Trial basis aspect of food cart ordinance eliminated, food carts allowed permanently in Sandy

POST PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Family members of Helen 'Ginny' Spooner pose with a medal commemorating Spooner's service to the Sandy community and the establishment of Helen Virginia 'Ginny' Wilson Spooner Day on July 29. The city of Sandy has a new holiday. July 29 will now be known as Helen Virginia 'Ginny' Wilson Spooner Day. The Sandy City Council proclaimed it so at its Monday, July 17 meeting, to honor a longtime pillar of the community, Ginny Spooner, who will turn 100 years old later this month.

"Ginny provided childcare in her home for countless Sandy children; she is known far and wide to these children as "Aunt Ginny" for her genuine love, kindness and nurturing care," Mayor Bill King announced at the meeting. "The city of Sandy is inspired by her long life and offers her sincere best wishes for continued good health, happiness and an overflowing abundance of love and joy."

Spooner's children were awarded with a commemorative medal in her stead and thanked the city for the honor.

In other news

n The city is discussing a master plan for its aging wastewater treatment plant. The facility is nearing the end of its useful life because of the need for greater capacity.

Standing in for Public Works Director Mike Walker, City Manager Kim Yamashita asked the council to authorize a loan with the Department of Environmental Quality for $200,000. These funds would pay for a facilities plan to assess the needed improvements of the wastewater plant and to estimate the cost of that project. Council OK'd the loan.

n Continuing the discussion on extending Sandy services, Yamashita discussed the establishment of a Sandy arts commission, asking the council to establish an ordinance creating the commission and related procedures.

The city has discussed the idea of an arts commission, and it was a goal of the council in January to "explore outdoor art installations," according to Yamashita's staff report.

In reviewing options for meeting the council's goal, city staff met with other arts committees, such as the Oregon Arts Council of Lake Oswego, Clackamas County Arts Alliance and a few others. Lake Oswego is known for its vibrant public art scene with numerous art instillations by local artists displayed about town in community spaces.

"The arts commission does several things for us," Yamashita said. "They manage what art is and what art isn't, so that council and staff aren't having to make those types of decisions. They do outreach with the arts community, the cultural community. They also do fundraising and manage the program for us, making reports back to council."

Yamashita added that she saw the city potentially hiring a full-time staff person to work in conjunction with the community services department down the road and coordinate arts commission-related events and perform other cultural duties should the need arise.

The council held a public hearing to allow comment from the community and eventually established the ordinance.

n The council also heard a request for a continuance to extend or eliminate the trial period of the local food carts ordinance. An ordinance allowing food carts to do business in Sandy was established on a trial basis in 2014, setting standards for the increasingly popular outdoor food magnets. Since then the council has twice extended the trial period by readopting the ordinance, and on Monday it eliminated the trial period, which was set to expire at the end of the year, making permanent the standards created and the allowance of food carts.

Sandlandia owner Jerry Carlson spoke in favor of the ordinance.

"I have worked extensively with the city and to hire local talent," Carlson told councilors. "As a businessman (the trial period's) been a little bit of a problem for me, because people would be leaving a site they're at currently to maybe have a long-term (business) here. We're trying to have a variety of world cuisine, so I'd appreciate if we could put the hammer down on it rather than go through another waiting period."

One concern raised was that no other commercial business in Sandy would be allowed to have temporary fixtures, such as portable restroom facilities and tents as the two existing food cart sites — Sandlandia on Pioneer Boulevard and at AntFarm's Outdoor Building on Proctor Boulevard.

"I think we owe it to the rest of our businesses to be fair," Mayor Bill King noted, and the council informally requested that a more permanent restroom facility be added to the site if the ordinance were made permanent.

Citizen Brad Picking presented a complaint concerning Sandlandia's noncompliance with the Sandy style codes, saying his main issue with the carts was that they did not fit the overall look of the city.

A few councilors agreed and discussed adding language into the ordinance going forward to require future carts to comply to this style.

n Legal counsel Ashley Driscoll of the city attorney's office presented the council with a proposed change to the personnel handbook, which would eliminate the need for the council to approve any personnel decisions made by the city manager.

The issue of Sandy's municipal code and personnel policy not matching came to light earlier this year. No other city in Oregon has a policy allowing its city council to in effect reverse the decision of its city manager, Driscoll noted.

She added that allowing the council to deliberate after the city manager has acted, "creates a situation of uncertainty" for employees.

Human Resources Analyst Tyler Deems assured the council that all department heads on city staff had been notified and consulted about the change and were not opposed, and councilors voted to approve a resolution removing the extraneous and confusing procedure.

n Steve Wise of the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council informed the council of the nonprofit group's progress over the past year and invited them to the anniversary of the Marmot Dam Removal held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 29, at the Big Sandy Dam, nine miles east of Sandy.

Wise boasted that in 2016 the group saw more volunteer engagement, accounting for a $10,000 increase in value from estimated man hours.

n With the topic of mobile carts up for discussion, local doctor Jan Lee appealed to council for permission to run a mobile health clinic in Sandy from his Gresham location. The council said it would review the codes concerning mobile enterprises of that nature and contact him.

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