Ordinarily the Florence city council meets on the first and third Mondays of the month, meaning the incoming Mayor and Council members would expect to be sworn in this year on Monday, January 7th. But not this year says Florence City Manager Jacque Betz.
200 — “It’s different this time. We’re going to have it on Wednesday, January 2nd at 7:00.”
Outgoing Mayor Phil Brubaker has planned a long overdue vacation that begins next week, so the decision was made to move things p. Betz said the agenda is a light one.
201 — “It’s more of a ceremonial type meeting. We’ll have our outgoing council do a little bit of business, then we’re going to break for a reception and then we’re going to swear in our new city council.”
New Mayor Nola Xavier, along with current councilors Sue Roberts and Brian Jagoe will be joined by Joshua Greene and Joe Henry on the panel. City staff and elected officials will be saying farewell to Brubaker and outgoing councilor Paul Holman.
The West Coast this winter is bracing for more sightings of debris washed away by the Japan tsunami. Last year’s disaster swept about 5 million tons of debris into the Pacific. Most of that sank. No one knows how much tsunami debris is still adrift. Flotsam has already washed up in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii this year including small fishing boats, soccer balls and a huge dock. Like the past winter, scientists expect the bulk of the debris to end up once again in Alaska, Washington state, Oregon and British Columbia. Recent storm activity means debris could also reach the Northern California coastline. Federal authorities have received more than 1,000 potential sightings of tsunami debris but have only been able to confirm 17 items.
Retail gas prices started 2012 at record highs and continued to climb for most of the year. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in January was $3.31 locally. By early September it peaked in Florence at $3.99 and began tapering, gradually meeting the January average by November. Prices have continued to slide with the local average this week at $3.21 a gallon, ten cents less than the statewide average and four cents below the national average.