Friday, September 16, 2011

September 14, 2011 Clatsop County Board Of Commissioners Meeting Highlights

Official minutes available once approved by board

Full Audio Transcript
Dredge plan supported
The board voted to join a declaration of cooperation in support of the “Mouth of the Columbia River Regional Sediment Management Plan.” The document was prepared by the Lower Columbia Solutions Group with funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency and states of Oregon and Washington and draws on several years’ worth of research. It lays out a long-term strategy for handling the approximately 4 million cubic yards of river sediment dredged from the mouth of the river each year for maintenance of the shipping channel and protecting navigation structures, beaches and other resources while minimizing impacts on fisheries protected species.
The plan recommends establishing four new near-shore disposal sites for the dredged material to combat erosion that threatens the jetties at the river mouth and nearby beaches. It also calls for a regional planning approach and integrated regulatory oversight among the various involved entities.

Zoning application remanded
The board voted to remand a zone-change request back to the county planning commission for further review. The application, from Michael Benesch, Warrenton Fiber Co. and Waldo Veelle, seeks to rezone a 13-acre property on Dolphin Road near Warrenton from Residential Agriculture-5 to Light Industrial and Natural Uplands and transfer two “density credits” to a yet-to-be determined location.
A review by the county’s land-use counsel raised concerns about the application’s consistency with county land-use code and standards. The applicants are now considering a partition in order to meet the requirements.

Board amends counsel contract
The board approved an amendment to the county’s labor counsel services contract, increasing the budgeted not-to-exceed amount from $15,000 to $55,000 for the 2011-12 fiscal year. The increase covers unanticipated costs of defending a grievance brought by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2746 on behalf of a former county employee, a building inspector. The case was heard by an arbitrator who on Sept. 5 rejected the grievance.
County Manager Duane Cole told the board that the grievance charged the county with firing the employee as a retaliatory measure stemming from the development of new flood-plain building rules in 2010. The ruling confirmed the county’s claim that the lay-off was solely the result of budgetary considerations. “We feel good about this decision since it reflects core county values and the excellent employment relations we support,” he said.
Money to cover the increase will come from the Building Codes budget to be adjusted at the end of the fiscal year.

Other Business
In other business the board:
-Approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation for the agency to provide free of charge to Clatsop County up to $150,000 worth of preliminary engineering and design work for the planned improvements to the Wahkiakum Ferry landing at Westport.
-Approved a proposal of the Clatsop County Commission on Children and Families to take on the task of distributing $30,000 in county funds to local non-profit social service agencies. The board had previously disbursed the dollars through an annual application and review process.
-Approved a proclamation recognizing National Preparedness Month, established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
-Appointed Joyce Stuber to the Northwest Oregon Housing Authority.
-Appointed Kathy Kleczek to the Northwest Area Commission on Transportation.

Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 325-1000 ext. 1312

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Clatsop County Sheriff And Rural Law Enforcement Advisory Committee To Host Public Meetings September 20, 2011

Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011


The Rural Law Enforcement District Advisory Committee is hosting the first in a series of public meetings on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. at the St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church, 79441 Hwy 101 in Arch Cape.
The Sheriff’s Office along with the RLED panel is seeking public input in developing the Sheriff’s Office Strategic Plan for 2012 through 2017. The plan is used to guide the operations of the Sheriff’s Office with an emphasis on the following areas: Strengths, Weaknesses, Challenges and Opportunities. The intent is to develop a list of guiding strategies that then allow the Sheriff’s Office to develop specific actionable tasks or policies.
This is an opportunity for the public to provide input in regards to how the Sheriff’s Office is doing its job now, where they would like to see their Sheriff’s Office in the future and how do we get there. The meeting will include a briefing on how the Sheriff’s Office has performed on the current strategic plan. You can visit the County’s Website at and go to the Sheriff’s page to view the current strategic plan.
The Sheriff will also provide a briefing on current activity levels and crime statistics. We are excited about our expanded ability to provide meaningful information from the Computer Aided Dispatch/Records Management System the Sheriff’s Office transitioned to earlier in the year. We will also discuss jail proposals and outline the issues that the jail faces currently. We will be asking for public input of the various proposals.
If you are unable to make this meeting there will be more opportunity, as the Sheriff’ s Office intends to conduct further meetings in Jewell/Elsie, Lewis and Clark, Clatsop Plains/Gearhart and Knappa/Svensen/Westport areas throughout the fall and winter to seek additional input on the Strategic Plan and jail proposals.

Released by:
Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 338-3622

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Astoria Beating Murder Suspect, Christopher Scott Fitzhugh Gets 30 Years!

by David Krough and KGWNews
Posted on September 13, 2011 at 12:57 PM
Updated today at 10:14 AM

ASTORIA, Ore. -- The fiancée of a 42-year-old Astoria woman was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday for beating her to death.
Investigators found Evelyn M. Decker unresponsive at a home in the Emerald Heights neighborhood of Astoria in July of 2010.
Police arrested 40-year-old Christopher Scott Fitzhugh for assault and manslaughter.
The district attorney’s office said they believed it was domestic violence. His sentencing charge Tuesday was declared murder-by-abuse.

Read KGW Report, View Video Report!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Should You Join A Union? Are They Still Necessary?

Should You Join a Union?
Written by: • Edited by: Michele McDonough

Updated Jul 26, 2011
Many youngsters fresh out of college wonder if joining a union is a good or bad idea. Truth be told, there are pros and cons to joining a union and many economic experts say unions are one of the reasons America is in so much financial trouble. Jean Scheid offers a bold insight on unions.
Union Perspectives

The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations aka AFL-CIO tells us right off why we need a union on their website. Although the one paragraph they provide doesn’t seem like it says it all, what it does say is that “Union members earn better wages and benefits than workers who aren’t union members.” And “…Union workers’ wages are 30 percent higher…” and “68 percent of union workers have pensions…” and finally, “Unions help employers create a more stable, productive workforce...................