The most controversial issue of the week was council’s discussion of Councilor Evans’ motion to focus planning efforts on the River Road corridor and Highway 99/Bethel areas in light of the slow progress in the South Willamette area. This hard conversation reflects the challenge of reconciling divergent views between neighborhood groups in the South Willamette area in working with planning staff. Council delayed a vote until Monday in order to give neighborhood groups an opportunity to speak at the 7:30 pm forum. It is important to note that a “yes” vote does not indicate that planning is dropping S. Willamette; rather the intent would be to give time for the Neighborhood Office staff to continue to work with neighborhood groups on building a common process and goals.
On Wednesday, the 26th, council will have an initial work session about creating a permanent emergency shelter to review possible scenarios and costs based on existing programs here and elsewhere. I expect to take these insights to the Poverty and Homelessness Board where the shelter subcommittee can begin a deeper exploration and development of ideas.
Finally, I want to address concerns on Facebook that I am not posting often enough. I simply have not figured out how to make time for Facebook. I consistently post blogs every week, and publish my monthly report in the Register-Guard as a guest viewpoint, and my hope is that a considered and thoughtful weekly post is more useful than hastily crafted comments.