Oregon City's citizen and employee of the year awards were given at the OC Chamber of Commerce's March 16 luncheon, which included a mayoral state-of-the-city address.
Charles Kidwell, a former Planning Commission chairman, was recognized as the citizen of the year for his volunteer work gracefully negotiating many contentious issues. Due to his valuable perspective as an architect, Kidwell was appointed in April 2010 and completed his final term at the end of 2016.
Public Works Operations Manager Martin Montalvo was named employee of the year due his ability to respond to crises, such as the landslide at the Forest Edge Apartment Complex and this winter's snowstorms.
Mayor Dan Holladay celebrated the completion of the library expansion/renovation and the annexation of the Oregon City Golf Course property at the City Commission meeting on March 15. Oregon City can now annex land into city limits without votes of citizens after the Oregon Court of Appeals rejected the arguments of "a small number of our community," Holladay said.
Other projects, such as the Public Works Operations Center expansion and the new Public Safety Building, remain stalled. Holladay asked for patience due to the slowness of governmental construction. In response to a question about why the City Commission didn't refer a public-safety fee to voters before asking them to approve bonding authority for a new police station/municipal court, Holladay said "the most fair and equitable way" to fund the Public Safety Building was to implement a utility fee.
"Leadership is about making the tough calls, and this is a job I can afford to lose," Holladay said.
After the November vote of citizens rejecting the city's marijuana ban, the city developed a code for marijuana business that Holladay says is "providing new business opportunities while protecting our schools and parks."