Letter: Civil Conversation in an Angry Age

There have been many words and much ink spilled in this saga. We live in Manzanita about 50% of the time, serve in EVCNB, and at the Hoffman Center, and hide out at the Sand Dune when the tourists proliferate. We are among the over 1600 taxpayers, some of whom cannot vote on this matter, who will be faced with indebtedness and a tax increase by this proposal. 3 reasons to vote against the bond, and call for a phase by phase process, including Police Facilities, City Hall, and emergency areas. Financial muddle – Do you buy a car, house or anything by how much the payment is or by how much the total cost of the loan and borrowing is to you? A councilman was asked: “Who will service the debt if there is a tsunami and few taxpayers left”. His answer was “FEMA”. Yet, people in New Orleans, Houston, and more are still waiting for help from FEMA. In most towns council members are asked, “Do you have a conflict of interest in this project?” If no, they proceed, if yes, the member recuses him or herself. Why don’t we have that here in Manzanita? Most of us aren’t seeing even a range of loan costs for a 20 or 30 year bond the City of Manzanita is proposing. No money is discussed for paying for heating, furniture, or the unnamed emergency supplies. Where will that money come from? Loss of trust in City government – Changing stories abound about why the Police and City Hall are both necessary right now. A Political Action Committee was created (PAC) permitting untraceable donations to promote the bond. “Yes” signs have been placed in front of second homes that are currently unoccupied. People were invited to change their county of residence from elsewhere to Tillamook County, so they can vote yes. The county clerk, Tassi O’Neil, says this is illegal. There are provable options, such as building first a police facility and then remodeling the Pine Grove School, with better structure and the same location and moving in phrases.
Loss of civility – Dueling Facebook pages, exhortations to just follow the government plans, and do what they say, longtime residents not speaking to someone who disagrees and insulting newcomers; is that how to live in a small town? The Manzanita I first saw held independent creative people who changed a burning dump to CARTM, created the Hoffman Center, and Alder Creek Farms. Let us use that kind of energy, to enrich this project, rather than just following orders. Vote No on the Bond, to reflect, and phase in a more appropriate police facility and city hall that represents creative money-careful Manzanita.

Susan Haydenl

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