Lincoln City City Council: In no hurry to replace Roger Sprague on the council, in no rush to help fund a pilot video for a TV series on the internet, and risings costs for filing petitions for the ballot
Lincoln City City Councilors Monday night decided to charge a non-refundable fee for anyone who wants to file a citizens referendum or initiative petition to change, repeal or initiate a new city law. Councilors reasoned that over the past year, they’ve been getting petitions that don’t stand up to state law when reviewed under the requirements of the state constitution. So from now on the council will charge a non-refundable fee for city legal and election staff to review such initiatives and petitions no matter whether the matter is settled in favor of the petitioner’s/applicant’s position. If citizen petitioners disagree with the city’s review as to it’s legality to put on the ballot, the citizen can always go to court and let a judge decide. Part of the reason behind the fee schedule is to make sure those who file to overturn a city law, or initiate a new one don’t do it without a competent attorney. Councilors also agreed that taking hours and hours of review time takes the city attorney and clerk-recorder away from their normal work routine. The council also agreed to extend the time for gathering petition signatures to 90 days. The city attorney will bring back these changes to the city’s initiative/referendum procedures at the next city council meeting to be finalized and adopted.
The council formally accepted the resignation of now former councilor Roger Sprague. Rather than appoint or hold a special election to replace him, the council decided to simply run the city with 6 city councilors until the first of the year. They invite anyone who wants to take Sprague’s place to file for his seat at the county courthouse in Newport, and then run for election in November.
Representative David Gomberg appeared before the council with film producer Ron West Monday night and pitched the council to help fund a pilot video that could become a very successful TV, Cable or Internet program. Film promoter Ron West, who has appeared in a number of movies explained that the Lincoln City area is extremely attractive for TV or videos-on-demand on the internet. He said not only would the new series draw more attention to the Lincoln City area but could also motivate young film/video producers to shoot more video and bring more economic development and notoriety to the Central Coast.
The council directed city staff to negotiate with West on the terms of his request for a $40,000 buy-in from the Lincoln City Convention and Visitors Bureau with additional plans on how to raise the other half of the monies required to launch the project. The product consists of two, one hour shows depicting life on the Central Coast through the eyes of a big city news reporter who tries to become the go-to local news person on the coast.
City Manager Rod Chandler said he would negotiate a contract with West and bring it back to the council for their consideration. West appears to have a deep resume in award winning movie production along with a film crew that knows what they’re doing. Former Mayor Dick Anderson remained somewhat skeptical of the whole thing but said if it puts Lincoln City on the map with an ocean-swell of internet TV watchers looking on, it’ll make him feel better about it. Others especially liked West’s pledge to use as many locals as possible as extras in the pilot.
So it appears that the Lincoln City VCB may well fund $40,000 with the other $40,000 coming from other sources. Rep. Gomberg’s reference to the state’s Film Commission paying the other $40,000 may not come through as hoped. But again, West said they can approach local businesses and industry for the other half. No word yet on when or where their video shoots will show up on the streets. But it appears that it might come as soon as this fall. The VCB and West will report back to the city council with details as they become available.
And the council chose Councilor Susan Wahlke as the council’s new Council President who presides over the city council meetings when Mayor Williams can’t make it.
And the council decided not to appoint a temporary successor to former City Councilor Roger Sprague who stepped down recently due to health reasons. The council has decided to wait until the November election so anyone who wants to serve on the council can file for the office and then run in their own right. So until November, Lincoln City will be running just one shy of a full council through at least the next election.