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Mediation Over Skydiving Hits Snags in Creswell Oregon

Thursday, March, 22, 2012

In Creswell Oregon, there has been a long running dispute over whether Eugene Skydivers should be able to skydive near Hobby Field. Originally, the skydiving club's owner, Urban Moore, had filed a complaint against the city with the Federal Aviation Administration. On suggestion from an anonymous email, Moore decided to pursue mediation with the city.


The City Council Balks at Civil Mediation


Due to the complaint with the FAA, Creswell's City Council is not agreeing to enter mediation with Mr. Moore. The basic argument is that they are too busy preparing for the litigation to concern themselves with mediation. If Mr. Moore drops the complaint with the FAA, they would agree to the civil mediation.


Moore has yet to agree to drop the complaint. From his perspective, the city council should be able to handle both litigation and mediation, and compares it to “walking and chewing gum.” Moore said that he would agree to drop the complaint if some kind of compromise is worked out. This dispute has been deadlocked this way for the past 6 years.


Trust Is the Issue in This Government Mediation


The primary snag in this mediation is that neither party is truly acting in good faith. Neither side trusts the other, and the process of entering mediation itself needs to be mediated. This dispute has already been plagued by complaints, responses, counter responses and lawsuits.


Of course, distrust is often an issue with mediation, and it isn't even necessary that the parties act fully in good faith. However, to get to a resolution, there has to be an olive branch somewhere. Already, some of the Council members are pushing for agreeing to the mediation, arguing that it would save the city from spending the $100,000 allotted for the litigation.