HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Albany council starts 2021: Just one surprise

Written January 4th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

Albany Mayor Alex Johnson II reads his message at the first council meeting of 2021 Monday.

There was only one unexpected development when the Albany City Council, with three new members, held its first meeting of the year Monday afternoon. And I missed getting a picture of it.

The afternoon meeting took about 40 minutes. Mayor Alex Johnson II, who took office Jan. 1, read a two-page message to Albany residents. Among other things, he said the city must work on housing affordability and helping business develop jobs.

And, he said, “I can assure you that each member of the City Council is committed to ensuring Albany continues to be a safe and welcoming community for all who chose or will choose to call Albany home.”

The message is worth reading. You can see it here.

Johnson as mayor and newly elected Councilors Matilda Novak, Ray Kopczynski and Marilyn Smith were sworn in earlier, and the council watched videos of both ceremonies, which took place in the council chamber. Manager Peter Troedsson explained that as required inside City Hall,  they all wore masks but Novak, standing about 10 feet away from anyone else, took hers off just to recite her oath.

Novak took part in the Monday session by phone from the coast. The others were on camera from their homes or offices during the online meeting.

One of the first tasks of the new council is to elect someone to succeed Johnson as councilor from Ward 2. Members agreed to do so on Jan. 26. The deadline for candidates to apply is Jan. 19. Applicants must be at least 18 and residents of Albany for at least one year and of Ward 2 at least 90 days.

(Former Mayor Sharon Konopa announced on Facebook Monday that she will seek the council appointment in Ward 2.)

The unexpected item?

Kopczynski held up a cartoon of a duck on crutches, a “lame duck.” He pledged he will not seek re-election when his term is up in four years. He did the same thing six years ago, served a four-year term, then sat on the sidelines for two years before running again in 2020.

I would have liked to get a photo of the duck, but the Chromebook procedure for taking a screenshot took too long. (hh)

The story has been edited to include Sharon Konopa’s announcement that she’ll seek the appointment to succeed Johnson in the Ward 2 council position.

 



   

11 responses to “Albany council starts 2021: Just one surprise”

  1. Michael quinn says:

    There are people out here that will work hard to show our mayor how to bring affordable housing back to Albany. We’ve been wanting to do this for years but weren’t allowed to by past admins. Get ready because we can do it.

  2. Tim Glover says:

    If you want to help businesses develop jobs, how about starting by leading the effort to open Albany and Linn County up from the Covid restrictions. Get people back to work first. Invite local business owners to an open forum and listen to their frustrations. Don’t hide in an office or behind zoom screens and pretend everything is ok. Time to be a true leader.

    • hj.anony1 says:

      Time for more VAX! Meaning vaccinations before anything (everything) can attempt a return to “normal”.

      Please allow the true leader to step up.

  3. James Engel says:

    Kanopa just won’t let go of what she feelings is “her” right to reign. Please leave dear by the door marked “OUT”.

  4. Bill Kapaun says:

    Hold on to your wallets with this Council.

  5. Jacobin Hanschlatter says:

    We need Kanopa. Nothing makes for great governance like a fresh set of eyes.

  6. sonamata says:

    I respect Konopa, but city council needs to consider succession planning as much as it needs fresh ideas. I hope Amanda Dant applies for the position. She ran a good campaign and had strong support in the ward.

  7. Rick says:

    I don’t know Amanda from Adam, but please no more Sharon. We need new ideas, then we need those volunteers to move on after a term or maybe two.

  8. Rick says:

    BTW: We just ousted a want to be King.

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