LONG BEACH - The Wednesday, May 18, Long Beach City Council meeting was a banner event. The trick was picking which banner.
Earlier in the year, Parks and Streets Supervisor Mike Kitzman approached the Ilwaco High School's advanced art class with a challenge - design a banner that celebrates summer in Long Beach. The class rose to the occasion.
On Wednesday, the council was presented with the difficult decision of choosing which of the five designs would be selected to be displayed on light poles in the city.
"They all look really nice," said Council member Mike Unruh.
"Why stick with one?" asked Council member Gordon Zuern.
The city had budgeted $2,000 for the project, with the banners costing $35 each as well as a set-up fee to produce the banners.
In the end, the council decided to choose two of the banner designs, one featuring a bird and seashell on the beach by Tony Bartolus and the other showing two kites flying by Carly Mathena.
"There are no losers up there, I'll tell you that," said Mayor Ken Ramsey, complimenting all the artists.
Professional group buys "doggie stations" for Boardwalk and trail
In addition to the banner selection, the city council also approved the installation of 10 "doggie stations," a gift from the Peninsula Professionals without Storefronts, a loose association of local professionals that formed a little more than a year ago. The stations, which would be placed along the Boardwalk and Discovery Trail, would contain plastic bags people could use to clean up after their pets or to pick up garbage. The stations would promote the message "beach proud."
"I think this is a great thing for the community," said City Administrator Robert Strope.
The mayor agreed. "I think this is a great little project," he said.
The consent agenda was also approved. It included information on a computer software update, which would allow people to pay their water bill electronically, the contract for the Fourth of July fireworks display, and design reviews forwarded from the planning commission.
One of the designs, two duplexes to be located on 28th Street, elicited a question from a member of the audience.
Local resident Micheal O'Hare asked if a grandfathered-in permit, on further examination, was found to be not in compliance with zoning codes in effect at the time the permit was issued, would the permit then still be valid?
Strope told him, if that were the case, a permit which had been issued earlier, and was later determined to conflict with ordinances or codes in effect at the time, would be considered "void."
During staff reports, council member Fred Cook complimented the Parks and Recreation department, saying they do a remarkable job.
Strope also reported that the city was in the process of resolving a complaint from a member of the public concerning the abandoned and unsightly Balboa Motel. He said the city hopes to acquire the title of the structures so they can be torn down, removing a potential public nuisance.
Finally, Strope was happy to announce Robert Dennison has been selected as the newest member of the Long Beach Planning Commission.
During the public comment period Teri Dodson from Grays Harbor College updated the council on the progress of the extension campus being built in Ilwaco. They hope to be in the building by January. In addition, as a fundraiser, they are raffling a 1929 Mercedes kit car. She finished by telling the council "I want to see you down there taking classes."