It's been almost six months since the Canby City Council adopted its goals and objectives for 2022. Now, city leaders and staff are reviewing their progress.
Council and staff met earlier this year to identify shared goals, priorities and challenges the city faces, including traffic problems, inflation, supply chain issues, American Rescue Plan Act funds and much more.
In April, the council and staff approved a list of objectives that included: promoting financial stability, aligning resources toward community growth, planning a transportation system that eases the impacts of growth, developing a more robust parks and recreation plan and enhancing engagement with the community.
You can read more about the city's 2022 goals here:
Here are some key takeaways from the council's special work session on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
Using ARPA funds
The council and staff are in the process of evaluating existing reserves to get a better idea of how much is left. City Administrator Scott Archer said the staff is looking into putting funds toward emergency management planning and hiring a new behavior health specialist.
Councilor Sarah Spoon noted during the meeting that she would like to see another funding source for the behavior health specialist position, with the hope of being able to keep it for the long term, and not just until ARPA funds expire.
Public transit expansion
Archer said one of the hiccups in moving things along with a public transit expansion plan, is that the advisory board is lacking a quorum.
"We need to work on getting those positions filled," he said.
Spoon suggested that the city survey citizens before formulating a transportation plan, noting that it's been at least five years since the city has even developed a master plan.
"If we are going to do any expansion of (Canby Area Transit) we would need to go directly to the riders to see what expansion means to them," she said.
Parks & Rec Plan
Canby recently adopted its first master plan for the Parks & Recreation department in two decades. Now over the next several weeks, city staff will be working with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board on implementation strategies.
Priorities moving forward will include: exploring partnership options with the Canby School District for property sale, exchange or long-term leases, and evaluating how to sustainably fund park development and ongoing maintenance projects.
Archer said the city is moving toward adopting an extension of the parks maintenance fee, but additional funding is still to be determined over the next year.
Improving legislative engagement
There have been rumblings about engaging with legislative activity at a higher level, Archer said.
Canby does not yet have anyone dedicated to tracking state and federal bills that may impact the community, which is something Spoon said has been a "blind spot for us in the last several years."
Rather than dedicate more staff time or resources to a position, Council President Traci Hensley suggested council and staff take turns either tracking bills or engaging more with the League of Oregon Cities, which already has dedicated resources for tracking legislation.
Mayor Brian Hodson emphasized that the city needs to strike a balance between not wasting the city's time or budget, while also staying engaged.
"We can't be going to D.C. just to go to D.C.," he said.
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