WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Election results as of 10pm – 99.9% of the vote counted. Pool leads by 50 votes with 99.9% of ballots counted.

We apologize for having the wrong “no” vote up on the pool issue after the last count. The headline was correct but the typo was pretty glaring. The numbers below are correct.

New Newport Pool
1,456 Yes
1,406 No

Waldport City Council
Bob O’Brien 312
Richard Nyhus 160

Non-partisan County Commission Elections
7,110 Yes
2,527 No

New Bridge Special Road District
10 Yes
8 No

9,751 votes cast
99.9% of votes cast have been counted
36% turn out
Roughly 100 county wide ballots left to count.

With so few votes left to count, and with only some of them likely to be from Newport, it would appear that the Newport Pool bond measure has passed. The last batch of votes only expanded the pool’s lead in the Yes column.

Newport Parks and Recreation Department Director Jim Protiva says the 45-cents per thousand of assessed valuation tax will be levied in order to pay for the nearly $8 million dollar facility, which will come with an 8 lane pool, a therapy pool and will be joined at the hip with the existing indoor Recreation Center which will reduce the need for additional staff. Protiva says “Now the design begins. It’ll probably take us 2.5 years to get it built and then open.”

Bob O'Brien Councilor-elect, Waldport

Bob O’Brien
Councilor-elect, Waldport

With a vote spread safe enough to figure he’s been elected, Waldport City Council candidate Bob O’Brien told News Lincoln County Tuesday evening that he’s very grateful for all those who voted for him and that it will be his first experience BEING a city councilor rather than INTERVIEWING a city councilor. O’Brien is a former television news reporter for Channel 5 in New York City, the number one television market in the country. In short, he went to the top and stayed there.

O’Brien says he’s anxious to get to work filling the unserved term of former City Councilor Pete Kelly who left gave up his seat to move to the valley to be closer to his extended family.

O’Brien says he’ll work to help fill up the empty store fronts in downtown Waldport and to help bolster Waldport’s vacation rental industry by finding creative and cost effective ways of promoting vacationers and tourism in general in the Waldport area.

O’Brien will be sworn in as a city councilor at the beginning of the first city council meeting in January, the 9th.

In the other ballot measure, 21-153. the one that asked the voters if they’d prefer future county commissioner elections were non-partisan, by a thundering nearly 3 to 1 margin the voters said YES! So gone are the days that the Lincoln County Republican and Democratic parties will select their nominees. Each person filing will have to run on their own individual qualities, goals and dreams for the county. That’s not to say they won’t get support from both sides of the partisan line or announce their political place on the left-right continuum. Another change will likely include more candidates running, giving the voters a greater choice at the primary election to determine who the final two will face off in the general election in November.

In talking with County Clerk Dana Jenkins this morning, he said the turn out overall was about what he expected. The huge margin in favor of making county commissioner races non-partisan was also what he expected since changing from partisan to non-partisan races has been the historical trend all across Oregon. And the votes, he said, are usually pretty lopsided in favor of non-partisan. Jenkins said that among Lincoln County’s roughly 28,000 voters, 12,000 are Democrats, 8,000 are Republicans with the remaining approximately 8,000 split between non-affiliated, Independent and other political parties.

Commenting on the landslide vote against keeping partisan elections for county commission, Lincoln County Commission Chair Bill Hall remarked: “I’m very pleased the voters supported this so overwhelmingly. More residents are choosing not to affiliate with either party, and I believe in the opportunity for as widespread participation in the process as possible. County government is focused on effective delivery of services to the public and the things that unite us, rather than the things that divide us.”

Jenkins pointed out that although the overall voter turnout for the off year election was 36% it was much higher in Newport where a bond election for a new pool motivated a lot of citizens to vote. Fifty-three percent of Newport voters cast ballots for what was obviously a close vote. At this point, fifty votes is the margin. Jenkins said there may be 50 votes top, county-wide, that have yet to be counted, so he doesn’t expect the results of the pool vote to change.

As for whether such a close vote might trigger a recount, Jenkins said under state law an automatic recount (which is rare) is triggered when the margin between “yes and no” or “candidate A versus candidate B” is one-fifth of one percent of the votes tallied. So in the case of the pool vote, the fifty vote difference is many times the 6 vote margin that would trigger an automatic recount. However he added that anyone can demand a recount as long as they’ve got the $500 to pay for it. Jenkins said the margin minimum for auto-recount is so narrow because the optical reading machines and other vote counting devices have been repeatedly proven to be highly accurate.

Meanwhile, pool booster Stephanie Simpson said she wanted to thank all the people who donated to the campaign as well as those who went door to door, often with their children, to impress upon voters the importance of having an indoor aquatic recreation and physical fitness facility for young and older alike – especially here on the rainy coast. She said the new pool, to be hooked up to the city’s recreation center on its south side, will attract more state competition meets for high schoolers and youngsters. She predicted more tournaments will choose Newport because of its expanded facilities and added amenities. And that’ll help boost the local economy. Senior citizens will also have more opportunities to enjoy its separate therapy pool. More lanes will also allow mixed-use of the pool at the same time.

The pool’s re-location to the City Hall/Recreation Center complex obviously poses a challenge to what is expected to be a parking problem – hopefully to be solved by city hall. NewsLincolnCounty.com has been told that they are diligently working on several options toward a solution.

City Parks and Recreation Director Jim Protiva said now that the vote is in, his department will give the green light to pool architects to develop a final design for the facility. After that comes construction. Protiva said it’ll take over two years before anyone will dive into the new pool so everyone should keep their fingers crossed that the old one, at age 48, still has a couple more years of life left in it. Part of the pool’s main drain system failed earlier this year, flooding out it’s pump and electrical areas, which closed the pool for repairs for a couple of months.

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