By: Jodelle Greiner, The Brookings Register


Councilors go to League of Cities, want Brookings to keep improving

BROOKINGS – Four members of the Brookings City Council went to Los Angeles for the National League of Cities City Summit earlier this month and found out Brookings is doing well compared to others.City Manager Paul Briseno also went to the gathering.

“I’m proud to be in Brookings; we’ve done a lot of great things,” he said, adding that other towns are trying to achieve what Brookings already has.

There are still things he’d like to see Brookings do, he said, like be more diligent about telling its story and sharing its successes.

One of the things he’d like to see more of is recycling and pointed out that Recycling Day is today.

“If you want to recycle more, give us a call; we’ll send you a cart,” Briseno said, adding folks should call the Brookings Landfill at 693-3667. 

Councilor Mary Kidwiler shared some of her observations.

“As small as we are, we have some of the same problems as the big cities,” she said, but noted cities like L.A. have other problems Brookings doesn’t. 

Kidwiler noted how Los Angeles is trying to solve its homeless problem and realized it’s not just about giving people shelter. It’s about figuring out the underlying situations, like drugs or mental illness, that contribute to the homelessness.

She also mentioned they are considering what kids do between 3-6 p.m.

“I was thinking how very lucky we are to have the Boys & Girls Club” as well as the churches and their programs, she said.

Councilor Patty Bacon talked about the Save Our Water program in California and how they reduced their water usage by 50 percent. She also learned what they’re doing with youth and their workforce, including apprenticeships and internships to focus on technical jobs and STEM skills.

Councilor Ope Niemeyer took a tour pertaining to recycling water and handling contaminated surface water on the streets. 

Niemeyer said cities should work with their universities, having a positive approach and looking on the good side.

One thing that needed work, he said, was children are not being taught civics and how the government and communities work, which means they don’t know how to act as a citizen. One result of that is people don’t understand topics such as how an opt-out works, Niemeyer said.

It’s important for towns to have an identity. He immediately thought of Brookings’ motto, “Bring Your Dreams” and how that identifies Brookings to others.

In other business, the council on Tuesday approved rezoning Lots 8-9, Block 11 in the Bane & Poole Addition from Residence R-1B Single Family to Business B-2A District. 

The general area has become the medical hub for Brookings residents, according to the attachment to the agenda, available on the city’s website. City staff expects the surrounding area to transition from residential to small-scale businesses.

B-2A District is intended to provide a mix of office uses and often serves as a transitional zone between residential and commercial uses, according to the attachment.

The property has frontage on Third Street, which is a collector, and 22nd Avenue, which is an arterial street.

Kidwiler asked if there were any plans to go to the west and do more on Third Street.

The possibility exists, said Mike Struck, director of Community Development. For now, it’s just the two lots, one with a house and one that’s vacant. They could do more if other properties become available, but the zoning that’s in place is “restrictive,” Struck said.

Niemeyer wanted to know if a driveway would be on 22nd Avenue or on Third Street.

It depends on how the property is laid out, Struck said, adding right now the plan seems to be to eliminate the driveway on Third Street.

Contact Jodelle Greiner at

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