Siuslaw Seeks New Principal; City Council Meeting;  Volunteers Sought; COVID-19 Numbers; New Florence COVID Cases

Siuslaw Seeks New Principal

Siuslaw High School is looking for a new principal for the fall.  Andy Grzeskowiak, Siuslaw School District superintendent says The new principal would fill the interim position currently held by Garth Gerot, who plans to resume his assistant principal duties full time. Grzeskowiak says the district is moving toward opening up more opportunities for vocational education while continuing a simultaneous focus on college preparation and that a new principal will need to be able to balance the two. And, he says they hope to find someone who will be able to lead the high school out of the pandemic and into a strong future.

“We’re really looking for somebody that can kind of grab a hold of the high school and get everything moving forward on a solid academic footing for students for the future”

This past year the schools in Oregon have been thrown a lot of curve balls according to Grzeskowiak and he says Gerot has handled this past year well but it is time to move forward.  Gerot assumed the position of principal after former principal left to take a position at a school in the Greater Albany School District.

City Council Meeting

Last night’s city council meeting was filled with approvals with a unanimous stamp from the city council.  The only proposal that did not see agreement with the full council was on the topic of System Development Charges.  Over the last several years the council has approved extending the SDC waiver and deferral for individuals that wanted to add an accessory Dwelling Unit on their properties.  Homeowners have been able to build additional housing on their property within the city and did not have to pay an additional amount to hook up to city services.  The waiver was to encourage development of affordable housing.  Councilor Maggie Wisniewski made a motion to change the term Affordable Housing to Workforce Housing, seeing no second on the motion the council voted on action item and Wisniewski was the dissenting vote, measure passed 4-1.  The council also approved the 72 million dollar biennial budget, with Mayor Joe Henry making complimentary comments towards the city staff for all of the work they had done in preparation for the budget.

 Volunteers Sought

The Florence Senior Center and The Adult Day Care are looking for volunteers to help out. The senior center is looking for volunteers to work at the front desk and to help out in the kitchen with set up, serving and cleanup on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Adult Day Care needs volunteers to converse, have coffee, or play failure free games and provide company to participants. They are also currently looking for board members. Call Sue James at 541-997-8844 for the Florence Senior Center and Juels Larson at 602-803-0113 for more information about volunteering for Adult Day Care

COVID-19 Numbers

The Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 online dashboard is back up after several days of maintenance.  The updated numbers were released yesterday with Lane County now at 63.8 percent of the necessary 65% needed to move to the lowest risk category while the state continues to inch toward the 70% needed for Governor Kate Brown to feel safe opening up the state’s economy.  The state total is now at 66.8 %.  Benton and Washington counties have already surpassed the 70% goal with Multnomah and Hood River less than half a percent away.  Brown says she hopes the state will reach the goal by June 21st.

New Florence COVID Cases

The Florence area continues to see positive COVID cases added to their total. Lane County Public Health added 3 more cases yesterday to move the total to 255 in the 97439 zip code.  County numbers yesterday were only at 14 and Lane County still has 19 people in the hospital with 3 individuals on ventilators.  6 of the individuals hospitalized are over 70 years of age.  Vaccination rates continue to slow.  The Florence area clinic on Friday there were less than 250 individuals that received either a first or second dose.  It is unknown whether this is the last clinic of its kind as City Manager Erin Reynolds says the county is moving to a more mobile model for future vaccination clinics.