City gave Lions a mulligan on Labor Day Swing

The Cave Junction City Council reconvened Nov. 14 to conduct their usual business. During this meeting, many items were brought to their attention and discussed. Mayor Meadow Martell and three of the four councilors – Tina Casey Jones, Jean Ann Miles, and Jesse Dugas – were in attendance, while Councilor Ethan Lane was excused for the evening. Contract planner James Shireman was seated up front with the council.
The meeting ran smoothly with the only divisive issue being that city legal has voiced opposition to the Tarzan Swing that the Lions Club has used in the past at the Labor Day Festival.
According to city recorder Rebecca Patton, “Our legal department stated that even with insurance, the time and money spent up front defending a suit developed from an injury from the Tarzan Swing on Public property, we will never be compensated for by any insurance provision. Legal was adamant about this.”
While Councilor Jones stated she was disappointed but understood the city’s position, Dugas and Miles were on opposing ends of the spectrum, with Miles stating that it was good to avoid potential liability, and Dugas simply stating that the situation “sucks.”
Although Mayor Martell admitted that this had been the first time she had heard their legal department give an outright “no,” after much insistence from Dugas and encouragement from Jones, the council voted 3-1 to give the Lions Club the opportunity to come back in December and plead their case. Miles was the only vote against this idea.
Alex Ponder was present to give the council his usual public works update, which included informing the council that he had been working to add a new dump truck and utility truck to the city’s fleet since early March and had finally found some suitable vehicles that fit within the parameters of his budget. All that was left was getting approval from the city. Ponder stressed the need for newer vehicles by pointing out that five of the eight available vehicles the public works department has are over twenty years old. This fact seemed to surprise the council, and they unanimously voted to approve the expenditure. Ponder also gave a brief update on the Watkins/199 project that has been in development for quite some time, saying that it was running smoothly timeline-wise but there is a concern about going over budget.
The library update given by Teresa Stover was also positive, as she was able to outline a tentative plan for the Library Renovation Project and was confident in their ability to be ready for construction during the coming summer.
Council liaison updates were remarkably brief, with Miles being the only council member with a lot to say in that regard. Miles expressed that her recent trip to Cottage Grove for a workshop on homelessness inspired her, and that she would like the city to hold a similar workshop so that council members and city officials may be better able to understand and help ease the plights of our local transient population.

When the time for public comment came, Fire Chief Holmes enthusiastically informed the council about a new automated system that is being used called Illinois Valley Community Connect. This system, as simple as an app on your cell phone, serves to give first responders and other emergency services access to important information about your home before they arrive.
A concerned citizen, Lisa Stutt, also spoke before the council regarding the city’s improper display of the American flag in front of City Hall.
John Miles of the Parks & Rec Commission also explained to the council that the Parks & Rec board is having trouble with attendance at their meetings, and may require an update of the attendance portion of their code in the near future.
The next city council meeting will be Monday, Dec. 12 and City Hall will be closed Nov. 24 and 25 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.