Let’s Talk About Livability

Submitted By: MarkForCouncil2022@gmail.com – Click to email about this post
I’m Mark Kuestner (KEST-ner) and I’m running for Manzanita City Council. The topic of livability seems to crop up in every conversation regarding the future of our village. Livability means different things to each person. As I go door-to-door, I hear concerns about pedestrian safety, short-term rental and tourism impacts, parks, trails and trees, housing that’s affordable, and accessibility.

There are many threads that make up the fabric of “livability”. The challenge facing us is to create ordinances, rules, and laws that make sense, are realistic, are legally enforceable and will have impact for today and the future.

Livability has been on my mind as I wrapped up two of my larger volunteer commitments for the summer: I coordinated staffing the Master Gardner booth at the Manzanita Farmers Market and helped coordinate the amazingly successful, 3rd annual Hoffman Center’s Wonder Garden plant sale fundraiser. Both of those activities require months of planning and coordination of volunteer teams in addition to hours of hands-on work. Both focus on making our corner of Tillamook County beautiful, healthy and green. Both bring me great satisfaction and are a visible indication that what I am doing makes a difference in Manzanita and the larger community.

I’ve been a gardener all my life and greatly appreciate the natural beauty of our North Coast. I’ve been very involved in the design and upkeep of the Hoffman Wonder Garden on Laneda Ave. I can envision a similar park-like setting at Underhill Plaza as part of our new City Facilities: the Farmers Market on Friday evenings, concerts on Sunday afternoons, community gardens to grow fresh foods, and families enjoying outdoor picnics any day of the week. To me, parks and nature are a critical component of what livability means.

We have opportunities to shape the future vision of the Underhill site by attending public meetings with the project team and completing surveys on the City’s website. Join me and take advantage of those opportunities to let your voice be heard.

In future posts, I want to share the thoughtful comments I’ve heard about all aspects of “livability” and explore the actions that we can take to improve and protect our town.

If I haven’t met you yet, I hope to do so over the next several weeks. Learn more about me at www.MarkForCouncil2022.com.