Long time Lincoln City City Councilor Roger Sprague has resigned his post and turned in his city computer. Sprague told News Lincoln County that due to health reasons it’s now important to experience less stress, eat more healthy and enjoy life more.
Sprague has served as a Lincoln City City Councilor off and on over a 36 year time span. He said he’s seen a lot of issues come and go – most of them solved, some that are reoccurring and will hopefully be solved in the future.
Among his proudest achievements was helping to solve the city’s big sewer and water dilemma in the 1980s – a solution that also cost him his seat on the council through a recall by citizens who were angry that water and sewer rates were raised quite substantially. Sprague said “It was all about arithmetic. We needed to invest in the system to keep the faucets flowing and the toilets flushing.”
Another issue on the “plus” side for Roger Sprague was being a part of a council that shepherded the Roads End area into the city, proper. It took a while, but it came down to upgrading water and sewer services and the fact that Roads End property owners were technically benefiting from city services via police, library, community center and all the rest without having to pay a fair level of taxes for them.
And one more accomplishment Sprague remains quite proud of was the city’s acquisition of “The Villages” development area north of Highway 101 and east of Logan Road. The private development went financially upside down at the beginning of the Great Recession and the owner never recovered. So he sold the whole thing to the city. Then City Manager David Hawker was only too happy to get some prime real estate for the city for future housing at below fire sale prices. Sprague says he expects great things after the city finalizes its plans and lines up developers that can get the job done. The plans call for everything from affordable housing to mcmansions and trails and parks to go with them.
As for what’s left to be done, Sprague says finding a workable solution for the Vacation Rental controversy would be his number one issue. He said the city must find a way to allow VRDs to continue contributing to Lincoln City’s economy. “We’re a tourist town. That’s why people flock here – to have a great time!” he said. “But it cannot be allowed to diminish or destroy the quality of neighborhoods for those who live here year-round. But I think the city can figure it out. And stepped up code enforcement will help make it happen.”
Sprague says he’ll miss his role as a community leader on the council but, in no way, does it mean he will step back from community service. He is still a very active member of his church which does considerable public outreach as well as a being a member of a local non-profit that helps clothe and feed the homeless.
The city council has the option of finding a replacement for former councilor Roger Sprague who would serve until the end of the year, and along the way decide if he or she would like to run for the seat in their own right this fall. For more information on all this contact City Clerk-Recorder Cathy Steere at 541-996-1203.