Mayor & Councilors Sworn In; Discussed Tree Retention Ordinance, Water Bond Sale & MPO
The City of Grants Pass swore in a new mayor and two new city councilors at the Monday workshop before getting down to business. City Attorney Mark Bartholomew administered the oath of office to Darin Fowler, the new mayor, then to Ken Hannum and Mark Gatlin.
Following the swearing in departing Mayor Mike Murphy turned over his mayoral duties to Fowler by saying, “and now, ladies and gentlemen, literally and figuratively, I will step down as mayor and proudly hand the gavel to our new mayor.”
At that point the crowd stood giving Mayor Murphy a standing ovation.
Then the council heard a synopsis of the proposed new tree retention and canopy ordinance scheduled for a public hearing at the January 16th meeting.
There are several proposed changes including what trees will remain, how they will be protected, the inclusion of a tree professional’s opinion and the fee deposit to be made at the final plat and how much would be reimbursable to the developer or home owner.
A council decision is expected at the meeting on the 16th on the best way to fund the needed water bonds, either internally, which would obligate much of the city’s discretionary capital, or an external revenue bond. The council seemed to favor the revenue bond because of the size of the bond and the attractive rates available.
Councilors also agreed to have City Manager Aaron Cubic share with the Middle Rogue M.P.O. policy committee, the city’s willingness to form the organization with a weighted voting schedule giving Grants Pass 3 votes and Josephine County 2 with a super majority needed to gain approval of projects