Toledo had a full city council for just over an hour Tuesday night – then back to having a vacancy again at 9pm.
The Toledo City Council selected two city residents Tuesday night to fill the two vacancies on the city council. Filling the seat vacated by former city councilor Frankie Trujillo-Dalby is Terri Strom, owner of Ace Hardware and daughter of a former Toledo city manager. Strom chairs the city planning commission, sits on the Main Street Board and is active in other community organizations. Filling the vacancy created by former City Councilor Ralph Grutzmacher moving to the Mayor’s chair is Larry Davis, an engineering manager for Georgia Pacific. He serves on the town’s Public Utilities Commission. The appointments to the city council create vacancies on those two advisory bodies.
Strom said she was born and raised in Toledo, was married and has lived in Toledo all her life. She said she envisions Toledo having a more vibrant and successful main street, with an inviting waterfront along with new stores, art galleries, fine restaurants, book stores and other attractions for both locals and tourists. Strom added that she would someday like to see excursion boats launched in Newport, bringing visitors up the Yaquina River to enjoy Toledo’s typically warmer climate, tourist shops and great restaurants. Larry Davis said his vision for Toledo is that it always remain a small, friendly place to live and raise a family. Both Strom and Davis acknowledged that Toledo faces tough budget times ahead. Strom questioned recent pay raises for city department heads, Davis calling for adopting priorities and fortifying only those services truly necessary.
And for the next hour, the city council weighed in with a full house, seven members approving the bottom of Main Street project with improved landscaping, improved intersection with Butler Bridge Road, crossing platforms across the railroad tracks, a new and wider crosswalk from Main to the port grounds west of the RxR tracks and the complete repaving of Butler Bridge Road from “A” Street all the way south to the entrance to Georgia-Pacific. It’ll all be done by the end of September according to Public Works Director Adam Denlinger.
At that point, City Councilor Mark Camara announced that he has taken a position with a natural resources agency in New Zealand, doing much of the same research and resource management work he’s done here on the coast. Camara was thanked for his seven years of council service. Public Works Director Adam Denlinger rose to award Camara with what was termed the “coveted” Toledo Public Works Safety Vest for his tireless support of public works and street programs in the city. Each member of the city council signed their best wishes on it. Camara and his wife board an airliner on Sunday for a very long flight to Nelson, New Zealand where they start their new life; where you can always to go to the beach on Christmas and June is the coldest month of the year.
So, the Toledo City Council again has a vacancy. Mayor Ralph Grutzmacher says the council will advertise the opening and will interview candidates much like they did Tuesday night, and select one to join the council. Out of the seven city council seats, only two will be filled by councilors duly elected by the citizens of Toledo; Nancy Lynne and Jack Dunaway. The other five will have all been appointed by Lynne, Dunaway, and councilors who are no longer serving.