I.V. Fire’s Community Connect program discussed at city

The Cave Junction City Council held their monthly meeting at City Hall Dec. 12. Although many familiar faces were missing due to illness-related absences, the meeting ran smoothly and was very productive.
Mayor Martell and council members Ethan Lane, Tina Casey Jones and Jean Ann Miles were in attendance, as was city recorder Rebecca Patton, with council member Jesse Dugas being excused due to illness. There was no public works update, because Public Works Director Alex Ponder was also out sick. The same could be said for Teresa Stover, whose library renovation update was missed.
Council liaison updates were brief but informative. Ethan Lane attended the Illinois Valley Fire District board meeting, and in the process learned about the new Community Connect program, an app designed to give first responders pertinent information about a residence or business before they’ve even arrived. This information includes but is not limited to, gate codes, how many people are inside, if there are any animals present, and where entry points are located. The IVFD is encouraging residents to download the Community Connect app so that they can be better served by first responders in the event of an emergency.
Jean Ann Miles attended a Zoom meeting focused on the mental and behavioral health needs of Josephine and Jackson counties, and once again cited a distinct need for more ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) training within the community to increase empathy and understanding toward residents of the Valley who may be struggling with their mental health.
On the public comment side of things, Monique Allen spoke on behalf of IV Yea! to discuss the program’s mission to give Christmas gifts to local youths. When the Chamber of Commerce realized that their toy drive Dec. 7 wouldn’t meet the needs of the community, IV Yea! generously donated the toys that they had spent time collecting for their own event. This left the organization depleted of what had once been an abundant supply of gifts, and now they are working on gathering more new and unwrapped toys for the over 130 children on their list.
Council member Jean Ann Miles was given approval to join the Parks and Recreation Commission, a move made mostly because the low attendance rate has led to the commission being unable to hold a proper quorum for quite a while. The first of two readings was also held regarding an amendment to the commission requirements that would, along with removing term limits, add the city recorder as a voting member to the commission.
The council also discussed Resolution 964, officially declaring 539 Schumacher Street a nuisance as the property owners have failed to comply with city fencing codes. Although the council clearly did not enjoy doing this, with Jean Ann Miles even pointing out that she loved the look of the fence but hated that it was against city code, the resolution passed unanimously.
The meeting wrapped up within the hour, and Ethan Lane’s final comment, “Stay well, eat soup,” seemed to resonate with all in attendance.