Newport Mayor Sandra Roumagoux will not be running for re-election as Mayor. Mayor Roumagoux did not give a reason during the Newport City Council meeting, but indicated that she’s enjoyed the experience. So the race for Mayor of Newport is wide open for next November.
Come the end of December Newport will have a new Mayor because current Mayor Sandra Roumagoux told News Lincoln County that it’s been a very interest ride, but she wants to turn her later years in life to artistic and educational pursuits – both creating new art and teaching art to the younger folks. In fact this January just “Artist Sandra Roumagoux” will be exhibiting some of her work by invitation at the 2019 curated show at the Jordan & Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene. She will also be exhibiting her works at a Liisa Rahkonen political show on water at the Lincoln City Cultural Center in January 2019. She’ll also be teaching art with Menuca Corbett by Creative Arts Community in Portland. And of course Sandra has her own students that are eager to learn her “figurative art style” dealing with environmental and social issues.
Mayor Roumagoux started her political career in Newport when she joined the Newport City Council in 2010 and then became elected mayor which spanned 2012 to 2018. She tells News Lincoln County “it’s been a very busy six years as Mayor.” Hiring a fine city manager like Spencer Nebel who she calls “the steady hand on the wheel of the city.” She says her tenure on the council and as Mayor has seen great progress for Newport in terms of city becoming the Pacific headquarters for NOAA, a growing Hatfield Marine Science Center, saving the Coast Guard rescue helicopter base in Newport, creation of Safe Haven Hill and the beginnings of being prepared for “The Big One,” the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. And of course the wonderful OMSI educational facility at South Beach.
Mayor Roumagoux says when she first became Mayor she didn’t realize the complexities of city government but learned a lot through the expert help of the Oregon League of Cities and other associations and professional groups. She said she immediately grew to deeply respect those who are city recorders and clerks whose job it is to keep accurate meeting minutes, all communications in order, city ordinances and public notifications. “They all do an incredible job, including our own Clerk-Recorder Peggy Hawker.” “Peggy’s amazing,” she said.
Looking toward the future, Mayor Roumagoux said Newport, like most communities and cities across the country, must find solutions to the frightening rise in the cost of housing – especially for those families that are spending half their income just on rent. Finding money for streets, expansion and maintenance of water and other utilities is a challenge. The city budget – always a tall order.
When asked how the next nine months will be until she turns over the gavel to the new mayor in January of 2019 she said “It’ll be busy, but I’m determined to see it through. We have a great city council. They not always agree on everything, but they are smart, thoughtful adults who love Newport and want what’s best for the town and the people in it.”
“I’ve enjoyed my time in political office, but I’m also going to be ramping up, in the months ahead, my continued dedication to the arts – both as an artist and as an art instructor. I very much look forward to it.”