Posted on April 25, 2014

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4-25 What Are We DoingELGL is pleased to launch a new feature to connect our members to each other – a weekly series called “What Are We Doing?”  These posts are your go-to resource for the best things that ELGL members are doing in their local government lives. See someone with a similar interest or work project as you? Send ’em an email, make a connection!

Today we meet up with four ELGL members: Garrett Chrostek, Erik Kvarsten, Zach Pelz, and Inessa Vitko.


Cal_Supp_steve-earleGarrett Chrostek

Associate Attorney, Bryant, Lovlien & Jarvis, P.C.

What Are You Reading? Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck.

What Are You Working On Now? Obtaining land use approval for a public middle school.

What Are You Listening To Now? I have been listening to a lot of Steve Earle lately. No particular album.

What Current Topic or Trend Fascinates You? With the Metro area’s “grand bargain,” and our own struggles to expand the urban growth boundary (“UGB”) in Bend, I am wondering if the expansion procedures remain a viable process or if every (local) legislative UGB expansion will necessarily require a (state) legislative fix. Public participation and data driven decision making are hallmarks of the Oregon system, but it seems these processes, particularly with ample opportunities for appeal, can no longer keep pace with real-time needs. Some type of reform is coming and it will be interesting to see how our state strikes a balance between a predictable/efficient UGB expansion procedure and our traditional process-heavy, participation-oriented approach to land use planning.


Erik Kvarsten

City Manager, City of Gresham

What Are You Reading? I’m taking another cut at Ulysses. John Daniels’ poetry, Common Ground. And, The Perfect Turn, Dick Dorthworth’s essays on skiing.

What Are You Working On Now? A Council Work Plan item, The Community Prosperity Initiative.

What Are You Listening To Now? Kris Kristofferson, Feeling Mortal and This Old Road. Corb Lund and The Hurtin’ Albertans, Cabin Fever. Hilary Hahn, Bach Concertos.

What Current Topic or Trend Fascinates You? All dimensions of health care.

a_560x0Zach Pelz

Associate Planner, City of West Linn

What Are You Reading? Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig.

What Are You Working On Now? We’re updating our long-range Transportation Plan to provide better access to public transit and more options for people without cars.

What Are You Listening To Now? Age of Miracles/Chuck Prophet.

What Current Topic or Trend Fascinates You? Attempts by corporations such as Disney, to trademark the names of certain holdays. And, drop-crotch pants.


Inessa Vitko

Customer Information Manager, TriMet

What Are You Reading? Next to my bed is an insane pile of reading material… on the top? Runner’s World and Sunset Magazine. Go to website? Fast Company! I probably read at least one article a day on that site. Books? I have started quite a few in the last few months, but none have kept me intrigued.

What Are You Working On Now? Right now, my largest project is the build out of TransitTracker displays at all MAX stations. Most of the west and east side light rail alignments do not have real-time arrival information. Installations will probably begin next month (May) and continue through 2015.

What Are You Listening To Now? Lately, I just can’t seem to listen to enough country. I hate even admitting that since I am a punk rock and hip-hop lover through and through. Something about the twang keeps me happy, especially Jason Aldean and Eric Church.

What Current Topic or Trend Fascinates You? Blazer play-offs! RIP CITY, baby!


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