Revisit Mural; Partisan City Council; Additional FURA proposal; Mapleton Fireworks; National Emergency — Letters to the Editor, March 27, 2019

Something very wrong happened at the March 18 Florence City Council meeting

Revisit the mural idea

Is there any way to revisit the notion that the proposed mural in any way represents what Florence stands for and is what we want to see every time we drive into Florence on 126? Are our local artists in favor of this effort?

— Sheldon Meyer

Dunes City

 Days of non-partisan city council seem gone

Something very wrong happened at the March 18 Florence City Council meeting. A contested final vote was taken to change the way membership appointments will be made to the Florence Urban Renewal Agency (FURA). It had previously been set up so that each participating entity would put forth its nominee and the five elected city council members could approve or suggest someone else. 

Following the March 18 decision, the Siuslaw Valley Fire & Rescue, Port of Siuslaw, Western Lane Ambulance District and the Siuslaw Library District can suggest their representative, but the mayor can appoint someone else since they alone can now make the decision. There are also several at-large members, along with city leaders, on FURA. Perhaps the reason for the change is to have access to money that is committed to FURA projects?

Two members of the Library District made comments at the meeting asking that the city leave appointments as they were, so that FURA members would not have to change their by-laws.

The port representative to FURA five years ago was Ron Caputo and when he could not be at the meeting, I would be there. I also represented the Port at the Siuslaw Watershed meetings, the Lane Area Commission on Transportation in Eugene and the Lane Council of Governments in Eugene. 

I testified at a State fact-finding meeting for transportation in Newport that Caddy McKeown chaired, letting them know the needs of the port. I have attended city council meetings for over five years. It had never been politicized and the city was so very progressive, getting many projects completed and was truly a City in Motion. 

I fear that those good days are over with politics changing everything.

—Nancy Rickard


Apologies for error in Letter to the Editor

In my letter to the editor published March 20 (“Let’s Really See What Florence Wants”) I stated erroneously the pedestrian crosswalk located on Highway 126 between Spruce and Quince Streets was causing a problem to traffic on Highway 126.

Thanks to Wendy Farley-Campbell here are the facts:

“The pedestrian crossing lights are not covered because of disruption to traffic but rather inoperability. People would push the button and lights would not come on. As a safety precaution they were covered so that pedestrians were not given the false impression that vehicular traffic knew the crossing had been activated. 

“Flashing pedestrian light crossings within a right-of-way are becoming a common safety precaution, similar to train crossings. There are several more proposed in Florence’ Transportation System Plan for the northern part of the city to protect those crossing for Bi-Mart and Fred Meyer.”

 My apologies,

—Bruce Jarvis


 Why wasn’t additional FURA proposal read?

At the end of the statements by concerned districts during the March 18 Florence City Council meeting, including public comment and council discussion, I asked the City Attorney if he had read my proposal, which was the last attachment. He replied that he had not.

I requested him to read it and acknowledge that he did. I then asked him if it would be legal. He agreed it was legal. Then why was it that it was not considered by the city and attorney? It met the needs of the various boards and in fact codified what we have been doing in practice for most of the 14 years that FURA has been in existence.

There were sufficient errors and misinformation that we should throw out the changes that were voted on and bring the issue up again.

—Ron Preisler

Florence City Councilor and Urban Renewal Board Member

 Thanks for supporting Mapleton fireworks

I want to say thank you to the friends and neighbors who generously donated so that we could again have fireworks in Mapleton this year. We appreciate you so much. Thank you to Tammy and Cathie at the bank for all of your help in our fundraising quest. And, of course, a big thanks to Terry Saubert who is actually going to make this happen.

We couldn’t do this without him.

We will be shooting them from the hill by the school. Even though we cannot do them over the river this year, we are trying very hard to make it happen next year. We have some ideas but any suggestions are welcome.

We can use the school to watch the fireworks. So spread out a blanket, sit in the stands or watch from your car.  Want to have a baseball game, play volleyball or have a picnic? Feel free! 

Thanks again to the generous people who made this happen.

You are great!

—Linda Jensen


 Real ‘national emergency’

Here is what a real “national emergency” looks like: As reported, the U.S. government posted the largest monthly budget deficit in American history in February — $234,000,000,000 in 28 days

Or $5,803,571 a minute.

And Nero fiddles.

—Jimmie Zinn



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