Council Corner

From 2010 to 2012, the Eagle Point City Council saw its membership completely turn over, with six members serving in City office for the first time. During the same time period, most of the senior level staff positions turned over, including the City Administrator, Chief of Police, City Recorder and Planning Director. Change of this level has the potential of greatly disrupting the operations of a City, with news stories highlighting City dysfunction on a regular basis.

As 2015 marches on, it is clear that not only has the City of Eagle Point adjusted to this tremendous turnover in leadership, it is thriving like never before. From a highly functioning City Council, to a staff that is forward thinking and dedicated to serving our citizens, Eagle Point is operating as local government should.

As the years have passed, Eagle Point’s elected officials, who only four years ago started from square one, are now respected leaders throughout the region on a whole host of critical issues. The citizens of Eagle Point are being represented at every level of government with great benefit to the City.

Millions of dollars come into our region each year, focused on transportation, economic development, public utilities and community organizations. Eagle Point has seats on the voting bodies on all of these focus areas, with the City’s representatives advocating for Eagle Point’s continued development. In the next few years, citizens will see millions of dollars being spent on projects in town, only made possible by successfully working with these public bodies.

More important than City leaders representing Eagle Point throughout the region has been City leaders advocating for the needs of the citizens. From an aggressive effort to upgrade the City’s roadways, improvements to the water system and development of many new parks, a lot of work has been put into improving the quality of life for Eagle Point’s citizens.

There are of course many more challenges facing Eagle Point, but with the highly qualified team in City Hall, both elected officials and staff members, the citizens of Eagle Point can rest easy knowing each issue will be handled in a professional, intelligent manner.

Onward,
Jonathan A. Bilden
City Council President
March 2015

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“Community”’ the dictionary defines community as “a group of people living in the same locality and under the same government”. Eagle Point is so much more than that!


I have always thought of Eagle Point as a special place to live, which is why I chose to be a part of the government of this community. However, recently I have seen what a really special place it is. When my son, Nick, was killed serving in the Marine Corps, the community of Eagle Point rallied around my family like no other. There was nothing that went undone, everything from food for my family and guests to hotel rooms at no charge, chairs and tables for the reception and people to make sure all went smoothly. Flags were lowered and other flags were raised in his honor. The cards and letters are still coming even a month later.

The Marines that came to Eagle Point for Nick’s service said they have never seen such support and several of them have changed how they look at the communities they live in. They were all honored to be here and a part of this community for just a few days. I thank Eagle Point for making them feel so welcome and loved. Many said that is not always the reception they receive.

I hope that all who witnessed and shared in the love that my family felt learned a little more about the community in which we live. I am very proud to serve in Eagle Point and even more proud to call it home. I do not believe there is another place that supports their own like Eagle Point. If you have the opportunity to serve your community, I cannot think of a better place to do so.


Thank you Eagle Point for being here for the Sell Family.


Councilor Kathy Sell

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As a recently elected councilor I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started sitting at the dais. As I was sworn in and took my place at the dais I thought about the saying, “you only get one chance to make a first impression”.

My first impression working with city staff is that they really put their best foot forward. I have had the opportunity to work with other city staff around the Rogue Valley in both my professional life and as a volunteer. Out of that experience I’ve come to realize the value of the staff in Eagle Point. They are true experts in managing the day-to-day administrative duties in the City of Eagle Point. They are also the perfect staff to provide information needed by a new councilor tasked with representing the community in the decision-making process. I’ve come to rely heavily on their expertise.



My first impression of the City Council in Eagle Point is that they always have the best interest of the community in mind. The Council is tasked with a great deal of responsibility. From what I’ve seen, each and every councilor appreciates and understands their significant responsibility to the community.



It’s humbling to be surrounded by so many dedicated people, people that work so hard to make a positive difference in their community. I’m honored to be sitting with Councilors Fierke, Bilden, Jenks, Sell, Brown and Mayor Russell on the Eagle Point City Council, and I’m very impressed with our excellent city staff.

Aaron Prunty, City Council April 22, 2013

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Good government, like a good marriage, is often not in the news. If you want Jerry Springer-type representation, I’m happy to say that Eagle Point is not the place for you. Did you notice the story about recent flooding in Eagle Point from the heavy rains? No, that’s because a huge effort since the flooding of December, 2005 has resulted in much improved storm water management. Have you read about how people are afraid to go out walking or jogging at night? No, we have an excellent police force and community awareness that keeps our streets safe and friendly. How about the stories of water rationing and sky-rocketing costs? Not here, we have a long term plan to provide high quality water to the citizens for decades to come. How about reading about the bickering and squabbling going on in our council chambers? We are fortunate (so far) to have reasonable and responsible people serving us that put the city’s needs above personal opinion. All of these things have the potential to be unwanted headlines for us, but we have not seen them because we are fortunate enough to have city staff and city representatives that go quietly about the business of running our city. Do we have issues that need to be addressed? Certainly, and we always will. But if we can continue to work together to resolve those issues we will stay on the path of continued improvement and growth for many years to come.


Please let me take the opportunity to thank you for the privilege of serving you on our city council for the last eight years. I have learned so much, met some fantastic people and built up a strong faith that our form of government is still the best that this planet has seen. Evidence to the contrary abounds in the media, but those are the stories of failure, not of success. Look about you and you will see a story of success, good people working hard to make this town the best it can be as a place to live, enjoy life, raise children or retire. Have a wonderful New Year.


God Bless you all,

Alan Curriston, City Council President December 31, 2012

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On July 1, 1997, Alan Curriston was sworn into office as a School Board Member for Jackson County School District 9. On December 31, 2012, Alan will retire from the Eagle Point City Council, ending a public service run that has seen many positive changes in our community.

As a School Board Member, Alan would serve as Board Chairman and help guide the district into a time of change, including budget challenges and ever growing pressure for decreased local control of schools. Through this, Alan offered an articulate voice for a common sense approached to governance.

In January 2004, Alan was sworn into office as an Eagle Point City Councilor. He took office as Eagle Point was one of the fastest growing communities in the State of Oregon. The pressure on the City Council to manage growth in a responsible manner was enormous and Alan was able to transition smoothly to his new leadership role.

While on the City Council, Alan became a leader in the creation of the city’s first Economic Development Commission, where he would serve as Chairman for seven years. He also earned the respect of his fellow City Councilors, being elected to serve as the City Council President for four years.

In his role as City Council President, Alan was called on to offer guidance during a time of change for the city’s leadership. With a new Mayor, City Council, City Administrator, City Recorder, Police Chief and Principal City Planner, Alan was able to serve as a voice of experience and offer historical wisdom as the City moved forward.

While Alan’s public service is impressive, it has always been clear that his family ranked highest in his life. As a devoted husband, proud father and loving grandfather, anyone who knows him would not miss that family is what drives Alan at the end of the day.

It goes without saying that Alan will be missed. What needs to be said is that Alan’s greatest legacy will be that he raised the bar for public officials in Eagle Point. He raised the bar because his work was always focused on making Eagle Point a better place to live, to raise a family, to be a neighbor, to do business, to call home. Alan did make Eagle Point a better place and he has set it on a path to only get better.

Thank you Alan for your tireless work.

Jonathan A. Bilden, City Councilor November 28, 2012

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Definition of Community: A group of interacting people, united and living in close proximity.

As we head into the summer months in Eagle Point, we will see first hand why where we live is much more than just a city, a dot on the map, or a collection of buildings, but rather a community of people. Eagle Pointers will flood the streets of town on the 4th of July, sitting several rows deep and show the pride they have in this community. People from around our region will gather to be part of this amazing atmosphere and remark that they cannot believe this environment still exists today.

Since 1911, Eagle Point has been far more than a city, than an address line or stop on the highway. Eagle Point is a collection of people who truly care for one another, who believe what makes a place worth living in are the people. Most all of us can recount a story of a random act of kindness that has happened, in fact a lot of us have committed these acts. We can talk about the neighbors who watch out for us, the business owner whose level of service seems to be extinct elsewhere, or the teacher that truly is invested in seeing our children succeed. We know the high level of charity that is in Eagle Point.

While we grab our lawn chair, head out to the Independence Day Parade, wave at our neighbors and enjoy the company of thousands of others like us, remember that Eagle Point is very unique. We will continue to be a collection of people who are strongly connected, dedicated to a lifestyle that most cities can only dream about. While we continue to grow, it will only add to the exceptional community being developed, it will improve our story. Eagle Point is a group of interacting people, united, living in close proximity. Eagle Point truly lives the definition of community.

Upward and Onward,

Jonathan A. Bilden, City Councilor June 27, 2012

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As I often tell my children, the key to being able to handle change positively is to focus on where you’re headed instead of dwelling on what you’re leaving behind. For the past few months we’ve spent time saying goodbye to Dave Hussell, Bunny Lincoln and Dena Roberts and it’s been hard to know what to look forward to until we got through the hiring process. Well, we’re finally done and I’m thrilled to tell you that we do, indeed, have much to be excited about. We have welcomed three top notch additions to our staff that I’d like to introduce to you.

Henry Lawrence, our new city administrator, comes to us from Ontario, Oregon, the latest of several city admin positions. He has a degree in architecture but later got a law degree, so be careful trying to pull the wool over his eyes. He brings a quiet, self deprecating sense of humor to the job, eyes that are wide open to both our successes and shortcomings and a practical approach to how to begin to address the work ahead. I enjoy being around Henry, I hope many of you will get the opportunity to welcome him and get to know him.


Mike Upston, our new Principal Planner, comes here from Bellevue, Washington where he was part of a much larger city organization. He has a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture and a master’s degree in Urban Planning, so he comes very well qualified and Mike is just about the most positive guy in the world, great to be around and a super addition to the team. He and his wife have family in the area so they come to the Rogue Valley already looking forward to it.


Cindy Hughes is our new City Recorder, at this writing she’s only been on the job one week but she brings a wealth of experience and just the right demeanor to complement those around her. She is local, comes to us from Jackson County and lives up near Lost Creek Lake. The city recorder’s position is kind of the glue that holds everyone together so we’re very happy to have such a quality person here. And I think I heard that she has horses.


Given all of the great experience and personality traits I’ve described above, I find that it’s very easy to get excited about our future. I hope you will join all of us on the city council in making our new staff feel welcome and help them settle into their new responsibilities. They come to a great community, hoping to learn that what attracted them on the surface runs deep into our roots. Thank you for making this a place that’s easy to promote to others, our town, our home, Eagle Point.


Alan Curriston, City Council President May 4, 2012

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Leadership is one of those qualities that can mean many things to many people. It can mean being “bossy” or “in charge”. But when done right, it is rooted in service first and ultimately being first to serve. For almost 14 years we have had the privilege in Eagle Point of watching leadership being done right. Dave Hussell has been the lead person during the best of times and during difficult times. For almost eight years I have been able to watch him do his job and learned a great deal about leadership.

He has never been one to push but has always been able to find a way to make others want to do what’s needed. He has had the difficult task of reporting to 22 different bosses (councilors and mayors) and has not only been responsible to them but has had to train them as well. A delicate balance if there ever was one. His staff is friendly, efficient and always works together as a team. They enjoy working for Dave, they appreciate the fact that he cares for them.

Being Eagle Point’s administrator has been a job for him, but it’s been more than that. He has taken Eagle Point to be his home, its residents to be his friends. As Dave moves into retirement we owe him a debt of thankfulness for this beautiful community we live in. If you happen to see him around town, don’t be afraid to let him know he’s been appreciated. And let us take his example to heart and learn how to be leaders ourselves, to put serving others as a priority in our lives and doing what we can to make Eagle Point a place where we enjoy living. Thank you.

Alan Curriston, City Council President, March 27, 2012

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Eagle Point city council has been quite busy these last couple of months.

The main focus has been working to find replacements for both the city planner position and the city administrator position. We are happy to report that we had many applicants for both of these openings.

A Planner has been hired and should be starting in Eagle Point the first part of March, you may well see him before that as he will come a bit early to spend some time with the current planner before she leaves. This time will be spent catching up on things in progress.

The week of Feb. 6th will be spent interviewing applicants for the city administrator position. Three applicants are being interviewed by the council and will also spend time with the staff.

Other news is Carl’s Junior should be breaking ground soon and you will also see reduced speed limit on Hwy. 62 through Eagle Point.

As always we invite all of you to come to any regular council meeting if you have questions or comments for us. We meet the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month.

Happily serving you,

Kathy Sell

Submitted by Councilor Kathy Sell February 8, 2012.