Letters to the Editor

Write to us! We want to hear from you, but we do reserve the right to not publish letters with inappropriate or offense language and topics. Please remember this is a community forum, for all ages, when making your submissions. Also, space can sometimes be a determining factor. Please try to keep your letters as brief as possible. 

lettersedSaying Goodbye
It is with a great fondness that I would like to say goodbye to my fellow co-workers and customers of Manzanita lumber. Thank you for sharing with me an amazing part of my life.

Over my 18 years of employment many people have come and gone. Whether learning the ropes during summer break or working just out of high school trying to embody the spirit of hard work, something we like to call a “work ethic”.

It was during that time, the memories which make me smile every day were created. Building of personal relationships and the interaction with such a wonderful community is what I will miss the most. Thank you to my favorite customers for the opportunity to know you. And still others, who will remain forever, if only in spirit, thank you for caring enough to make it feel like family.

I have learned a lot and continue to aspire to learn more.  I can only hope that I have left an impact on your lives and in our community as much as you have all done for me.

As I start this new and exciting career as Manager of the Tillamook County Fairgrounds, I know those relationships will continue to grow and expert advice is still readily available and abundant in Manzanita.

Camy VonSeggern

Hello neighbor,
My name is Lucy Brook and I would like the opportunity to be your voice at the Nehalem City Council.

I’ve lived in our three-village area for 44 years. I raised my family here; my daughters and granddaughters live here. I was a landscaper and gardener for many years; then I owned Manzanita News & Espresso for ten years. I worked for a local CPA for a number of years during tax season.

Now, I teach yoga to residents of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities. I volunteer as a gardener at the Alder Creek Farm community garden and at the North County Recreation District (NCRD). I am a founding board member of Fulcrum Community Resources and Friends of NCRD, both nonprofit organizations that serve our community.

I love this town, the surrounding areas, and the people that live here.  I started out with no platform, simply wanting to be a thoughtful, listening voice for YOU on the city council.  Over the course of my campaign, a platform has emerged.

I would like to see the city explore the urban growth boundary (ugb), the viability of our drinking watershed long into the future, affordable housing, re-visit the ugb sign ordinance, and create a friendly welcoming atmosphere at city hall and at city council meetings. I believe in the power of the people and I want to have as many voices share in governing our beautiful city as possible.

Please know, that no matter what happens in the upcoming election, I will get your input to the council.

Lucy Brook


Dear neighbors,
Two weeks ago, Bill Dillard and I agreed to do a video interview. The goal was to help you make an informed decision about who is the best and most capable candidate for Mayor of Nehalem.

The nonpartisan video was proposed by a local filmmaker. His plan was simple. He would ask us each a few questions based on community input and then our answers would be shown to you without edits. The interviews were to take place on separate days in the NCRD. And to be most fair, the filmmaker gave us the questions ahead of time so that we could prepare our answers.

I thought it was a great idea and readily agreed. And so did Bill… until two days ago when he saw your questions.

I regret to inform you that Bill Dillard has suddenly pulled out of the video interview. He has broken his promise to participate because, apparently, he is either afraid, or unable, to answer your questions about Nehalem’s Comprehensive Plan (see below).

  • Nehalem deserves a Mayor who follows through on his promises.
  • Nehalem needs a Mayor who is capable of responding to your tough questions and honest concerns about the future of our city.

On Oct. 2, at the NCRD Riverbend Room, Micah White hosted an opportunity for Nehalem voters to ask him questions. And on Oct. 9, in the NCRD Riverbend Room, the Nehalem People’s Association hosted our third open community discussion about Nehalem’s Next 100 Years.

Meanwhile, Bill declares he has no ideas (“There’s nothing new on my plate right now,” he told the Headlight Herald) and refuses to answer your questions.

So, to help you make an informed decision in the upcoming election, here are your questions that Bill saw and then decided he can’t, and won’t, answer:
Q1- Could you please itroduce yourself by telling the voters something about yourself and your connection to Nehalem.
Q2- What area or areas of the Nehalem Comprehensive Plan would you focus more attention on?
Q3- Mr. Dillard. There is a sentiment among some voters that Nehalem has been run for years as a good old boy and girl’s club. That the status quo is good enough and no revisions to the Comprehensive Plan in 9 years is a good example of City Council inaction. What would you say to people who hold this point of view?
Q4- Please explain why Nehalem Voters should support you?

Micah White
Candidate for Mayor of Nehalem

As sent to Micah White    
As the Mayor of Nehalem and a lifelong resident and the grandson of the past owners of Nehalem’s phone system, I feel compelled to respond to your August 21 letter to the Nehalem people’s Association.

First, I feel very insulted by your comment that my office as Mayor is a result of my heredity. First off I have been ELECTED by the citizens of Nehalem to the City Council since 2003. Yes, years ago my father was a council member and was so for many years. I was formerly the Council President and, as a result of the resignation of Dale Stockton and the legal necessity of appointing a council member to the Mayor’s position, I was elected to fill the remaining term of Dale Stockton. My heredity had nothing to do with it.  I will say I am sure that being a lifelong resident of Nehalem versus your three plus years in Nehalem had much to do with my being selected to fill Dale Stockton’s shoes. They are big shoes to fill. I am proud to follow in his footsteps.

Now onto other points of your letter. The most disconcerting aspect of your letter is that you have somehow divided our town into two factions where none existed before. There are the “good” guys (“optimists) and the “bad “guys (“angry defeatists”). So for the first time in anyone’s memory, Nehalem is supposedly a divided community where the defeatists are suppressing and thwarting the will of the people (the “optimists”). Is this how you think you will bring unity to our quiet little community?

You quote one person who said “We must define the qualities of Nehalem that we love so we can create a plan to protect them”. Just who is “We”? And what plan is this? That some group is going to plan today how Nehalem residents are to live 100 years from now? You mention a Vision Committee that will plan “a strategy for Nehalem’s next 100 years”. Who are these people? And just what right and special view of the future do these Vision Committee members have to determine the lives of people not yet born? Just how are these folks to be chosen to be committee members?

You have labeled the Mayor and present councilors (the “same Old Boys”) as representing “defeatism, xenophobia, anger and intimidation”. Again, I ask “Is this the way you would conduct yourself if you were to be elected Mayor”? Calling those who disagree with you names? Maybe this is the way the Occupy Movement, that you are so proud of acts, but this isn’t the way Nehalem folks have lived together for over a hundred years.

As to the “pusillanimously discussed” iPads, this was just an item that the City Manager presented to us. Of course, it was a topic of conversation. I personally don’t think that the Council will approve this proposal. I am troubled by your insinuation that the Council was considering “buy(ing) themselves $5400 worth of iPads with city funds”. Quite frankly, you owe the Council an apology for inferring that Councilor members would use City of Nehalem taxes and funds for their personal benefit, please re-read the minutes from previous city meetings to verify that they were for CITY use not personal use. IE.. another piece of equipment for the City.  To save you the effort this is a direct copy from the minutes of July 11, 2016  “City Manager Shafer said anything created on the iPads would be public record, but the city would adopt an IT policy and the iPads would not be for personal use.”

You then accuse the Council of enticing a Nehalem property owner to develop a commercial piece of property with $205,000 to cover the cost of paving this piece of property. Just to get the facts straight, the property owner recently offered the property to the City of Nehalem. The Council turned down the offer. The owner has subsequently come back with a proposal to develop the parcel and asked if the City would be interested in sharing some costs that would benefit Nehalem merchants. This was NOT generated by the council.  An honest reporting of what was discussed regarding this proposal by the owner would have informed the reader that council members felt that the offer was more than they felt comfortable with.Mr. White, you really need to get your facts straight before you begin impugning the integrity of well-respected members of our town.

You have repeatedly spoken about your desire for Nehalem to have clean water. Are you insinuating that Nehalem’s water supply is not clean? Where is this information coming from?  Our monthly water reports show that our water is always well within the state standards for good potable water. Our Public Works Director, Don Davidson, is a state certified water technician. The quality of Nehalem’s water is one of Don’s most proud achievements. Don is a well-known and respected lifelong resident of Nehalem with family roots going back one hundred years. Impugning his qualifications or the quality of water that he is responsible for is not a very good way to endear yourself to the residents of Nehalem.

Your newsletter has quite a laundry list of things that you envision for Nehalem’s future. After your three and a half years here, what makes you the expert on what the City of Nehalem needs? Could I suggest something to you? Instead of dividing people into “optimists” and “angry defeatists” and traveling around the country and the world giving talks about “activism”, how about getting a job here in the community and learning about what really living in a small community is about. Nehalem is a small closely knit community in which people wave at each other when driving down the street and where people drive around neighbor’s dogs sleeping on the warm asphalt streets in the summer. It’s as close to small town paradise as anyone can find and I think that in November you are going to find that out.

Mr. White, Nehalem is not a political experiment. It’s our home.

One last question: If you are elected Mayor, one of your duties is to lead the council and the audience in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Will you be doing that?

Bill L Dillard Jr
Mayor, City of Nehalem

Dear Friends and New Friends of Manzanita,
I am one of the candidates for the Manzanita City Council.

In 2012, Judi Hanson and I became full time residents of Manzanita after building our LEED Certified home.  We are native Oregonians and  Manzanita has always been dear to my heart.  During the summer of 1967 and 1968, my father had me help with the family business by delivering fresh produce from Netarts to Manzanita. At that time, the Little Apple was known as Wright’s Grocery.  The Quonset hut on Manzanita Avenue and US 101 was Dumas’ Grocery Store. In 1984, my Mom and Dad returned to Manzanita to start their second career by opening The Candy Basket.  They knew a candy store was one way to guarantee seeing all their grandkids very frequently!!

In 1977, I graduated from Portland State University with a BS degree in Business Administration.  In the 35 years of my career I worked in the commercial pipe trades. The last 20 years of my employment was as a project/construction manager in the Semiconductor industry (Intel).  I also worked for the Portland School District as their Mechanical Department Foreman.

At the early age of 35, I knew where I wanted to retire-MANZANITA!! So in 1988, I invested in our Manzanita lot. Shortly thereafter, I initiated a petition to the Tillamook County Sanitation Department on behalf of the Classic Ridge residents.  As a result of my efforts, 60 lots in Classic Ridge were added to the City Sewer System eliminating their individual septic tank systems.

Throughout my life, my volunteer activities have included:
Little League baseball coach and activities with my 3 sons at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon.
Pine Grove Community Center: Setup tables, work group activities on building issues.
EVC: Team member on Wayfinding subcommittee and metal Conex emergency supplies.
City of Manzanita: Working with Jerry Taylor on added directional signs for Classic Ridge.
Mudd Nick Foundation: Co-sponsored field trip to Portland for careers in the trades.
Manzanita Tour of Homes: Hosted at 2 open houses and opened our home for the 2012 Tour Manzanita Men’s Golf Club:  I donate my $2.25.

Now that I am retired and our landscaping is finished, I asked myself: “How can I share my talents and business expertise with the community that I love?”  As you fill out your voting ballot in the next few weeks, I ask for your vote for Manzanita City Council. A vote to ensure that the integrity, and uniqueness of Manzanita will continue on into the future.

Scott Galvin

Vote No on Measure 97
If you’re like me, you’ve gotten quite frustrated with the ineffectiveness of our state government.  You’re frustrated with the degradation of our infrastructure; our roads, railways and bridges.  You’re sick and tired of our children being pawns of both Democrats and Republicans in the eternal fight for sustainable funding for education.

With all of these frustrations, Measure 97 – a tax on the gross sales of companies that are incorporated as “C Corporations” and who gross $25 million or more – might seem like a logical solution, right?  It isn’t.
If you haven’t already been, you will soon be inundated by the Yes on 97 propaganda that is based nowhere in facts, but rather is designed to tug at your heartstrings. These messages rely on the assumption that voters won’t actually dig into the measure, that they will ignore the non-partisan warnings of the dangers this measure poses, and that facts simply won’t matter as long as they keep telling stories.

The Yes on 97 campaign will continue to try and play on Oregonians’ desire to do good.  For example, “All of this money will go to education, seniors and health care,”  is a statement we hear a lot.  However, with a simple majority vote, the legislature can appropriate this money however it wants.

“Out-of-state and big corporations will be paying most of this tax.”  Given the current anti-corporation environment in urban areas like Portland, this is a very popular line.  What it conveniently doesn’t point out is that companies with slim margins and high overhead – like grocery stores, car dealerships, bookstores, lumber companies and others – will no longer be taxed on profit, but on gross revenue. If they bring in $30 million but they spend $29 million they aren’t taxed on $1 million like they are now; they’re taxed on $30 million. The only feasible way for a company to survive such a gargantuan tax hike is to raise prices and lower overhead, which will most likely mean lost jobs. That means Measure 97 single-handedly imposes a sales tax and kills tens of thousands of jobs. In fact, Former state economist Tom Potiowsky called Measure 97 a “sales tax on steroids.”

Another quip the Yes on 97 campaign likes to toss around is that this is about the wealthiest paying their fair share. That “this is about fairness”. There is nothing fair about this tax. If anything, this tax hurts rural Oregonians more than anyone else. For example, this tax only applies to companies incorporated as “C-Corporations.” S-Corporations, Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs), B-Corporations, Sole Proprietorships, etc. aren’t subject to this new tax. The way a business incorporates has everything to do with their organizational structure, and far less about how much money they make. Yet Fred Meyer and Safeway, the two large grocery stores that serve our rural town, are C-Corps. That means they will be subject to a massive tax increase.  However, New Seasons, Whole Foods, and other high-end grocery stores that cater to high-income areas are incorporated in other ways. That means they won’t have to pay.  How is that fair? How is that anything but arbitrary?

The non-partisan Legislative Revenue Office has said that Measure 97 would cause a net-loss of more than 30,000 private sector jobs. The LRO also projects that Measure 97 would cost the average Oregonian $600 per year. While an upper-class family can handle an extra $1,200 per year, $1,200 for a family making $40,000 a year is a big deal.

If we truly want to address the important issues of school funding, affordable health care and senior services, we must work collaboratively and pragmatically to come to common solutions for the betterment of everyone. Measure 97 attempts to remove $6 billion from Oregon’s economy while convincing Oregonians that it will have nothing but positive effects on everyone.  It takes the real problem of stable funding for important services and insists that the only solution is killing tens of thousands of jobs and increasing the tax burden of Oregon businesses by anywhere from 500-to-5000%. Let’s work to find real solutions, not massive political battles that accomplish nothing. Vote no on Measure 97.

Adam Schwend
Real Estate Broker
Coast Real Estate Professionals

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