to their respective Advisory Boards and Committees.I, myself was appointed to: Airport Advisory Board, the Legislative Committee, the Community Police Review Board, the Housing Opportunity Action Council, the Enterprise Zone Committee, and I am also the liaison to the Community Policing Advisory Board, filling the place of Mike Beilstein. Please feel free to click on the link to find all Councilor appointments and times of respective board, committee or council meetings.




Corvallis City Councilor Ward 3