CITY OF NEWPORT YEAR END REPORT
The City of Newport has released its year end report for 2021 which reflects on the accomplishments and issues that were tackled by the City Council and staff over the past year. This report included 20 top issues that have been identified as particularly noteworthy during the year. This is followed by additional information, including Council Actions by the Numbers, and Highlights of Activities by City Departments.
The Council began 2021 with an organizational meeting in January which followed the November 2020 municipal election in which all of the incumbents were returned to office. Mayor Sawyer took the oath of office for a second term as Mayor, and Councilors Dietmar Goebel, Cynthia Jacobi, and Beatrice Botello, were returned to the Council to fill four-year terms.
As part of the national discussion on racism and equity in our society, Council developed a statement that embodies the City’s commitment to support civil rights and work to make everyone in the community feel welcome and included, and to pause and listen when we do not understand someone’s point of view. The statement is consistent with the City’s welcoming statement that Newport is the “the friendliest”.
In 2021 the city, state, nation, and the world, continued to deal with the most significant pandemic in the past 100 years. COVID-19 impacted us all in different ways. For many, COVID-19 has changed how we deal with day-to-day activities and do business. During the course of this past year, Newport enjoyed relaxed protocols for COVID-19 safety during the summer when infection rates were very low. As infection rates rose substantially toward the end of summer, certain restrictions were put back in place by efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
As a city organization, the directions provided by the Governor’s office and by Oregon OSHA to best manage COVID-19, as modified from time to time, were reimplemented. It is becoming obvious that COVID-19 will be with us for a while and that we will need to continue managing certain aspects of our lives to both protect ourselves as individuals and the people we are in contact with, both socially and at work.
The pandemic has had a number of other impacts on our economy that has created challenges for the City and for the community at large, including major delays in obtaining supplies and materials, a shortage of employees to fill open vacancies at all levels of the economy, and the continued divide on how best to address COVID-19 from a health standpoint. That being said, there are many positive signs of the resiliency of the Greater Newport Area to successfully face these challenges.
While managing a public organization has not been fun during this time, the city is grateful for the dedicated employees who have continued to provide essential services through the course of the pandemic, a City Council who has continued to move this community in a positive direction looking towards the future, and the general collaborative atmosphere that exists among the various units of government in Lincoln County.
As City Manager, I am looking forward to continued growth and positive momentum occurring in 2022. While we will still be dealing with challenges of COVID-19, staffing shortages, material and supply delays, and other similar obstacles, this community and organization are benefitted by people who will continue to be inventive, resourceful, and remarkable in so many ways to find constructive paths forward to the challenges we will face in 2022
A link to the City of Newport Annual Report can be found at: https://www.newportoregon.gov/citygov/sr/Final_2021_Year_End_Report.pdf
I extend wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2022 to all!
Spencer Nebel, City Manager
City of Newport