Depoe Bay: New City Councilor appointed – “Mayor Mattila goes to Washington” trip postponed again, Homeless mail, Thanking Loren Goddard and Deadlocked on recreation marijuana sales.
It was a busy, long and rather verbose evening for the six Depoe Bay City Councilors Tuesday evening.
New City Councilor picked
They started out the meeting interviewing candidates for a vacancy created by the unexpected departure of Councilor Kathy Wyatt. The council picked local insurance agent/broker Colin Teem, son of retired Newport Police Lieutenant Dave Teem and wife Dee of Community Services Consortium of Newport. Teem had also tried his hand at law enforcement for a time. Teem will join them on the dais next meeting.
Mayor Mattila’s trip to Washington DC postponed again
Still believing that Depoe Bay’s cash-strapped condition can be relieved by shaking a lot of hands in Washington D.C., Mayor AJ Mattila will, none-the-less, have to wait on that cross country trip to the nation’s capital. Mattila told his councilors that Sen. Ron Wyden said he’s welcome at his office anytime and that he would listen to Mattila’s checklist of city projects that could be paid for with federal grants. But the council said the mayor’s timing is a bit off – that this time of year the Congress is very busy wrapping up the legislative season and will soon be headed home to their districts.
After voting to postpone the trip until early next year, several councilors told Mattila that lawmakers would be fresh back from the holiday season and will be more accessible than they are at the moment.
Mattila protested the postponement calling it “A sad day for Depoe Bay.”
Neither rain, nor snow nor dark of night…except maybe in Depoe Bay
You may have heard that a fair number of Depoe Bay residents are having a tough time getting their mail from the local post office. Home delivery in Depoe Bay is very limited and it’s gotten scarcer now that the post office appears to be urging Depoe Bay residents to rent post office boxes at the post office on Highway 101. At least that’s what townspeople are claiming.
According to some old timers, the post office years ago didn’t offer home delivery so everybody walked downhill to the post office and got their mail. Then the post office offered “home delivery-lite” with cluster boxes for folks at the south end of town. But over the years those mail boxes decayed so badly that now mail is sequestered back downtown – but the mail boxes aren’t free. Residents have to pay. And that’s riled a number of people.
Dissatisfied with the answers they were getting from the local post office manager, the city council sent a letter to a higher ranking postal service official, asking him/her what’s going on in Depoe Bay, mail-wize, because a number of townspeople aren’t getting their mail anymore.
So we’ll see what the council’s letter produces.
A big Thank You to Charter Boat Captain Loren Goddard
Hearing that the U.S. Coast Guard had just awarded Depoe Bay Charter Captain Loren Goddard a rather substantial honor for his role in saving a life out at sea last year, the city council decided they wanted an exclamation point of their own to add their own good wishes.
It was in mid-August of last year that a small charter boat with a number of people aboard took a big wave 27 miles off Siletz Bay, threw everyone overboard. Several charter boats raced to the scene, including Goddard’s, and fished them out of the drink. Without that quick action, there very easily could have been fatalities. Goddard hoisted one victim on to his boat and then into a litter that hoisted the man up to a rescue Coast Guard chopper. Witnesses said the man was very near death from hypothermia. BUT! Everybody lived to fish another day!
The city council said they’d have the letter of appreciation on its way to Goddard very shortly.
Council fails to ban regular marijuana sales from medical marijuana dispensaries…this time.
After some spirited debate over whether Depoe Bay’s soon-to-open medical marijuana dispensary should be allowed to sell recreational marijuana starting October 1st, the vote among councilors to let that happened failed on a tie vote, 3 to 3; Mayor Mattila and councilors Gambino and Olsen voting against it, Grant, Fisher-Brown and Sparks voting for it. It means the question comes back to the council September 15th to start over. They’ve only got until October 1st to make up their minds with some kind of majority vote. By then the council will have their new city councilor aboard, Colin Teem, a former police officer.
Some members of the public testified that the voters of Oregon have spoken even though many Oregonians continue to rail against any idea of legalizing marijuana – which Measure 91 did. Others testified that Measure 91 was passed by the voters and is now the (state) law of the land regardless of personal feelings. They also said that possession of marijuana is already legal and that people will buy it from somewhere. So why not in Depoe Bay where tax revenues on its sale will help Depoe Bay with enhance law enforcement, create more parking downtown and fulfill other major city needs? They reminded councilors that cities and counties that don’t allow marijuana growing, processing and sales will not benefit from the sizeable tax revenues that will be collected and then parceled out to communities across Oregon. One citizen argued that if the council doesn’t allow dispensaries to sell marijuana to the public, the very thing everybody says they don’t want will be given a boost – a wide open opportunity for the black market to move in and make a bundle. There are others, of course, who contend that the black market will remain strong so long as the price of legally sold marijuana is higher than the black market rate. And that might not be hard to do since proposed state and local tax rates on the sale of marijuana are expected to range from 20 to 25% of the sale price.
Councilors Olsen, Gambino and Mayor Mattila said regulations on the sales of recreational marijuana are not yet in place and they don’t like moving ahead with something if they don’t know how it’ll be handled in the market place. But the Oregon Health Authority, which regulates medical marijuana dispensaries, announced last week that they will have temporary rules in place before October 1st. October 1st is the cutoff date cities and counties to allow (or not) the growing, processing, packaging and sales of recreational marijuana within their communities. Permanent rules on recreational marijuana sales are expected to be formulated by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and in place sometime next year.
So again, a 3-3 vote. They’ll take up the matter again September 15th.