Bill Bain, nearly four years gone from the Newport City Council appears to have regained a burning desire to rejoin it. Bain, a former assessor for Lane County, Newport City Councilor and former Mayor of Newport, has filed his candidacy for city council in the upcoming November election. Bain observed that there are three seats open and only two confirmed candidates for those seats, both of them incumbents, David Allen and Mark Saelens. He said there should be more candidates than that for the council. So he filed.
Bain says unfinished business for Newport is to stay on a course at replacing sewer and water distributions systems, promote economic development primarily through the intelligent application of urban renewal and do everything possible to ensure that Oregon State University establishes a four year campus in South Beach, which OSU appears determined to do.
Toward the end of his term as mayor, Bain was questioned about his shredding of personnel evaluations on then City Manager Jim Voetberg and City Attorney Penelope McCarthy. Bain told News Lincoln County this week that he shredded the forms in consultation with then City Councilor Mark McConnell who was involved with the evaluations. Bain said there was, however, an investigation by the State Department of Justice that produced NO report NOR charges against him. Bain said this week that he never believed the forms were public documents, nor did McConnell, nor that they would be subject to public scrutiny.
However in this article in News Lincoln County on March 15th, 2010, Bain sang a different tune:
Early in the chain of events, Mayor Bain said he didn’t know the documents were public documents and that he he didn’t know what they were when they were first handed to him by City Councilor Mark McConnell. However, under pressure, Bain later admitted that he knew what the documents were and that he did, in fact, shred them. Bain said again today that he was sorry for “uttering erroneous statements” and that he apologized to the council for embarrassing them and to the public for lying (Bain’s word). Bain said he “deluded himself” by denying his knowledge of the contents of the documents and that he will “never do such a thing again.” Most city councilors around the table said they accepted Mayor Bain’s apology.
However, City Councilor Patricia Patrick said she did not accept his apology and that she wanted Bain to take out an ad in the Newport News-Times apologizing to the citizens of Newport including a statement that most council members had no knowledge that Bain had shredded the documents and that they do not condone Bain shredding them. Bain said he would take out such an ad in the Newport News-Times.
In a subsequent Voetberg employment evaluation the documents filled out by city councilors were determined to be public documents and thereby were released to the news media. The contents of those evaluations were published by NewsLincolnCounty.com in a December 18, 2012 edition.
Bain was a keen supporter of trying to establish scheduled airline service between Newport and Portland. There was some debate as to whether that service ought to be provided by SeaPort Air, which flew very expensive aircraft versus another small airline that flew smaller aircraft which, in the opinion of some, had the best chance of making the service self-supporting without state subsidies. SeaPort Air got the contract. But as soon as the state subsidies ran out, so did Seaport Air.
Be all that as it may, Mr. Bain is a colorful character and always seems to make things interesting. We’ll see whether the voters of Newport want him back on the council for another four years.