MILTON-FREEWATER - While the Milton-Freewater City Council did not vote on any issues Monday, it was still an interesting meeting.

Ben Colahan, Mac-Hi senior and student representative on the council, said that male students had asked permission from school administrators to put murals in the high school's boys bathrooms. There were no doors on the bathroom stalls and murals would give people something to focus their attention on.

"We were thinking a nice landscape," he said.

The administration had reacted favorably so they were going to start with a poster at a test site, Colahan said. "If it survives, we will spread to others sites," he said.

He also announced the senior class had doubled the number of students on the honor roll from six to 12, although attendance remained a problem, he said.

The council also discussed a measure making its way through the Legislature that would give all the recognized tribal governments a portion of the state's transportation fund.

Currently the fund is divided between all the counties, and the Tribes receive funding for projects from county organizations, City Manager Delphine Palmer said. The measure would give all tribal agencies, regardless of size, $40,000.

The change would lower Umatilla County's transportation allocation from $131,600 to $126,250, information sent to the city shows.

Assistant City Manager Linda Hall said the drop in funding would place programs like Milton-Freewater's bus system in jeopardy.

Council member Brad Humbert said he opposed the measure because it put services to senior citizens and disabled people in jeopardy. He planned to call state Rep. Greg Smith, R-Heppner, and state Sen. David Nelson, R-Pendleton, to see what they could do.

Umatilla County commissioners registered their opposition to the change in a January letter to Nelson.

"Given that (state transportation funding) is from the state cigarette tax, and that the Tribes are exempt from paying to taxes, what would be the justification for diverting $720,000 each biennium to the various tribes?" the letter asked.

Hall presented the issue for the council's information and no action was taken.

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