At last week's city council meeting we were expecting a debate, that could have been spirited, about the merits of withdrawing from the South Santiam Enterprise zone and how that could have hurt Lebanon's reputation with its partners in that agreement, instead, we left feeling Lebanon’s spirit of cooperation on how the best way to move forward.
On the agenda was an item proposing several options about how to tackle expiration of the South Santiam Enterprise zones, which included three options of how to move forward. Lebanon's consideration to withdraw from that partnership could appear to be knee jerk reaction because of recent unexpected competition for a transload facility between the cities of Lebanon and Millersburg (as Millersburg is a partner in the enterprise agreement) with competing proposals for the transload facility.
Lebanon's application was denied last week, while Millersburg is moving forward.
At the city council meeting it was expressed by City Manager Gary Marks said that instead of a reaction to that unexpected competition, he and staff were looking for a way to streamline their processes while working with those other partners to determine the best way to move forward. City councilors voiced support for that, and all were in favor of a collaborative approach to moving forward. No vote was taken on what Lebanon will do, as this issue will come up again as more information is presented.
While Lebanon may still pursue its own enterprise zone and it's possible that would still evoke a negative reaction from the partners in the prior agreement. But by working together, the city should be able to create a spirit of cooperation with other communities.
The reason Lebanon is considering pursuing its own enterperprize zone (other than its upcoming expiration date) is that with the South Santiam Enterprise Zone each partner has to vote to approve each application every time a business applies for anything in terms of that zone. This often leads to the Lebanon City Council having an agenda item up for a vote, that doesn't affect them. In January, the city council met solely to approve one of these items.
During these agenda items we'll admit that we often nod off a little bit ourselves. We're proud to see the city move forward with a collaborative effort.
Also, in the spirit of cooperation, Marks is now proposing that the city of Lebanon endorse Millersburg proposal for the project, while nothing is official yet, that seems like the appropriate course of action. It will be a greater benefit to have a facility in Linn County support Lebanon. So we agree that Lebanon should endorse the Millersburg location.
Not too old to compete
Lebanon Seniors showed their competitive edge during last week's Senior Center Winter Olympics. During the opening ceremonies and early activities on Monday morning the participants didn't really care if they won at any of the events. Come Wednesday, those seniors were hootin and hollerin' giving in 110 percent to win at shuffleboard curing and foos hockey. Lebanon truly does have the best senior in the world.
We award the senior center a gold medal for putting on these games every time the Olympics roll around.
In 1993, Eric Latimer was Lebanon youngest pilot, now he's no longer a Lebanon pilot, but he is a still a Lebanon resident who flies for a living, and while hasn't flown a small plane in 20 years. He is still in the sky quite often flying Alaska Airlines planes for SkyWest Airlines.
However, Latimer got his start at the Lebanon airport, flying those small planes.
Latimer had some grandiose dreams of flying around the world for a bigger airline, but instead chose to stay home quite often to raise a family in his hometown of Lebanon. We commend that decision.