It’s Official: 10th Avenue Block Becomes One-Way Road

Freshly painted arrows on a 10th Avenue block indicate the direction of one-way traffic flow. Photos by Sarah Brown

It’s official. One block on 10th Avenue between Main and Long streets is now a one-way street, allowing only for traffic to travel south from Main Street to Long Street.

Community and Economic Development Director Blair Larsen made the announcement during the City Council meeting on June 9, as he anticipated the road would be painted the next morning.

City staff reported the change allows for increased parking, creating a total of 14 parking spaces on the block. Mayor Susan Coleman added the directional change will flow traffic onto Long Street, thus providing an opportunity for residents and visitors to drive by and see businesses along that road.

Also during the meeting, council and community members responded to the topic of City Manager Kelcey Young’s reason for her resignation.

Councilor David Trask said he believes she has been treated horribly and he is sad to see her go.

“You’ve done a really, really good job, in my opinion,” he said.

Councilor Greg Mahler chimed in with similar sentiment, and Councilor Angelita Sanchez approached the topic of freedom of speech by mentioning the possibility of censureship in council rules.

“Because we have lost a CEO who we invited into our house to clean up our mess, and we have made it even more messy to where she’s found somewhere that has probably less of a mess, and we just disrespected all the hard work that she came into to try to fix for us on our behalf, I think that I would like to revisit (it),” Sanchez said.

She clarified that she’d like the council to reconsider modifying council rules to include censureship of councilors’ bullying.

Resident Dave Holley gives City Manager Kelcey Young a hug after apologizing on behalf of the community for how some of its residents treated her.

In light of recent allegations made by Young that she has been bullied and harassed by members of the community and by one councilman, Mayor Coleman read an anti-bullying proclamation. It was signed by all councilors except for Councilor Dylan Richards, who was absent.

During a time for public comment, Dave Holley approached the council to express his contemplations regarding Young’s resignation. He expressed distaste for the way her announcement was made via social media, “but that doesn’t excuse what happened,” he said. “We’re better than that. We’re better than that as a community.”

He thanked Young for serving Sweet Home and personally apologized for how she’s allegedly been treated.

“This is not us,” he said. “This is not who we are.”
Holley wished the council luck on finding a replacement, but also admonished them to work together.

“This is as divided a council as I’ve ever seen in all of my years in Sweet Home,” he said. “You need to make a commitment to do what’s best for the city. Forget all of the personal stuff that goes back and forth, and work as a team.”

Also during public comment, citizen Calvin Ames told the council he’d like to come up with some sort of settlement with the city over his claims regarding a former code enforcement officer’s actions on his property. Ames expressed gratitude for help he’s received from some city staff, and said he’d like to remove animosity from the equation and stay away from taking the situation to court.

In other business, the council:

  • Accepted the Fiscal Year 2022 annual financial report. Finance Director Matt Wood presented the financial report and told the council there were two comments on the audit, namely that the reconciliations were not done on time and the city’s inability to submit timely audits. He said the bank reconciliations are now up-to–date to today.
  • Adopted revised personnel policies, which were updated due to state laws regarding paid leave laws.
  • Adopted updated salary schedules for non-represented management. Young added that staff member Angela Clegg’s title will be changed to be the planning and building manager, and staff member Adam Leisinger will be moved into a “special projects manager” role.
  • Heard from Young who reported the city’s motion to intervene on the Green Peter drawdown injunction was granted for the 2024 drawdown. “I want to be very clear that that doesn’t mean that the drawdown will stop. It means that the court will hear us.”
  • Heard from Young that the city has been approved for a grant to purchase emergency generators for the water treatment plant, City Hall and an extra one for other emergency needs.
  • Heard from Police Chief Jason Ogden, who reported the department just opened a traffic officer position.