One of my favorite aspects of being on city council is the citizen involvement, and during the past few council meetings, we have had several people speak to us about ideas or questions they have.
Last night Sara Hepler reiterated the request that former CHS speech teacher Bob Jones made in April -- that we consider opening up the invocation (prayer) that is said by the mayor before each meeting. I think it is a wonderful idea, for it would be more inclusive and invite other individuals or faith groups to participate.
In early May, Liz Belz Templeman asked us about the process of forming a new city advisory committee, and this prompted a valuable discussion. We learned from the city attorney that the council can create a new advisory committee via city ordinance and that the last one created was the Audit and Financial Advisory Committee three years previously.
At the same meeting, Shawn Varwig, owner of Judson Roy Home Furnishings, asked the council to consider how the city could more actively support local businesses, requesting that we all patronize his and other downtown businesses more frequently. Although my family budget does not allow me to buy from all of our local businesses, I am happy to drop by more often to say "hi" and show them that I care.
Also, Dr. Perman came in April to ask that we consider buying SE 3rd Court, the private street that he owns and on which his dental office is located. I very much appreciated that he came and shared his story, despite the fact that the city cannot help him directly.
Thank you to everyone who comes to speak out, for we always learn something new and can sometimes enact your suggestions, but if not, we are happy to explain why.
Canby City Council