The upcoming Manzanita ballot measure #29-159 is problematic on many levels, thus I cannot support its passage. Of course, we need a new city hall and police station, and perhaps our taxes have to increase to build it. But the proposed building seems unnecessarily large with much space that will be unused — until more city hall staff are hired. Why does the public works manager need a third office? Do we really need a Chamber to seat 153 people? Typically, 10 to 20 people attend city council meetings. Our taxes should be directed towards improving the lives of citizens. This includes flexible use of building spaces in emergency situations. Effective preparation requires innovative design and community input and mobilization. Many of us feel excluded from planning even though we attended town hall meetings, council meetings, and living room discussions. We gave input, but where is it in the council’s current rendering?I believe the new design should incorporate ideas presented at the 2018 community meeting. Enthusiasm for community meeting rooms and outside recreation areas (maybe with pickle ball courts!) reflected Manzanita’s core. Manzanita is currently a quaint, safe, unpretentious town where I often meet repeat visitors on our beach. Do we need beautiful, big, modern buildings to impress all visitors who turn off 101 into Manzanita. I think visitors would be more impressed with pragmatic services, like parks, parking and clean public restrooms. I feel so lucky to be able to retire in Manzanita. It’s a dream that was made possible by leading a frugal lifestyle, working hard, and paying off my debts rather than building up interest. My parents and grandparents taught me to be frugal, open-minded, and hard working. I do believe that our current mayor and council members work very hard as elected officials. I’m not sure that they share my values in frugality, compromise, and future planning. The upcoming bond of $6.5 million, plus 3 million in interest and issuance fees, seems extravagant and misdirected.
I urge all concerned citizens to stand together and to Vote NO on ballot bond measure #29-159. We can phase in an appropriate city hall without this bond. There are better choices for Manzanita.
Thank you for voting for the best future for Manzanita.