Depoe Bay City Council
Agenda big enough for five meetings.
If members of the Depoe Bay City Council didn’t intend to take on the world during their Wednesday night meeting, then “the forces” must have aligned against them.
Their meeting ran over three and a half hours. So let’s get to it.
Slip slidin’ away?
Kicking off the parade of issues was a woman who lives above the seawall in the world’s smallest harbor – and she complains that her house is being damaged by slipping ground – possibly headed to the bay and a recently mobile sea wall. But City Public Works Supervisor Brady Weidner doesn’t think thats happening. He has a hunch it’s just ground settling around her home after the sea wall was re-fortified by big pilings pounded down to bedrock not long ago to hold the seawall in place. Brady says the Army Corps of Engineers will be by soon to check marker monuments in the area to ascertain if there has, in fact, been any movement. The last check proved negative, Weidner said. But the council wants more than the corps involved. They want a certified geologist to make his or her own assessment. Weidner said he’d try to ferret out the issue for a report back to council next meeting
Paying more attention to homeless kids
The council then turned their attention to helping local non-profit “Neighbors for Kids” help more homeless children. Many down and out families live in cars, tents, under bridges and in the woods all up and down the Oregon Coast because temperatures stay within a temperate range. Never too hot, seldom too cold. And there are over 500 homeless children in the Lincoln County School District. Not all of them sleep outside but a good many do. And the city council wants to do more for them.
As a result, the council, with strong support from councilors Zeke Olsen, Steve Sparks, Robert Gambino and others, asked City Recorder Pery Murray to create a budget line item in the city’s general fund for Education and Technology for which Neighbors for Kids could apply and help disadvantaged kids. Murray said applications for funds could be legally applied for by any organization that deals in those two academic arenas. State budget rules seemed to stymie the intent of the councilors. They wanted city funds to go strictly and directly to Neighbors for Kids. They asked Murray to report back to them as soon as practical on the line item scenario to funnel funds NFK after school programs.
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Creating a Depoe Bay Harbor Foundation
A member of the quite wealthy Little Whale Cove Homeowners Association paid the city council a visit during their Tuesday night meeting. Pete Tuana said he and their community wanted to become more active in a charitable way toward Depoe Bay and worthy community issues and projects. Neighbors for Kids Board member and city councilor Steve Sparks said he would like to work with the Little Whale Cove Homeowners Association and see what sort of relationship the community might enjoy have it become a benefactor to the town. No commitment made, no promises placed on the table. Tuana said the association donated 700 pounds to food to the local food bank and some $600 toward coat purchases for Neighbors for Kids children.
More information as it develops.
No medical marijuana near Neighbors for Kids
With their self-imposed medical marijuana moratorium still in effect for Depoe Bay, the city council took the first toward developing some rules about where such dispensaries can set up. The state has rules but local governments can add a few of their own. After much discussions the council decided it wants to limit medical marijuana to just Highway 101 areas in town. State law bans them from residential areas.
City Planner Larry Lewis suggested the council follow the lead of other communities in the area that limit medical marijuana dispensaries to commercial areas and not within 1,000 feet of a school or another dispensary. Council President Zeke Olsen learned that the town’s business license requirements could ensure no dispensary could be located within a given distance from Neighbors for Kids. Whether that’s 1,000 or some other distance was not discussed. Lewis said he would return at the council’s next meeting and possibly produce an ordinance that would satisfy state law and the desires of the city council. Under state law Depoe Bay’s moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries within their city limits expires April 30th.
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Depoe Bay shopping for a new city attorney
Depoe Bay City Councilors are shopping for a new city attorney. Their contract attorney firm is based in Eugene and even though they say the firm has served them well they want a local attorney that they can more freely talk to and be guided by without having to drive 125 miles round trip – by either party.
So the council asked City Recorder Pery Murray to advertise for a new legal advisor for the council. Any qualified attorney living within the coast district served by Oregon House Representative David Gomberg is welcome to apply.
Who is qualified to run for Depoe Bay City Council?
Who is qualified to run for Depoe Bay City Council. Well, the requirements are not all difficult to fulfill but the big one is to get enough votes to be elected. But in order to get your name on the ballot, the city council wants to make sure that whoever files actually lives in Depoe Bay. And for at least a year before their eligible to file for office.
The council last year kicked City Councilor Skip Hoitink off the council since he had taken up what he described as his “home away from home” – an apartment in Newport. He continued to maintain that his legal residence was at his permanent residence in Depoe Bay, occupied by his wife. Hoitink said he was living in Newport temporarily until he and his wife could work out some marital issues.
At any rate, under advice of their attorney, the council allowed Hoitink to reclaim his seat. The council was advised by their attorney that they probably were on very thin ice doing what they did because residency, under judicial case law, official residency is pretty much where somebody says it is. In Hoitink’s case he still owned his Depoe Bay home and even if he wasn’t going through a rough patch with his wife, he could just as easily be on a vacation or on an extended business trip. He might have owned more than one home. Maybe ten. So where is home? Again, case law says a primary residence is anywhere you can make a good case for making the claim at any one location.
As an example the Bend City Council recently allowed a candidate, who hadn’t lived inside the Bend city limits for over a year, to take his oath of office and then take his seat on the council. The council’s reason was that they believed him when he said he was building a new home in Bend and fully intended to move in to it when it was finished.
So under city charters, city councilors have wide discretion in who meets or does not meet minimum requirements to file for office.
Still Mayor AJ Matilla contended that by simply putting language of the state constitution into the city charter, that would fix any confusion surrounding what residency means. Matilla said to qualify to file for office one must live within the city limits for the past year. Period.
When the dust settled, the council asked City Recorder Pery Murray to examine some city charters from around the area to see what wording might survive legal scrutiny.
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