Three Lincoln City political upstarts took on development interests in Tuesday’s election and walked away with three seats on the Lincoln City City Council. Wins by Riley Hoagland, Diana Hinton and Judy Casper definitely creates a council that will be very prone to want to build affordable housing for work force and low income families rather than more and more vacation home rentals which have grown in number and at great expense to lower income households. The election of the three also would appear to politically wall-in Mayor Don Williams who is a big booster of vacation rental homes calling them a great source of economic development for the town but which has been characterized by political opponents as forcing lower and even moderate income families to leave Lincoln City because of skyrocketing rents and home prices.
Councilor-elect Judy Casper told News Lincoln County that more affordable and work-force housing is her number one goal as well as tighter regulations on the growth of the vacation home rental industry. She says Lincoln City’s rising number of homeless children in the county must be reversed.
Meanwhile Mayor Williams also faces a formidable political effort to drive him from office through a recall petition. Recall petition signature gatherers have reportedly already gathered nearly one-third of the 456 voter signatures necessary to trigger a recall election – this just a few days of petition gathering on the street.
Looking south to Depoe Bay, former city councilor Barbara Leff returns to the council as the Mayor this time around. She bested three other challengers for the seat including incumbent mayor AJ Mattila. Other Depoe Bay council winners were Loren Goddard, a prominent local businessman whose wife is herself a council veteran. Also elected was Charles Bates, local carpenter and recent import to Depoe Bay. Also Debbie Callendar, former employee of the city of Beaverton and Jeff Wiseman.
In Newport, incumbents Dean Sawyer and Laura Swanson were unopposed. Councilor-elect Dietman Goebel will take Councilor Ralph Busby’s seat when he leaves the council after the first of the year.
Siletz had three candidates for three open positions – the winners by default were incumbent Mayor John Robinson and Councilor Ron Hervey. Also Patrizia Skauge was elected to the council.
In Toledo, incumbent Mayor Billie Jo Smith gets another term in office. Deanne Dunlap, Jackie Kaufman and Josh Smith were elected to the council.
In Waldport, incumbent Mayor Sue Woodruff won another term of office along with incumbent and Bob O’Brien. Newcomers Greg Dunn and Pat Warwick replaced outgoing councilors Mark Campbell and Pauline Gagtes.
In Yachats, Gerald Stanley will take over for outgoing Mayor Ron Brean. New councilor-elects are Max Glenn and Jim Tooke. They ran unopposed.
In Lincoln County initiatives, those approving a sales tax on recreation marijuana included the county, Depoe Bay, Lincoln City, Newport, Waldport, and Yachats. The Seal Rock tax override for fire station recruitment of full-time fire fighters and station improvements passed, as well as new fire station for Yachats which will be built on top of a hill just north of the downtown.
In State Senate District 5, the Senator will remain the same – Arnie Roblan who bested former Lincoln City Mayor Dick Anderson by a razor thin margin of 25,847 to 25,152. So Anderson will hold on to his Lincoln City City Councilor job for a while.
State Representative David Gomberg held on to his seat by a wide margin.
Statewide Corporate Tax Increase proposal 97 failed by a big margin statewide: 58-41%. The failure of the measure will throw the state into a substantial financial whirlpool which, unless other revenues can be found (and there probably won’t be any). The looming PERS dilemma will worsen the state’s financial position which is already stretched thin. The next legislature will be a noisy place indeed when it reconvenes this February.