The Depoe Bay City Council has three new faces on it as Jo Fisher-Brown, Jerome Grant and Steve Sparks were sworn in Wednesday to take the place of outgoing councilors Brent Berry, Barbara Leff and Dorina Goddard. A special plaque of appreciation and remembrance was given to Cathie Hoitink whose husband and former City Councilor Skip Hoitink died last year.
Mayor AJ Matilla, who was re-elected to another term as Mayor, was sworn in by Oregon House Representative David Gomberg. After being congratulated by Rep. Gomberg, Matilla said he is committed to serving the people of the city of Depoe Bay and gave special emphasis on his commitment to do it while firmly supporting the U.S. Constitution.
Lincoln County Commissioner Terry Thompson did the honors in swearing new councilors Jo Fisher-Brown and Jerome Grant. Rep. Gomberg swore in Steve Sparks.
Following their swearing in Councilor Fisher-Brown said she will have many questions as issues come before the council and that she’s honored to serve on the council. Councilor Jerome Grant said only that he will serve the people of Depoe Bay without conflicts of interest – setting aside his own interests for the welfare of the community as a whole. Councilor Steve Sparks told the council and the audience that he has talked with hundreds of Depoe Bay residents and heard a lot of concerns about the council not working together well while it appears that some aspects of the town are losing their vitality – namely the Salmon Bake fundraiser, the Fleet of Flowers event and the Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce. He said he is committed to promoting a sense of council teamwork and openness about city government.
Another comment came from incumbent Councilor Robert Gambino who said that he’s proud of the accomplishments of the past council and looks forward to bringing more progress to Depoe Bay over the next couple of years.
In other business the council discussed setting up a technology committee to ensure that Depoe Bay takes advantage of the latest technologies that affect the city’s service to the residents of Depoe Bay. They also heard a progress report on the sewer main inter-connect pipe that needs replacing under 101 in the downtown area. City Public Works chief Brady Weidner said things are moving smoothly on the project and that its construction should remain on schedule.