Newport City Councilors may be practically crawling home Monday night from the crush of business they’ll deal with from 8:30am through the end of their regular meeting Monday night. The 8:30am work session starts with a meeting between the council, city staff and three local property management firms, firms that claim the city’s business license ordinance is flawed, which has prompted them to refuse to pay what they consider an illegal tax. There are also executive session discussions surrounding the council’s performance evaluation of City Manager Jim Voetberg, as well as getting a litigation update from the city attorney and a discussion on union negotiations.
Then at 6pm the council holds one of their regular twice a month meetings which looks to be of about average length and will deal with a revamping of how city employee complaints or suggestions are handled. City Manager Jim Voetberg had come under fire from some city employees who claimed they labored under what might be called a “disconnect” between themselves and Voetberg over complaints or concerns about certain aspects of city operations. So Voetberg is going to give an update on what he’s calling a “Suggestion,Concern, or Complaint Form” that can be filed by anyone.
Project Homeless coordinator and AmeriCorps worker Elise Johnson will be giving the council an update on the upcoming Homeless Connect Project at the Church of the Nazarene October 6th on NW 12th near Nye. Medical and dental services will be offered to homeless families and individuals who come in. They’ll be assisted in obtaining birth certificates which are often a barrier to getting social and other assistance. Food, blankets, sleeping bags, a hot meal, information on how to seek employment are among other services that will be offered that day.
The council will also be reviewing and possibly approving a final negotiated contract between the city’s paid fire fighters and the, which is likely to closely mirror the contract offered earlier to police, public works and other city employees.
The council will also likely approve the purchase of some higher end accounting software to give finance department workers more computer horsepower to handle complicated financial reporting duties.
The council will also likely approve the city joining a number of fire departments in the county in studying methods of combining forces for fire fighting and fire prevention services, thereby providing savings to the taxpayers. Equipment purchases, training, supplies, administrative functions and more will be evaluated by a company that specializes in those sorts of investigations. Departments taking part in the study are North Lincoln, Depoe Bay, Yachats, Central Coast, Siletz and Newport. Those not participating are Seal Rock and Toledo.