Local News – New Florence City Manager – 1st Challenge to City Sign Code – PERS Overpayments to be collected

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Local News

The Florence City Council will open the first meeting of the new year saying goodbye to Florence Police Chief Maury Sanders, who announced his retirement last week.  The second item addressed by the council will be the swearing in of a new Florence City Manager, Jacqui Betz.  The former assistant city manager was groomed for the position by her predecessor, Bob Willoughby, allowing for a seamless transition at the helm of day to day operations at city hall.  Betz’ first major task will be to orchestrate the recruitment and hiring process to fill the vacancy left by Sander’s  retirement…

210        “ The new Florence City Manager should be able to select who ever she wants as her own chief of Police.  She needs to look at  long term leadership that (uh) she wants for the police department.”

 How recruitment and hiring process will be run has yet to be determine, but Sanders has been doing his own grooming…

209        “ I have made it a very high personal goal to produce the mentorship of Lieutenant Ray Guiterrez to hopefull become the next Florence Police Chief.  I believe his is very capable of doing the job.  However the selection of the next chief will be totally up to the new city manger.”

 The council will consider a city staff request to approve applying for a $60,000 Recreation Trail Grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation. Tonight’s Florence City Council meeting begins at 7 o’clock.


 The first challenge to the City of Florence’s nine-month old sign code will be heard tonight during a request to by the Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue to adjust the sign code to allow for their new digital reader board.  The agency erected their new sign this past fall.  The code allows messages to be changed no more than once an hour but Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue’s messages change much more often than allowed. Fire Chief Jon Buchanan has asked for an adjustment to allow for the sign.  City staff has suggested the council either make a one-time exception for the district, or make a blanket adjustment to the code.


The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled that the state’s pension system can collect $156 million in overpayments to retirees. Two rulings issued Friday come after years of litigation and negotiation over the money paid to 28,000 people from 2000 to 2004. The Associated Press reports the court stood by an earlier ruling upholding the right of the Public Employees Retirement System to collect the overpayments. In a second decision, the court said the retirement system did not violate the rights of members by entering a settlement agreement that authorized collecting the money. The system plans to start collecting the money as early as April.