Response to Will Stone: Manzanita City Hall and Council Elections

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In 2019, Manzanita had a bond issue vote for new city facilities. The measure was defeated. Democracy in action.

Looking up and down the coast, there have been several ballot measures for much needed city facilities that have failed. Gearhart turned down a bond issue, by the same percentage as Manzanita, for city facilities in May. Seaside took a couple of ballots before a bond issue passed for building schools out of the tsunami zone. Cannon Beach is self-funding their (temporary) $5 million plus city facility build, located in a tsunami zone. Nehalem has been cutting their timber to raise funds for city facilities.

Manzanita took a few votes to finally pass a ballot measure for water filtration for our drinking water that didn’t meet federal standards. (I remember bringing water to my home to drink in the nineties.). We had a long heated debate over a bond measure to build our tri-city fire station. We had people arguing against sidewalks on Laneda! (It would destroy our quaintness, taking away the uneven dirt surface to walk on. Progress is slow.)

Listening to the ballot measure outcome, the city has moved forward looking at a smaller footprint for city facilities. Self-funding for the facilities is under consideration, which has tourist paying a larger share of the project. The Manzanita General Fund’s main revenue source is the Transit Lodging Tax (TLT). (Oregon has over 400 townships, Manzanita ranks 5th from the bottom, at $.42/$1,000 in the state for property tax rate. See ) In the 1990’s, the Manzanita property tax rate was not changed by the City Manager and the Council during the allowed period to raise one last time before freezing the rate. Our property tax rate brings in less than $250,000 revenue per year, whereas the TLT brings in over a million dollars.

For the Manzanita voters that supported a larger city facility, they exercised their right to vote. One group of voters made one decision; another group of voters made another decision. Democracy at work. There is no Right or Wrong position, Mr. Stone, just a difference of opinion on how to grow our community.

Mr. Stone references the citizens petition submitted to the city to keep the dilapidated building now located at Underhill to ‘remodel’. Mr. Stone is all about the overwhelming vote on the bond issue making a statement by registered Manzanita voters but fails to state that about half of the 260 signatures submitted on the petition were Manzanita voters or about 25% of the current registered voters. This, Mr. Stone, demonstrates an overwhelming majority, 75%, of registered Manzanita voters do NOT want the old falling down building remodeled.

The city listened to the majority on the ballot measure despite Mr. Stone’s unfounded comment. But apparently Mr. Stone prefers to ‘stir the pot’ implying that two of the candidates running will ignore the current work that is progressing. Based on what facts Mr. Stone? Quit pushing divisiveness in our community.

Deb Tinnin
Manzanita voter