The Baker City Council created a draft list of its goals during a work session Tuesday evening, Feb. 16.
Councilors will have a second work session on Monday, Feb. 22, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1655 First St.
Tuesday’s meeting was the first goal-setting session for the five councilors who joined two incumbents in January.
The draft list the Council compiled Tuesday includes six main categories:
• Public safety
• Water/wastewater utility infrastructure
• City self-sufficiency
• Revisit city charter
Under the public safety category, councilors discussed hiring additional police officers, maintaining the fleets and technology for the police and fire departments, and safety in city parks and along the Leo Adler Memorial Parkway.
Councilors discussed writing a joint letter of support, and individual letters, supporting the continued employment of a school resource officer.
Councilors discussed writing a joint letter of support, and individual letters, supporting the continued employment of a school resource officer, a city police officer who works primarily in schools.
Councilor Lynette Perry, talking about safety in Geiser-Pollman Park, said she’d like to see the city have someone patrolling the park regularly during the summer. Perry said she’s seen a lot of drug activity there.
Councilor Heather Sells said she likes the idea of collaborating with the county to patrol the Adler Parkway, the paved path that follows the Powder River.
Under the water/wastewater category, councilors said they want to prioritize thinning forests to reduce the wildfire risk in the city’s 10,000-acre watershed in the Elkhorn Mountains.
Under the self-sufficiency category, Mayor Kerry McQuisten said she feels the city is at “the mercy of things we shouldn’t be” in regards to state and federal mandates.
Councilors said they want to speak with multiple groups, including the American Red Cross, the county’s emergency management department and Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative, about emergency preparedness and what the city could expect if it was cut off during a disaster.
“If something catastrophic happened it’d be nice to say OK, it doesn’t matter what the rest of the state is doing, we’re in a bubble and we’re safe,” McQuisten said. “We have enough to get people by for two weeks, six months, whatever.”
In discussing livability, Councilor Johnny Waggoner Sr. suggested that City Manager Jonathan Cannon could “get some input from department heads in building and code and water, maybe we could come up with something to promote new housing.”
Councilors talked about improving transparency with citizens by launching a new city website and making better use of the city’s Facebook page.
The Council also plans to review the city charter to see if councilors want to ask voters, who have the final say on the charter, to make any changes to that document.