03 Jul 2013

Cornelius City Council welcomes Police Chief Ken Summers, adopts ordinance …

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Summers,K.jpgView full sizeKen Summers
Correction appended

Ken Summers went from being the interim to official police chief Monday night in Cornelius.

The
City Council swore Summers into the position, effective immediately,
during its regular meeting. Summers, a retired Yamhill County Sheriff’s
Office captain, had been serving as interim chief since November 2012,
when previous chief Paul Rubenstein was placed on leave amid an internal
investigation
. He retired in February.

In
a June 28 letter from city manager Rob Drake to the City Council, Drake
said there is no reason to spend money on a national search to replace
Rubenstein when Summers has performed as hoped.

“During a
time of challenging transition, Chief Summers has provided strong
executive leadership, common-sense guidance, and pulled the department
together very effectively,” Drake said in the letter.

Summers said it meant a lot to be offered the permanent position.

“I
obviously hadn’t intended to be here longer than just the interim, but
this city has been so responsive,” he said. “We’ve got something started
here that I’d like to finish.”

The position change comes amid
efforts by Cornelius officials to contract police services with
Washington County Sheriff’s Office
. A final decision hasn’t yet been
made, but leaders drafted an agreement last month to increase policing
in the Cornelius but save the city some money.

Under the contract, Cornelius Police Department
personnel would become sheriff’s office employees and receive paychecks from the county. Summers, however, would remain a
city employee, reporting to Drake and overseeing officers who work in
Cornelius.

Summers earns $8,462
per month plus health benefits
as Cornelius police chief. He also earns $4,862 per month — or $58,349
per year — through his Public Employees Retirement System benefits, according to records.

In
other news, the City Council changed four city ordinances Monday night
that were out of date, duplicates or inadequate. The issue ordinances
pertained to weeds, obnoxious vegetation, discarded
vehicles and unsightly, vacant residential properties.

For example, city staff said current ordinance language for discarded
vehicles prohibits residents from parking vehicles under repair in
their driveway. It could burden low-income residents who cannot afford
storage fees or repair bills, though they said vehicles covered
by blue tarps are unsightly and devalue neighborhoods.

The new ordinance allows residents to
park those vehicles in their driveway if covered with an “earth tone
fitted cover.”

Council members also talked at length about a
distressed residential property ordinance. The city has no way of
ensuring vacant (typically foreclosed) homes are maintained and
prevented from becoming unsightly to neighbors. When code violations are discovered, city staff said, it is often difficult to determine ownership for a quick fix. The new ordinance requires continued maintenance and notification of ownership to the city.

Though all the ordinance changes were
adopted, Drake said the council will look at some of them again next
month for minor tweaking.

–Andrea Castillo

Rebecca Woolington contributed to this report.

This article reflects two corrections:

Former Cornelius Police Chief Paul Rubenstein was placed on leave in November 2012. A previous version of this article said he retired that month.

Ken Summers earns $8,462
per month plus health benefits
as Cornelius police chief. A previous version of this article said he earns $8,720 per month without benefits.

Article source: http://www.oregonlive.com/forest-grove/index.ssf/2013/07/cornelius_city_council_welcome.html

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