When a very thin majority of the Depoe Bay City Council voted last week to select local newspaper ad saleswoman Kathy Wyatt as Skip Hoitink’s replacement on the council, little did the council realize just how thin of a majority did the selecting. It was so thin that it wasn’t legal. So they’re going to have to hold another vote to make it clear what a “legally sufficient” majority of the council prefers.
Since the death of Hoitink earlier this summer, the council has been operating with one less city councilor – six instead of seven. When Kathy Wyatt was selected to be Hoitink’s replacement last week, three of the five councilors present, Robert Gambino, Zeke Olsen and Mayor Mattila, voted for Wyatt. Councilors Barbara Leff and Dorinda Goddard voted for Bob Lewis. Although it was a majority vote, it was not a big enough majority vote to satisfy the city charter which requires a “majority of the council” – a majority of ALL members – which means it takes four votes to select a replacement councilor. What will likely be that fourth vote for Wyatt will be cast at the next council meeting when Councilor Brent Berry is back. Berry usually votes with the Olsen-Gambino-Mattila voting block which was, and still remains frequently at odds with the political tendencies of Councilors Leff, Goddard and the late Skip Hoitink.
Both Leff and Goddard have indicated that they will not be running for re-election to the council. However, Leff announced in deference to the many townspeople who have encouraged her to run as a write-in candidate for Mayor, if elected as a write in she would serve in that capacity if the voters decide that’s what they want her to do.