WL council emerges from goal-setting with rough list of priorities
As he worked with West Linn City Council last week to craft a set of goals for 2018, consultant Joe Hertzberg of Solid Ground Consulting said it was important to avoid "filling the cart" with so many items that it would risk buckling under the weight.
By the end of a process that took place Jan. 12 and 16, the council had a draft list of goals based on the five "guiding principles" in the 2008 Imagine West Linn planning document — which the council decided to use this year as a map for creating its goals. And while the list was extensive, City Councilor Bob Martin wasn't concerned about that proverbial cart.
"I'm not particularly intimidated by this list," he said. "I think we have a bigger wagon than we think."
The guiding principles included "Sense of Community," "Land Use and Quality of Life," "Sustainability," "Community Institutions" and "Cultural Diversity, Education and the Arts."
Each contained several specific goals for the year, which ranged from revamping the City's land use process and Community Development Code (CDC) to continuing waterfront redevelopment planning, completing plans for use of the old city hall building, finalizing and putting to vote the project list for a General Obligation Bond and "strengthening the relationship between council, City staff and residents."
Other priorities include moving forward with the first phase of Highway 43 improvements, identifying opportunities for expenditure reductions or new revenue sources within the City's biennial budget and completing a "baseline inventory" of the city's significant land parcels and their respective zoning classifications.
With regard to zoning, the idea was to find any inconsistencies or roadblocks that might impede potential redevelopment.
"So much of the zoning (in the city) was established, as we learned, more than 30 years ago," Mayor Russ Axelrod said.
In the "Cultural Diversity, Education and the Arts" section, the council was careful not to overcommit itself. As such, councilors agreed to "explore" the idea of forming a sister city relationship while also preparing to establish a new Arts & Culture Commission. City Councilor Brenda Perry, who championed the sister city idea, said she had already found a West Lynn in England.
"I just think it's a fun goal to have," she said. "Maybe develop a list of cities and (citizens) vote on which one they would like to do. Just to make it a very positive thing for us — it's not going to cost us any money."
"We can achieve 'explore,'" City Manager Eileen Stein said. "Particularly with the help of councilors who are interested."
The council is scheduled to formally vote on the adoption of its 2018 goals during a Feb. 12 meeting.