Newberg government — Consent calendar items voted on, one passes, one sent back for revisions

Newberg City Council member Ryan Howard said typically, the consent calendar contains routine items intended to speed up typical business items so the council has more time for public discussion. But at the Oct. 7 meeting, there were two controversial issues on the calendar.

Sign code review

“It came up a couple of months ago,” Howard said.

There is currently a temporary and portable sign code in place, which regulates the usage of banners, flags, streamers, etc.

“The code enforcement officer went out to enforce the temporary (sign) ordinance,” he said. “What he does is find a group of businesses in violation and talks to them to try to get them to comply. There was a group that was not compliant; some larger car dealerships had large flags. They were told they were not compliant so they came to the city council and asked to review a portion of sign code.”

Howard said the council formed a working group to look into if they should make any changes. He said while some council members were in favor of reviewing the code, he had hesitations in re-examining the code.

“There are always issues that come up with the sign code,” he said.

The council approved the calendar motion establishing a temporary and portable sign ad-hoc committee to review the code. Howard said review will take a couple of months.

Dishonesty policy proposal

Council member Lesley Woodruff proposed a motion to approve a no-tolerance dishonesty statement. Howard said this was in response to the issues in August with former city manager Dan Danicic and his affair with a subordinate that caused him to resign.

“Denise Bacon asked for it to be pulled from consent calendar. We were concerned with setting unrealistic standards,” he said.

For example, Howard said in some investigations police are required to lie — would this policy mean there would be repercussions for that? Or if someone calls to speak to an employee and they ask that the caller to be told they aren’t there, would that be considered a lie and subject to the policy?

He said because of the wording and standards presented in the motion, it was sent back for revisions

“My main goal in the idea of an honesty policy is to give staff an administrative tool to use when needed,” Woodruff said. “I expect the redraft will be a more general statement of honesty as a core value and the ‘zero tolerance’ language will be eliminated. There was a constructive discussion at the council meeting, we have a lot to work with.”

She said she expects the next presentation of the motion to be in November.

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