1/17 Goldendale City Council meeting

The Goldendale City Council met last night in a meeting postponed from the usual Monday night schedule due to the federal holiday. In a short 35-minute meeting, councilors voted in favor of 

a new memorandum of agreement between the city and the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The memorandum implements a hiring incentive for people who are already fully trained as police officers. The $15,000 bonus will be paid half at hiring and half after a year. 

Police Chief Jay Hunziker said the department has one person who would qualify, as a fully-trained and certified officer with 18 years of law enforcement experience. He also said the department has accepted applications from two people who would need to go through state certification, which he hoped could happen quickly.

Councilors also approved a new non-union position to replace the current buildings official job. The new position will be a combination of building official, codes enforcement officer and city planner. Salary would be between $70,600 and $86,100.

For the first time, a member of the public took advantage of the newly-instituted opening public comment period, limited to items on the agenda. Dennis Schroder, who spoke at the last meeting, criticized the minutes of that meeting, saying they did not accurately reflect what he said, and omitted what he considered some of the key points of his remarks. He said, in part:

“The minutes from the January 3rd meeting did not directly or indirectly cover the topic of my presentation, which was mostly about the Chamber’s lack of accountability for tourism funding paid to them by the city, for the years 2017 through 2021. Furthermore, the minutes did not even mention the second topic I brought up, regarding the unused budget amounts awarded to the Chamber of almost $60,000 during the years of 2017 to 2021.”

Schroder also wondered why the amount requested by Goldendale Motorsports Association’s Show and Shine and Concours de Maryhill, both of which had been successful events for more than 20 years, had been cut by $3400, while a new and untried event had been cut by only $2,000.

Councilors made no formal response.