• Last modified 765 days ago (June 9, 2022)


Hillsboro council hears about jumping raccoons, flying opossums

Staff writer

If there’s an award for the city with the most unexpected animal encounters, Hillsboro might win.

City council member Blake Beye told other council members Tuesday he saw a raccoon jump out a second floor window of a downtown building the city is having torn down.

It landed on the sidewalk and startled a worker. Apparently just as startled, the raccoon and the worker went back and forth on the sidewalk.

“It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen,” Beye said.

Just a month ago, museum director Cara Duell had a surprise encounter with an opossum in a box she removed from a shelf in the Adobe House museum. When the box was removed from a shelf, the opossum went flying out and across the floor.

Mayor Lou Thurston said between raccoons in red buildings and opossums in museums, “we’re kind of getting hammered.”

City administrator Matt Stiles told council members city water is safe despite its water source, Marion Reservoir, being closed because of a hazardous level of toxins from blue-green algae.

“We are looking at it, we are treating it, nothing is getting out into the system,” Stiles said. “It costs us more time and more chemicals.”

In other matters, council members considered ways to enhance employees’ compensation.

Stiles said a 9.5% raise, as mentioned a month ago, was not a sustainable option.

He suggested council members consider a $1 an hour cost-of-living adjustment for all full-time and regular part-time employees.

“What that does is affect people at the lower end of spectrum more than those at the higher paid employees, and that’s fair,” Stiles said.

He also suggested a merit-based bonus to be awarded based on performance evaluations in a year.

He also suggested giving employees two additional holidays, one on Good Friday and the other to be selected by the employee.

“Adding the two holidays would put the city to 11 paid holidays, the same number as the federal government,” he said.

Thurston said if merit bonuses were given, he wanted to see them be closer 1½ to 2%, and a fair formula to be used to award them.

In other business, council members:

  • Adopted an ordinance permitting an AirBnB at 107 W. B St.
  • Renewed employee health insurance and voted to keep employee contributions the same as before.
  • Voted to spend up to $60,000 for concrete at the community plaza.

Last modified June 9, 2022