Letter from Mayor Simmons

Submitted By: wstone1991@gmail.com – Click to email about this post
November 13, 2023
TO: Manzanita City Attorney, Manzanita City Council and the City Manager CC: Manzanita Citizens and supporters

Subject: My Resignation as Mayor of Manzanita

As an educator, my journey into politics was enlightening. Initially, I studied municipal text books and city reports to formulate some hopeful thoughts on possible changes for this beloved city. My political journey started with research and facts. It was reinforced by exploring cities along Oregon’s coast regarding their sound administration and the oversight entrusted to elected officials.

I held high hopes of what could be brought to this council’s table. I discovered that there ARE cities who are successful in executing financially sound management and oversight based on their current needs and are looking intently at future requirements. In conjunction, I studied research from experienced volunteers who were closely examining the social and economic conditions of this town.

For over 23 years, I have been a resident with primary addresses in Neah-kah-nie and Manzanita and, like most citizens, have noted many changes. What I found in Manzanita’s research was daunting, but as a 40-year educator of children and a believer in our fundamental rights and historical presence, I stepped forward to lead in open & honest dialogues. Let me say here, I was not alone. The pride of Manzanita’s optimists: the Women’s Forum, the Concerned Citizens of Manzanita, a host of volunteer researchers and other respected Mayors, City Managers and citizens, many trained professionals in private business and government, and citizens who joined Mayor’s Monday discussions, all supported and contributed to the direction of this journey.

I ran on a slate that was very specific: citizens should have a right to vote on major city expenditures, a budget needed financial policies to direct spending, the Planning Commission needed experienced commissioners, neighborhoods should be held in the high regard laid out in the City’s Comprehensive Plan and the Charter rules. My votes in office these past months have best represented the majority of citizens who elected me based on that slate.

Recently, I outlined my current situation to a teacher of Buddha, and he directed me to lessons about ‘Toxic people.’ First, he said, you do not meet this group with anger. You must lower your expectations of them and then accept the reality that they will not change. One can be compassionate and hopeful through many trials but, at some point, you must simply acknowledge the anger and pain of the individuals lashing out.

In this past year in Manzanita, I have found that the vocal minority is charting the course for the city. Nevertheless, I still hold out hope that the sanguine majority who love Manzanita as I do, the majority, will eventually prevail.

This resignation, based on irreconcilable differences, is effective immediately.

Deb Simmons