Boards Choose New Chief; Gas Prices; Watershed Council To Launch New Website; Oregon Could Side With Popular Vote

Boards Choose New Chief

The Boards of Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue and Western Lane Ambulance District met Saturday in executive session to discuss the potential hiring of one of the candidates proposed by the Boards and to conduct interviews.  After the executive session the boards convened in open session and a decision was made to make a conditional offer of employment to Michael Schick.  The job offer is contingent upon favorable reference and background checks and agreement on terms of employment, which are yet to be negotiated.  Schick formerly headed the Camano Island Fire District in Washington from which he recently resigned and is currently assisting the agency in transition as they seek to replace him.  Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue and Western Lane Ambulance District through the  Intergovernmental Agreement has been operating with interim chief Steve Abel since the resignation of former chief Jim Langborg in August of 2018.

Gas Prices

The average price of a gallon of gas in Florence has jumped 15 cents in the last two weeks.  AAA Oregon is reporting higher crude prices are putting upward pressure on the industry, but that changes to the summer blends is also an issue.  March and April according to Marie Dodds with AAA is usually when we see an increase, but the large jump in the first 2 months of the year is the largest since 2015.  Florence came late to the price increases.  The last 2 weeks have seen larger single week increases than the national average even though the Oregon average is up only slightly in the same period.

Watershed Council To Launch New Website

The Siuslaw Watershed council announced that it is launching a new website later this month.  The watershed council has also partnered with the timber industry, fish biologists, conservationalists and the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians to provide 8 videos about the work the council does.  They will be providing a public viewing of the videos along with a panel discussion on March 27th at City Lights Cinemas.  The Siuslaw Watershed Council is also planning a volunteer project tour and planting at fivemile bell on March 23rd.  more information can be found at Siuslaw dot ORG.

Oregon Could Side With Popular Vote

Oregon could become part of a compact to ensure that the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote is elected. Lawmakers last week introduced Senate Bill 870, which would ensure that the state’s seven electoral votes are awarded to the winner of the popular vote. The compact will go into effect once states with a majority of the electoral votes – 270 out of 538 – have signed on.  The bill is expected to be referred to the Senate Rules Committee soon. Senate President Peter Courtney has killed the bill four times, saying it needs to be approved by Oregon voters at the ballot box. Eleven states, including California and Washington, and the District of Columbia have signed on to the movement, bringing the electoral vote total to 171. Colorado also has approved, and that bill awaits the governor’s promised signature.