Siuslaw River Bridge at Sunset

3-2 Vote To Firm Up FURA Appointment Process; Work Session Shortened; Public Safety Workers Recognized; Fire Destroys Home

3-2 Vote To Firm Up FURA Appointment Process

The Florence City Council voted 3-2 last night to establish a more defining process by which it chooses members of the Florence Urban Renewal Agency.  The change approves city Ordinance No. 1 series 2019, which effectively gives the city’s mayor the final say in approving members of the agency.  The ordinance was drafted upon recommendations of the city attorney.  Councilors Green and Priesler opposed the ordinance. Green stated that no one person should have the ability to choose members of an entity especially one that has its own tax base and budget, but rather the language in the FURA bylaws, according to Green sites special circumstances for choosing members.  The council heard from 8 different speakers on the issues, some for and some against the changes.  Mayor Joe Henry also noted that 29 letters in support of the ordinance had come to the council, favoring changing the way members were selected.  Two members of the special taxing district of the Siuslaw Public Library spoke out against the changes, citing the need for transparency and representation.  Patricia Riley, representing FURA and the Library district said she believed that it was important to continue to have the entire city council responsible for selecting members of the board.  She said this change will now make it necessary to change the FURA bylaws, a process, which she believes, should have occurred prior to a council vote.  When the role was taken, councilors Lucio and Woodbury voted in favor of the ordinance with Mayor Henry being the deciding vote.

Work Session Shortened

The Florence City Council had hoped to approve its work plan and goals for the city.  Yesterday morning’s work session involved reviewing the goals and establishing priorities for city projects, a necessary step in preparing the biennial budget.  The meeting had to be cut short after councilor Woodbury suffered a medical event.  Woodbury was taken to Peace Harbor Hospital and later released.  He appeared via phone at last night’s council meeting.

Public Safety Workers Recognized

Also at last night’s council meeting several members of the community were recognized by the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars for their service to the community.  The awards recognized a member from each of the public safety entities.  Recipients were Trooper Mike Slifer, FPD communications officer Kim Greenwood, SVFR Captain Tony Miller and Western Lane Integrated Healthcare Paramedic Chris Martin.

Fire Destroys Home

The Register Guard reported that yesterday morning one lane of Highway 126 near Walton had to be closed as firefighters battle a blaze that destroyed a house displacing three people.  A total of 12 fire vehicle were called to the blaze just after midnight Monday morning.  The family is being assisted by the Red Cross.  The house and its contents valued at 120,000, was not insured.