I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving break! It’s been a busy year for our city and community. I hope you have the opportunity to spend time with family, friends, and loved ones during this holiday season.
Looking back on the year, we certainly have a lot to celebrate and be proud of. It has been a joy and honor to be a part of such a fantastic team and watch staff and the community respond to the opportunities and challenges.
To just highlight a few…
The Council adopted a public safety fee to increase our level of public safety staffing; the pool was closed due to funding and while the Council develops a plan for the community campus and gathers public input; our public works crew did a fantastic job of keeping our roads clear during winter inclement weather; we said goodbye to some key staff and cheered on familiar faces into new positions; the council adopted a plan for addressing our wastewater system facilities needs and increased rates and secured funding for the initial phase; we started or made progress on a number of important plans and projects — Transportation System, Parks Master Plan, Transit Master Plan, HWY26 bypass study; Vista-Loop/Ten Eyck Sidewalk; new bus barns; our community services and library held numerous successful and celebrated community events such as the summer concerts, corn cross, library haunt, sidewalk chalk art; SandyNet continued to bring in new residential and commercial customers, explore partnership models to expand the service, and make important fiber connections; and this list goes on!
There’s a lot of important projects underway or in the works. A number of projects and plans reached some key milestones this month.
- Parks Master Plan. The Parks and Trails Master Plan update kicked off with staff and technical advisory committee meetings on December 3. This project will update our 1997 Parks and Trails Master Plan (back when the city only had 5 parks and 5,000 population!).
- Wastewater System Facilities Improvements. The next milestones for the wastewater system improvements will be receiving the funding from the State for the green alternatives analysis. This study will involve exploring innovative reuses for the highly treated wastewater discharge and constructing natural treatment methods such as wetlands as part of the project to expand our treatment capacity and build a new discharge to the Sandy River.
- Community Campus/Parks & Recreation Survey. A community survey is currently wrapping up that is seeking input from Sandy residents and residents in the greater Mt. Hood area on their priorities for the community campus/aquatic center and options for funding parks and recreation services. The mail-out survey was sent to thousands of homes with registered voters in the Mt. Hood area that were randomly selected. But anyone is welcome to take the survey online. Visit
http://www.cdri.com/sandy2019 and enter your zip code as the password to take the survey.
- City Facilities Assessment. The city facilities assessment and space needs analysis is wrapping up. This project will help us prioritize our investments in our city facilities as well as better understand our space needs and how to better utilize our existing space. The consultants presented the draft report on December 5.
- Pay Equity and Compensation Study. The draft of the pay equity study portion of the analysis study has been completed by LGPI. The next phase is the compensation (pay and benefits) analysis that will involve researching and comparing Sandy to peer cities and examining our existing compensation structure.
City Council Meeting Highlights
- November 4, 2019.
- The Council approved the energy savings performance contract to move forward with LED streetlight conversions and automatic water meter replacements.
- ODOT presented a plan to install buffered bike lanes on highway 26 through Sandy by striping the existing lanes and shoulders.
- November 18, 2019
- Police Chief Ernie Roberts recognized Officer Argubright for a life saving award and Sergeant Hodges and Lieutenant Lundry were sworn in to their new roles. Congratulations to all.
- At the work session, options for utility billing assistance program for low income customers were presented.
- Authorization was given to sign an agreement to ratify the terms of the collective bargaining agreement with the Sandy Police Association.
- December 4, 2019
- The council received a presentation from Chief Roberts on homelessness in Clackamas County and Sandy and discussed the city’s emergency operations plan.
- Projects were prioritized for the city’s application for Community Development Block Grants.
Wearing my Emergency Manager’s hat, I taught a class at the Library for local area residence called “Two Weeks Ready”. Our focus has been to try to get everyone to prepare to be without services or assistance for two weeks following a major disaster or emergency. In the event of the Cascadia Subduction Zone this will be very critical. We will also start a 10 week Prepare-A-Thon in conjunction with Sandy Fire and Oregon Trail School District in the coming weeks and months.
We conducted interviews of potential Arts Commission members and will hold our first meeting in October. That first meeting will be to On-Board members, and establish by-laws. We will also review the mission of the Commission and make sure that everyone fully understands their role. Lastly, we will pick a Chair and Vice Chair.
We conducted two open houses regarding the Sandy Community Campus and got great feed back. The community is excited about the project, but unsure how it will be funded. Feed back shows that almost everyone we talked with supports both a utility fee for operations and/or a bond measure up to about 7-8 dollars.
During the last two weeks of the month myself and all of the department heads attended various course put on for free, getting additional training in Emergency Management, particularly as related to specific work sections inside an Emergency Operations Center. We continue to work on getting the city staff and their families prepared as well as work on our Continuity of Operations Plan.
We have begun preliminary work on prepping for our next budget. Making notes and evaluating organizational needs, staffing and efficiency.
This month I worked on the Natural Hazards Mitigation plan. We are participating in a planning process with Portland State University. Students there are working on updating our plan as part of the course. This is really helpful to us as we don’t currently have staffing to keep on top of some of the more detailed work. This will come before council to be ratified later in the year. FEMA requires our Hazard Mitigation plan be updated every five years. We will be in compliance.
We continue to work with OPSIS on a plan for the Sandy Community Campus. Things are moving along. Tanya and I continue to do outreach to the community.
On the 22nd, I met with the Parks Advisory Board to bring them up to date on a couple of items. I asked that they help staff complete a parks inventory and assessment. We still have yet to get their help on this project.
July was our usual busy Mt. Festival and Music Fair and Feast events, not to mention the parade. No major events as a result of these events. A good time was had by all.
I met with Jerry Crosby (PC) who is also Ham Radio operator and I discussed the equipment we had so he could report back to a regional group on what was available. The SPD is equipped with a Ham Radio in the event that all other forms of communication are lost in an emergency.
I attended the Planning Commission meeting on the 30th to go over the plans for the Sandy Community Campus as well as the Branding Strategy. Both were well received.
On Saturday, June 2nd, I met with and did orientation with new Councilor’s Cubic and Lee. A new “on-boarding” process, checklist and documents were created for use with future needs.
During a workshop on June 12th, Council asked staff to re-evaluate the Pleasant Street Master plan to address concerns brought forward by a local business. We have been meeting with that business and are trying to address their concerns.
Staff and I are working on a possible remodel, update for City Hall. Our main goal is to address security, and leaking roof/windows. We may also look at reconfiguration of the interior of the upper floor to address space issues.
On Saturday, June 16, Rebecca Casey, Jerry Crosby, Barry Abrams and I attended training “Planning in Oregon Building Successful Communities”.
We began pre-audit field work this month in preparation for our annual audit. This is the preliminary phase where the auditors determine what documents they will need and follow up on processes. The audit itself should be fully complete sometime around the end of October or November.
I continue to meet with local businesses to discuss concerns and try to find solutions to issues they may have.
On Saturday the 16th, I attended an all day training put on by CIS regarding Planning and Building Successful Communities. Training was well attended and sponsored by the City of Sandy. My thanks to the Library for use of their community space. Training was attended by folks from all over Oregon.
At the beginning of this month I spent some time updating our COOP (Continuity of Operations Plan). This plan, give us guidance in the event the city suffers failure of infrastructure. It help us get back up and running.
We spent a lot of time this month, giving the budget a deep dive review and doing some fine tuning. Council will be receiving some supplemental budgets in the near future to correct for shortfalls, loss of contract and in some cases, adjust for unexpected tax revenues.
I continue to meet monthly with the Fire Chief and the School Superintendent. These meetings are very helpful and allow us the opportunity to problem solve overlapping issues and gain insights form peers on other matters.
On May 8th, Mayor King, Councilor Exner and I met with youth at the Sandy High-school for our first Youth Town Hall. What an amazing group of young adults we met. Meetings will continue at the start of school in September.
We are making great strides in our move towards a new software that will allow us to manage our public meeting minutes, contracts and other documents. Training for council and the planning commission on ICompass will be coming soon.
We are working on processes, forms and infrastructure surrounding the use of the Sandy Community Campus. The goal is to minimize liability and provide as much access to citizens as possible.
With the Estacada Contract non-renewal notice and in the spirit of looking at all of our options, Tyler Deems and I attended a City/Counties Insurance Services (CIS) entitled “Best Practices for Dealing with Downsizing”. We are looking at all options to manage the impact.
Work was done this month to consolidated and provide some continuity to the rules and guidelines that all advisory boards follow. Will also be working on Council Rules updates and making sure language does not conflict with other documents such as the City Charter, Council Policy and Oregon Revised Statue (ORS).
We worked this month on a grant with the Oregon Trail School District. The Grant, if received will provide for programming with for youth at the Sandy Grade. We will be partners in programming.
I was asked by Dr. Scott Lazenby to be a guest speaker at his class at Portland State University. We have worked together on this class in the past and I always learn so much from the students.
We met again with Bert Key from the VFW about the flag installation. All the areas are marked, supplies are ordered and we are ready to dig.
Staff and I held our first annual meeting with Enterprise to see how the vehicle lease contract and fleet management is working. Things are going well, a little fine tuning was discussed but overall it seems to be a success.
Work continues on the Sandy Community Campus both for short term repair and planning for our long term project.
We have been working on reclassification of our coaching, referee and other causal employees. New employment contracts and other changes keeping within existing and new labor laws.
I have reached out to a Trade Mark Attorney. Once the branding is completed and approved by council, I will work on getting it Trademarked to protect our investment.
On March 9th, Karey Milne and I attended Elections Training in Independence Or. It was very helpful for her as the City Recorder and for me as the City Manager. Great overview.
On March 15th an open house at the library was held for the Pleasant Street Master Plan. Great turn out and input.
Completed some work this month in preparation for the State of the City which was held on March 28th. Also this month we worked with ICompass in training key staff.
We continue to work with the County on the Library Master Order. We also reached out to Gladstone and discussed our concerns with them.
I was out of the office part of this month for a medical leave. We also had a lot of weather related issues, but the Public Works Department did a fantastic job. We had to cancel a Council Meeting and the Clackamas County Dinner.
On January 5th, Tanya Richardson and I completed the final walk through of the Cedar Ridge Campus, now referred to as the Sandy Community Campus (temporary name to eliminate confusion) and took ownership of the building.
We held a council workshop on 1-9-18 on the new transportation bill and potential impacts. It was a very informative presentation by Transit Director Andi Howell.
On January 19th, I, along with Mayor King attend the ribbon cutting for Bar None.
Several of us attended the Clackamas Cities Dinner on the 25th, hosted by Milwaukie.
On the 29th, Rebecca Robinowitz and I met with Happy Valley staff about youth council. Rebecca has graciously agreed to be the tip of the spear and run with the program. She and a Sandy HS student that has asked to help get it set up and running will be going with other Youth Councils to Capitol Hill Youth Day.