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City discusses in-person meetings, parks update amid Clackamas County's phase one reopening plan

Taking a stroll through downtown Lake Oswego Saturday, you may have felt — for a split second — life was back to "normal."

After Gov. Kate Brown approved phase one of the reopening of Clackamas County May 22, some people chose to venture out in town over Memorial Day weekend, though Lake Oswego Police Chief Dale Jorgensen said the police encountered "almost zero issues" over the weekend.

"People seem to respect the process and respect the governor's orders," Jorgensen said during the Lake Oswego City Council's special meeting May 26. "By and large, I think the weekend went really, really well."

Despite the governor's approval for the county's plans to reopen, the City Council approved an extension of the state of emergency declaration to June 10. It was set to expire May 31.

"The City Council will note that this is only a 10-day extension, whereas the Code authorizes

extensions of up to two weeks. This shorter extension is recommended in anticipation of the

Council returning to the practice of not scheduling special meetings automatically each Tuesday

in addition to the two regular meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of each month," the staff report reads. "The recommended expiration date will enable the Council to consider future two-week extensions at subsequent regular meetings, while maintaining continuity of the emergency period, without considering extensions on dates unnecessarily distant from the expiration of the preceding emergency period."

City Manager Martha Bennett said the City Council's first in-person meeting will be June 16, and that the city's technology does not allow for hybrid meetings — part virtual and part in person.

Council President Jackie Manz asked if there could be three meetings a month to reduce the amount of time spent in the council chambers as a safety precaution.

Mayor Kent Studebaker said that could be possible if needed.

Bennett said that public hearings are more effective with an "in-person element" and that there are a number of land use cases and public hearings on ordinances coming their way.

Bennett added that people will be spaced out six feet apart and the council could wear face covers, though it would be difficult to hear when speaking.

"We are gonna strongly encourage visitors to the building to wear them," Bennett said.

Other boards and commissions will start meeting virtually in June.

Applications for boards and commissions were delayed due to the pandemic. Applications will be due June 30 and interviews will take place early July. Appointments will be approved July 21.

City Recorder Anne-Marie Simpson said there were 50 applications received so far for 31 open positions.

Starting June 1, City Hall services like utility payment, permits and obtaining police records will be open to the public via appointment only. Services do not include passports right now.

Also during the Tuesday meeting, Parks and Recreation Director Ivan Anderholm gave the City Council an update on the city's plans to reopen parks.

Last week, Anderholm said, the city opened up most of their parking lots and the parks were well used.

With the opening of parking lots and restrooms, Anderholm said there's been an uptick in needing to clean the restrooms twice each day and make sure they're stocked.

"We are staffed up to do that," he said.

As far as opening sports courts and athletic fields go, Anderholm said the parks department has started a conversation with youth and adult sports organizations and engaged the Lake Oswego School District in discussions about athletic fields. Staff will send out guidelines about expectations and regulations soon, Anderholm said.

With the Tennis Center allowed to reopen during phase one, Anderholm said they are still working through an operational plan for how to do this safely and will make announcements later this week in regards to possible openings of fields and sports courts.

Playgrounds remain closed across Oregon. Anderholm said the city is three-quarters done with deep cleaning playground structures and will be ready to reopen when it is allowed.

Transit police services

The City Council approved an extension of the Intergovernmental Agreement with TriMet and Portland for transit police services to Dec. 31. It was set to expire June 30 of this year.

"This extension has been requested by TriMet in order to give them more time to negotiate a new service agreement with the various police agencies," the staff report reads. "The Lake Oswego Police Department has partnered with TriMet and the City of Portland

through an IGA in providing Transit Police Services since 2011. As staffing has allowed, an

officer has been assigned to TriMet to provide police services."

Jorgensen said one of LOPD's officers is dedicated to responding to any crime committed at TriMet platforms and bus stops.


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