The Astoria City Council meets each year in a special work session to set goals and recently drafted 2013-14 goals. The draft goals are on tonight's council meeting agenda and the public is invited to consider those goals and offer comment.
A quick review reveals no surprises on the short list. Most of the goals outlined have been on the city's plate for a number of years. The council also uses the goals to express support for possible projects that are actually controlled by other entities such as the Astoria highway bypass which , while supported in concept by the city, isn't on the planning horizon by the Department of Transportation. The council combined support for the bypass with a goal of maintaining advocacy for the fishery issues. Some of the goals like completing the "Garden of Surging Waves" are controlled by the city and on track. This year the council added a goal to tackle the issue of pedestrian safety which has already been part of the discussion this year with the joint meeting last week between the city planning commission and the city council discussing the issues and options with a traffic consultant. Emergency preparedness in cooperation with the county also made the goal list.
The council brought extra attention to the issue of derelict buildings by stating "continued enforcement of the derelict building ordinance" as a council goal even though it's somewhat unusual for a city council to concern itself with enforcement. Usually that would be an inherent responsibility of the city staff once the council passes the necessary ordinances as they did last year.
The city council pledges support for the Astoria Downtown Historic District Association in development and implementation of a downtown master plan and in promotion of the arts. The combination of the master plan and arts promotion suggests that the city is thinking in terms of encouraging some emphasis on development in the arts community although the goal doesn't state anything more specific along those lines. The council supports continued implementation of the riverfront vision plan and reaffirms the city's commitment to the enhancement of the Astoria Column.
The council has added a goal to support organizations working to establish community gardens and operate farmers markets and there is a goal established to sell excess city properties.
Finally the council makes a commitment to improve communication with all Astorians.
The goals will be presented at the Astoria City Council Meeting this evening at 7pm.