Mayor Eric Niemann and Mayor-Elect Chas Jones
Outgoing Mayor Eric Niemann, right, lets Mayor-Elect Chas Jones that “Everything is Figureoutable” to end Monday night’s council meeting. Niemann will leave the mayor’s seat at the end of this month with Jones to be sworn in come January. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The Philomath City Council had a handful of serious discussions over the span of three hours during Monday night’s regular monthly meeting but Mayor Eric Niemann ended it on a light note while welcoming Mayor-Elect Chas Jones to the seat.

No, the mayor didn’t pass the gavel, but he did present Jones with a framed message.

“We’ve been through a lot and you get to take it from here — except for next Monday — but I thought every councilor needs a little advice,” Niemann said. “And so for you, we figure everything is ‘figureoutable.’ Maybe you can all take solace with that and go forth and prosper. So congratulations.”

Niemann along with councilors Doug Edmonds and Matthew Thomas will be leaving the council at the end of the calendar year. The mayor and councilors are sworn in at the first meeting in January.

“I wish you the best moving forward and wish all of you continuing on council the best going forward,” Niemann said. “Those who are coming off council, I certainly wish you the best.”

The reference to “except for next Monday” in Niemann’s comments had to do with a second City Council meeting that only moments earlier had been scheduled for Dec. 21. The city was unable to finish business in an executive session and will return this coming Monday for another meeting.

That will almost certainly be the final meeting for the outgoing mayor and two councilors.

“I really appreciate the service that Mayor Niemann, Councilor Edmonds and Councilor Thomas has shown and their dedication to Philomath — it’s really appreciated,” Jones said. “I’m sure the city will be in good hands but I really appreciate the effort that you put forward.”

Niemann, Edmonds and Thomas (who couldn’t attend the meeting for personal reasons) also received appreciative comments from others during the meeting.

As for the business of the evening, look for stories to be published as the week goes on, including discussion and action involving the unfreezing of city management team salaries, a feature on tribal flags that were gifted to the city and a story about two Public Works employees who earned significant recognition. There were also a few other newsworthy items that I’ll report on.

(Daily Scoop is a blog published by the Philomath News. This blog often contains news items but also could include opinions of Brad Fuqua, publisher/editor).