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We will start off with reviewing an application for the Museum Advisory Board. All applications for commissions, boards, and committees come to the Council for approval. Nominations for Budget Committee and Planning Commission come to Council from the mayor but all others come directly to Council for approval.

We will then hear from Council liaisons to the Museum Advisory Board (Morton), the Library Advisory Board (Morton), and Regional Homelessness (Corr).

The Mayor and the City Manager will then deliver their reports followed by a Staff Department update from City Recorder, Karin Johnson.

And finally, Senior City Planner, Fred Evander, will update us on the Monmouth/Independence trolley.

At the conclusion of the meeting, we'll move downstairs to the Event Center for two work sessions:

1. Sewer Rate Update

2. Housing Needs Analysis - Joint meeting with Planning Commission

Updated: Jan 15

First and foremost, Aldrich CPAs, the city's auditor gave the city, and specifically the Finance Department, kudos for their exceptional work and collaborative spirit. They worked diligently with Aldrich CPAs to provide them with data in a timely fashion and quickly made corrections to any minor discrepancies the firm identified. All in all, we're in good financial hands.

Council liaison positions were doled out. New councilor, Kate Schwarzler will serve as liaison to the Parks and Recreation Commission and will serve on the MINET board (former Councilor Michael Hicks will continue to serve as the community rep). Independence Days Commission, which used to be one of my responsibilities, has been assigned to Councilor Jobe. I've thoroughly enjoyed serving as the liaison for the past 4 years and am ready to staff a booth this year instead. I retained my position with the Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance. Councilor Morton retained the Museum and Library boards and Councilor Martin Willis will keep the Planning Commission and take on the Heritage Museum Commission liaison position as well. Councilor Roden retained the Traffic and Safety Commission. Councilor Morton was once again elected to serve as Council President.

In other news, we approved G&R Wrecker's license to operate. And we appointed the city's Finance Director to serve as the Budget Officer and approved the Budget Committee calendar.

On January 25th, the City Manager and Mayor will attend City Hall Day at the Capital (and Salem Convention Center). They will have many opportunities then to discuss city issues with our House and Senate representatives.

Following the Council meeting, we held two work sessions:

  1. The Water Master Plan - we, and members of the Planning Commission, heard from engineers the state of our water rights and how they will continue to be affected as our population grows. We are doing what we can to secure state and federal infrastructure dollars to address capacity, future growth, and system integrity. The plan will go to the Planning Commission next before coming to Council for a vote.

  2. Sports Park Feasibility Study - we, and members of the Parks and Recreation Commission, heard from the study consultant about pros and cons with further developing the current sports park into a regional baseball tournament park. Pending the inclusion of capital improvement cost data, this study will come to Council in the near future for a decision.

We'll be swearing in new Councilor, Kate Schwarzler, and re-swearing in me and Councilor Marilyn Morton. We'll also re-swear in Mayor John McArdle. We will also elect a Council president (currently Councilor Morton) and recognize outgoing Councilor Tom Takacs.

We'll hear from Aldrich CPAs, the company that audits our finances. Aldrich audited the City's financial statements of the governmental activities and each major fund of the City of Independence Urban Renewal Agency (Agency), a component unit of the City of Independence, Oregon, as of and for the year ended June 30, 2022, and the related notes to the financial statements, which collectively comprise the Agency’s basic financial statements as listed in the table of contents.

In their opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the respective financial position of the governmental activities and each major fund of the Agency, as of June 30, 2022, and the respective changes in financial position and, where applicable, cash flows thereof for the year then ended in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

The mayor will also present a request to reappoint several members of various city boards, committees, and commissions. You can see that list here. We will review a new nomination for the Planning Commission as well.

We will start the wheels turning on our annual budget review. This starts with the appointment of a Budget Officer. Typically this is our city's Finance Director. We will review and approve the budget calendar as well.

And lastly, we'll discuss a recent notification from the Government Finance Officers Association which stated: "A panel of independent reviewers has completed its examination of your Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) submitted to Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). We are pleased to notify you that your PAFR for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, has substantially met the requirements of the PAFR Program."

This is a direct reflection of the good work of our city's Finance Department.

Following the meeting we will move to the Event Center for a work session. Topics to be discussed:

1. The Water Master Plan (jointly with the Planning Commission)

2. The Sports Park Feasibility Study (jointly with the Parks and Recreation Board)

For Zoom login visit:

To participate in the meeting by phone, dial US: +1 253 215 8782 and enter Meeting ID: 837 7521 8255 and Passcode: 791317.

Meetings are also live-streamed on the City’s YouTube channel at: Written comments are also welcome and may be delivered to City Hall or emailed to: no later than 4:00 pm the day of the meeting. The meeting location is accessible to persons with disabilities.

A request for an interpreter for the hearing impaired, or for other accommodations for persons with disabilities, should be made at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting to Karin Johnson, City Recorder, 503-838-1212/TTY: 800-735-2900.

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