I lost my minimal committee appointments last week. However, a councilor’s most valuable tool is the ability to place items on the agenda. I placed Jim Tofflemire’s Ferry Road Park proposal on the June 7th work session agenda. I spoke of a meeting area above the old ferry landing under a high canopy of green. Built with donations and volunteer labor, Jim’s plan includes a concrete patio, picnic tables, hand-made cedar benches and a view. The proposal included a contractor’s estimate and letter of approval from the Confederated Tribes.
City staff quickly said the project should wait for a revised Parks Master Plan, date unknown. The City administrator quickly said that the city needed to consult again with the tribe and Jim’s initial presentation was wrong. The mayor quickly recognized other councilors and urged me along. I said the project meets the 2000-2020 Parks Master Plan’s ‘Action Plan’ criteria for Ferry Road Park, page 64:
- Clear & develop area fronting on Coos Bay (to the east), and area along Ferry Road (to the south) (high).
- Construct additional picnic shelter (high).
- Construct viewpoint oriented toward the bay (medium).
I said that disc golf is not mentioned, evaluated or authorized anywhere in the current Parks Master Plan. It’s also located on the park perimeter cleared of brush by 12 years of Jim Tofflemire’s volunteer labor, but his project has to wait for a revision. The city administrator’s disc golf pilot project doesn’t have to wait. Why? Down came the gavel.
The ‘paper slam’ was during April 14th’s meeting, the Transportation System Plan ordinance. I was against the specified collector route down Meade, Connecticut and Union to avoid traffic lights on Virginia & 101. The mayor did not invite council deliberations, as set forth in the Council Rules, before calling for a vote. Outmaneuvered, I spoke during ‘council comments’ and slammed papers on the desk. However, I put a proposal on the May 14th agenda, and staff have contacted ODOT on revising traffic signals at Virginia and Highway 101 to provide easier access to Highway 101 North. Thank you, Councilor Richardson, for your support.