From the mayor’s desk: Meadow Martell

I returned this week from the League of Oregon Cities (LOC) 98th annual Conference in Eugene. It was an amazing information packed opportunity for meeting other city officials, attending workshops, breakout sessions covering a variety of topics pertinent to cities, and the LOC Annual Business Meeting. The city of Cave Junction was well represented with participants including Council President Jean Ann Miles, city recorder/treasurer Becky Patton, and Parks and Recreation Committee Chair John Miles. Here are a few of the “take-aways” for me in no special order.
There has been a nationwide decline in civility creating violence, distress, and loss of faith in government. To counteract this, it is important to keep people informed and celebrate success. I believe Cave Junction is taking major steps to positively impact and make practical and constructive changes in our community.
Property tax measures 5 and 50 have created a tax system that is not stable, comprehensible, or predictable. Although this impacts us locally it is not something we can change. Corrections will take a statewide ballot measure.
Homelessness is a symptom of many systemic failures- housing, drug addiction, economic recovery, mental health and public safety. It is one of the top legal challenges for all cities in Oregon.
General bans on camping on public property are difficult to enforce even with offers of shelter in place. Strengthening local coordination and continued partnerships with government are key.
Housing planning is a challenge. Bigger cities have more staff, funding, incentives, and local funding options. The challenge for smaller cities is aligning regulations, policies, and procedures, and seeking new resources and relationships.
Although Cave Junction doesn’t have all the resources to address our housing issues in Cave Junction, we are fortunate that we have a Public Works Department that is diligently working with the resources we have at hand to improve our park. The American Legion Post 70 donated a 40 foot flagpole and two new flags for the memorial area being built at Jubilee Park. Contractors continue working on the new splash pad and playground extension. The first part of the project is getting the grade level to the correct elevation. Once this is accomplished underground utilities can be installed.
Our Treatment and Distribution crews worked together to re-install Pump#2 which was rebuilt over the summer. With the help of a local crane company and the pump manufacturer, crews had the intake pump up and running all in the same day!