Depoe Bay: Skip Hoitink back on the council. Hoitink asks for reconciliation – Mayor Matilla defiant.
Depoe Bay City Councilor Skip Hoitink, who was supposedly removed from the council by a majority vote of his fellow councilors, reclaimed his seat at Tuesday night’s regular city council meeting.
After reviewing the record of what happened two weeks ago when the majority asserted that Hoitink no longer lived in Depoe Bay, and was therewith dismissed from the council, the city attorney took exception to the action of the council majority. In addition to quoting Hoitink as claiming he still has legal residence in Depoe Bay in a house he co-owns with his wife, the city attorney wrote the council advising them to reconsider their position. He said to continue to push for Hoitink’s removal could lead to very expensive litigation. He also noted from a procedural point of view, the city charter prescribes a process for declaring a city council position vacant which was not performed. The attorney also took note that the majority voted to remove Hoitink without any public discussion leading to a reasonable assumption that possible discussions between the four, Matilla, Olsen, Gambino and Berry, may have occurred in some other setting, which would have been against the open meeting law.
Hoitink told the council that he is withdrawing his two formal complaints against the city for his removal adding that the city needs to move forward in a spirit of cooperation and openness.
A defiant Mayor AJ Matilla read a letter aloud that he wrote to the council saying he stands by his call for Hoitink’s removal, again contending that Hoitink does not meet the residency requirement to serve on the council.
A motion was made by Councilor Dorinda Goddard and seconded by Councilor Barbara Leff to extend an apology to Councilor Skip Hoitink for the mayor divulging the personal nature of Hoitink creating a secondary residence in Newport. The motion failed by a three to three tie vote – Olsen, Matilla and Gambino voting no, Goddard, Leff and Hoitink voting yes. So, no apology.
There has been a running set of disagreements between Matilla, Olsen, Gambino and occassionally Berry with Leff, Goddard and Hoitink. Hoitink some time back told Matilla to keep his “GD” mouth shut when tempted to award city funds without the advice or consent of the city council. Matilla had earlier offered $600 to the county sheriff’s training fund to help with training costs for deputies who serve as contract law enforcement for the city of Depoe Bay. Hoitink said at the time that the city’s budget was stressed enough without giving away funds – especially when they’re not required in the city’s contract with the sheriff’s office. Matilla still defended his gesture to the sheriff’s office adding that he was not trying to go behind the council’s back.