CANNON BEACH - Cannon Beach city councilors have identified four priorities that will be used for long-range planning and budget preparation.
City staff sent a questionnaire about city issues to more than 1,600 utility account holders in Cannon Beach. Councilors were given a compilation of those opinions and narrowed the list from 10 to four top priorities, according to City Manager Peggy Coats.
In evaluating the priorities, councilors discussed whether each priority would continue to make Cannon Beach a livable place and if it considered resident's interests and needs. Councilors also considered whether the priorities were appropriate to the city's role as a governing agency, Coats said.
At the top of the list was the elementary school location and services. The council agreed that the elementary school needed to be relocated out of the tsunami zone, but kept in Cannon Beach. Although the Seaside School District has the ultimate responsibility for the school, councilors believe they have a responsibility to convey community interests to the school board and to develop a partnership to meet mutual needs.
"If we could accomplish that, it would be fantastic," Councilor Betsy Ayres said. "I would personally hope that the school district find a site that suited everybody. The school is in a beautiful place, but it's in the tsunami zone."
A second priority would be to strengthen the city's infrastructure, including roads, storm drains, water lines and sewer systems. The City Council will work with city staff to identify and plan for long-term capital needs.
A third priority would be to protect the environment. Identifying and preserving open space and other areas of natural beauty within the community is an important part of City Council's role as stewards for the future. The final priority is to manage parking and traffic flow, including possible additional parking spaces.
"The comprehensive plan is pretty general about what the tone of town will feel like and how we will approach growth," Ayres said. "These are pretty specific. This gives us specific goals to work toward in the next few years."
Other issues discussed included community services, diversifying Cannon Beach's economic base, providing integrated housing alternatives and strengthening public safety philosophy and services.