May 2, 2013
The Newcastle City Council will have at least one new face in 2014.
Councilman Bill Erxleben announced that he will not file for re-election this spring, guaranteeing that there will be one open seat during November’s election. Two other sitting council members could be challenged as well.
“I believe that two terms is enough for any council member,” Erxleben wrote in a letter to the editor.
Erxleben was first appointed to the Newcastle City Council in 2002. He was elected to the council in 2003. After a few years away from local government, he was elected to the council again in 2009.
In addition to Erxleben, Mayor Rich Crispo and Councilman John Dulcich will see their current terms expire at the end of 2013. Both Crispo and Dulcich have announced plans to file for re-election. Read more
May 2, 2013
With just a few months before a state Department of Ecology grant expires, the Newcastle City Council authorized the Public Works Department to use the funds to purchase a $100,000 piece of equipment that will benefit the city’s storm water management.
The trailer-mounted hydro-excavator will be used for quick response to spills and storm pipe cleaning, though Public Works Director Mark Rigos admitted he was not sure how often the city would use it.
“Honestly, I look at this as kind of a nice-to-have, not a requirement,” he said. “I do have some concerns on how much, honestly, we’re going to use this equipment. If this was solely coming out of Newcastle coffers, I would not bring this to you.” Read more
November 2, 2012
NEW — 10:40 a.m. Nov. 2, 2012
About 115 residents armed with electronic voting clickers responded to real-time poll questions at the annual town hall meeting held Oct. 29 at The Golf Club at Newcastle.
City Manager Rob Wyman presented information about the 2013 preliminary budget and future development in the city, while Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine offered information on community safety, crime prevention and Newcastle police staffing levels.
With the electronic voting devices, residents had the opportunity to offer their feedback about the city’s performance. Read more
May 31, 2012
Maintenance of stormwater facilities desperately lacking, report finds
After the Newcastle City Council charged Public Works Director Mark Rigos with the task of creating a comprehensive action plan for the city’s stormwater facilities and maintenance last fall, he discovered three things to report this spring — the good, the bad and the downright ugly.
The city has fallen behind on myriad aspects of stormwater-related facilities and upkeep, and an aggressive, but adequate, action plan must be put into place to increase maintenance and coordinate inspection records, Rigos told the council at a May 1 study session.
The proposed surface water action plan was based on five studies financed by the city in 2001, 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2010.
“There’s quite a bit of information there, but not all if it is getting done in the field,” Rigos said.
Before the work, the city was unsure of who owned which facilities, including storm drainage detention ponds, and as of this year, there are now four to five times more flow control and water treatment systems to maintain than when Newcastle became incorporated in 1994.
June 3, 2011
The City Council voted May 3 to create a new section of city code that — in some circumstances — restricts former city employees from working for companies with which they negotiated, supervised or approved contracts during their city employment.
If the employee takes a job at such a company, he or she would face a $10,000 fine for violating any of four restrictions.
According to the new code:
First, for one year after leaving the city, an employee cannot accept a job with a company if he or she approved large contracts for that company and would work on the same project as he or she did at the city. The contracts are considered large if they total more than $100,000 during the employee’s last two years at the city.
Second, an employee cannot have a financial interest in any contract that he or she played a role in negotiating, supervising or awarding while working at the city.
Third, an employee cannot accept a job offer from a company if he or she knows or has reason to believe the offer has been made as compensation for his or her work while working at the city.