Lincoln City Police Chief Keith Killian and City Manager Ron Chandler escorted two city law enforcement employees and hauled them up before the city council Monday night to give them both a good thanking. And boy did they deserve it.
At the recent Lincoln County Law Enforcement Banquet, Lincoln City Police Officer Jane Johnson (far left) was chosen law enforcement officer of the year for the Lincoln City Police Department for her considerable contributions to major investigations – making sure probable cause information made search warrants rock solid when officers knocked on doors. Chief Killian says she’s also in the process of busting up a child pornography case in the city.
Chief Killian had words of praise also for the Civilian Employee of the Year, Tammy Williams who has been a regular voice of Lincoln City’s REAL #1 radio station – 9-1-1 dispatch, heard on thousands of police and fire scanners throughout the region. This reporter has heard her handle multiple calls between juggling fires, medical calls, high speed chases, domestic violence, all with the grace and composure of a symphonic orchestra conductor. She’s a total pro. But the job is high stress as anyone can imagine. So she shifted over to become an administrative assistant to Chief Killian which includes greeting the public at the police department’s main window. But she still slides in, occasionally, to run 9-1-1 dispatch when needed.
Chief Killian says Williams is also in the process of setting up Lincoln City’s first Citizens’ Academy which seeks to better inform Lincoln City residents on what exactly police officers do on the street, behind the scenes, conducting investigations and following through with the courts. It’ll be a real eye-opener for citizens who will soon be signing up to attend the academy.
Getting more depth on the City Arts Commission
The city council then turned their attention to broadening the quality and outreach of the city’s Arts Commission – whose job it is to ensure that art in all of it’s forms and textures enriches the lives of local residents as well as visitors to Lincoln City.
Visitors and Convention Bureau Marketing Manager Scott Humpert said the commission needs to reach out more to enlist the talents and energies of regional artists to serve on the committee. He said the current arts commission requirements include that artists be selected from pretty close to home. He said he’d like to change that to allow artists living and/or working within 30 miles of Lincoln City to be on the commission – which would include the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. Humpert said the city would like to harness some of their tremendous artistic talents – to borrow them to boost the performance of Lincoln City’s Arts Commission strategies – to make art more available and thereby enrich the lives of every day people. The council agreed and instructed City Attorney Richard Appicello to broaden the eligibility criteria for commission eligibility that the council can approve at their June 13th meeting.
An old idea rises from the pages of the past for another go at it
The old idea of establishing a kind of cross between a trolly and a bus, to haul tourists and locals around Lincoln City – especially during the tourist season – came up during Monday night’s city council meeting. Councilor Kip Ward was quick to poo-poo it, reminding everyone that the idea was tried long ago and it flopped miserably. But City Planning Director Richard Townsend said the $12,000 cost to the city, at this point, is to study what kind of “public transit,” mainly for tourists, might look like in Lincoln City – if only to ensure visitors see more of the city than their motel room and the beach.
Councilors admitted that they’d also like to get more cars off of Lincoln City’s summertime jam-packed streets by providing a more organized city-wide perspective on all that Lincoln City has to offer – and that a trolly, or a suitable hybrid, would be worth looking in to. City staff re-iterated that the twelve-grand is just the city’s share for the study. And it may not even require that much money. The vote was 5 to 1 to fill out the grant application to the state for a trolly-type service. Councilor Kip Ward, who voted no, admonished his fellow councilors “You’re all wrong on this one.”
Lincoln City needs more affordable housing and job opportunities
The council learned Monday night that the city has received a grant from the state Land Conservation and Development Department to help it better plan for Oregon’s new rare and endangered species – affordable housing. And the other aspect of being a city – creating new jobs through industrial development. The funds are aimed at hiring a consultant to guide the city through the process of ascertaining what can be done over the next twenty years to fill both needs – places for people to live and jobs for them to go to every day. Community Development Director Richard Townsend said he and his staff have been interviewing four very qualified urban planning and development consulting firms. Townsend said his department will have a recommended winner for the city council to review very shortly.
Lincoln City Cultural Center gets a 5.5 year break on its rent to the city
When former tourism newspaper publisher Nikki Price agreed to take over operations at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, everyone on the city council prayed every night for her success. The venerable old center had been going through tough times struggling to get enough community buy-in in terms of space rentals, attracting audiences for musical performances, art gallery receptions and general arts and crafts shows. Nikki Price took on the challenge and went in like a ball of fire. Today, several years later, the fire still burns brightly throughout the center.
Price has helped to orchestrate major building improvements and repairs, bolstered a veritable kaleidoscope of artistic offerings from music, to sculpture, paintings, mixed-media, lessons, and many special events for the community. And they’re growing.
However, starting from scratch, it has taken Price some time to make the cultural center what it is today. But she wants to do a lot more. But rather than paying rent to the city, she wants to invest in further building up programming and opportunities for the community to not only witness and appreciate great artistic works, but also become involved with it, themselves.
Every city councilor has grown quite proud of Price’s tireless efforts to make the cultural center all it can be for the community and to expand the reach and quality of its programming. And so the council decided to continue to forgive rent payments on the building for the next five and a half years – to see just how far Price can elevate the facilities’ artistic contributions to the Lincoln City area.
However, the council also made it clear that they’re looking for some “bench marks” in the evolution of the facility with a hope that someday Price’s management group can take the building off the city’s hands, completely. They also realize, for the moment, that the city will likely have to continue to shoulder some of the more pricey building maintenance responsibilities in the interim. The council also requested workshop meetings with Price and her board of directors to ensure that over the next five years, Price’s ambitious performance goals are reached. The council said they’d like to have one of those meetings later this summer. Ms. Price was in the audience nodding her head in agreement.