Four step process required to run for local office

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Florence City Council Elections set

Potential candidates for the two City Council positions and the Mayor of Florence can begin the four-step process next week for getting on the ballot.

City Recorder Kelli Weese says the first step is filing a “prospective petition” with her office.  Once that’s approved, candidates can then begin collecting signatures.  You need 25 valid signatures from registered voters in Florence.  Weese suggests gathering more than that in case some turn out to be invalid.

The filing deadline for petitions is August 16th.  That’s when step-three kicks in.  Weese will then forward them to Lane County Elections for signature verification.

The fourth step is filing the required campaign finance documents with the Secretary of State’s office in Salem.

In order to run for Mayor or City Council, you must be a “qualified elector” and resident of the City of Florence for a minimum of 12-months prior to the November First election.

Ford peanut butter drive yields results

A drive to collect peanut butter for Florence Food Share last week exceeded expectations.

Brian Johnston – “The results have been amazing.  We’ve had more peanut butter this year than we ever had for this program.”

Brian Johnston, with Johnston Motors said when they put out the call two weeks ago he didn’t have any idea the response would be as large as it was.  That response was 390 pounds of peanut butter.

Something Florence Food Share director Norma Barton said was sorely needed.

Norma Barton –“Especially right now, this peanut butter came in really handy.  We’re out, so we definitely needed the peanut butter.  And it’s very expensive to buy so we really appreciate this.”

The shelves at Food Share are a little bare right now.  Barton says that’s why community efforts such as the Ford Peanut Butter Drive are welcomed.

Highway 101 resurfacing project to cause delays

More delays are facing motorists driving on Highway 101 across the Siuslaw River Bridge and heading south.

The ongoing Siuslaw Bridge renovation project is expected to cause traffic delays for up to two more years… and between now and the end of August another project will be slowing things down between Florence and the Douglas County Line.

Construction crews have begun staging equipment for a resurfacing project over that eight mile long stretch.

Angela Beers-Seydel with the Oregon Department of Transportation said most of the work will be done at night with local lane closures in effect overnight with about 20-minute delays.

One exception will be the one-mile stretch of Highway 101 between Clear Lake Road and Pacific Avenue in Dunes City.  Work in that area will go on 24-hours a day.

Seydel said right now crews are just waiting for good weather to get started.

Streamlining city codes

The Florence Planning Commission will meet this evening to review and discuss a pair of proposed changes to city code.  First, they’ll continue a public hearing from May Tenth on changes to the Wireless Telecom Codes… those changes are being made to bring the local codes in line with federal laws.  The other changes, according to Florence City Manager Erin Reynolds, is an outgrowth of goals set by the City Council.

Erin Reynolds – “The whole goal for that is to streamline and to be customer service friendly and to reduce fees for things that, they’re, they have lots of strong criteria that can be placed in the code and there can be a checklist for staff to over the counter make administrative staff decisions.”

Those changes would allow city staff to make administrative decisions on some applications based on a clear cut check-list.  Reynolds said it would speed things up and make it less expensive for applicants, as well as save staff and volunteer times.

The Planning Commission meets at City Hall, Tuesday at seven p.m.

Bicycles galore Friday

Friday will be the annual “Bike to School” day for students at Siuslaw Elementary School.

Students through grade 5 are being encouraged to ride their bicycles that day.

Principal Mike Harkleode said safety is of great importance.  He said Florence Police officers, Siuslaw Valley Firefighters, and medics from Western Lane Ambulance will be standing by along Highway 101 at the major crossing points for the school.  Their goal is to make the crossing more visible and prompt drivers to slow down.

Students are expected to be on their bikes between 7:30 and 8:30 Friday morning… then again in the afternoon between 2:30 and 3:45.

Oregon BBQ championships at TRC

Fire it up baby… The competition is expected to be hot… and fierce June 4th and 5th during an official Oregon State Barbecue Championship event at Three Rivers Casino.

Judges from the Kansas City Barbecue Society will be looking for the region’s best chicken, pork, ribs and brisket.

In addition to walking away with bragging rights, winning teams can also win cash prizes.

Visitors can get in on the judging as well.  Three Rivers Entertainer and Events Manager Erin Knowlton said visitors to the competition can sample and vote on their favorites Saturday, June 4th.  KCBS judges will do their work the next day.