Jerry Spegman announced Friday, June 19, that he will be a candidate for a seat on Manzanita’s city council in this November’s election.
When Scott Galvin and Randy Kugler announced their plans to run for city office, they called for more transparency from our elected representatives, and committed to actively engage citizens in addressing our collective challenges. Spegman shares these goals and believes he can add to the mix of perspectives, skills, and experiences offered by Galvin and Kugler.
In October of 2017, Spegman attended the community workshop at the Pine Grove that kicked off Manzanita’s planning process for a new city hall. It was an awe-inspiring display of civic engagement, with a large and spirited crowd offering diverse and creative ideas, he said.
Two years later, in an off-year, special election with only one item on the ballot, just under 80 percent of Manzanita voters turned out in another astonishing demonstration of civic engagement.
Spegman said these two events are not particularly surprising to many because we know that the town is blessed with an abundance of smart, talented, informed people – some who have lived here for decades, many who have moved here from around the country.
Manzanita is defined by its diversity of thought, by its social capital, by its high level of volunteerism. So, a well-attended public meeting and extraordinarily high voter turnout are perhaps not unexpected, but neither should they be taken for granted. This degree of civic engagement doesn’t happen everywhere. We should regard it as a great asset and take full advantage of it, Spegman said.
Something went wrong between the Pine Grove meeting in 2017 and the overwhelming defeat of the bond measure in 2019, Spegman said. Elected leaders anywhere can get out of step with their constituents, but that shouldn’t happen in a town like ours. There are too many people here willing to speak up, willing to contribute, willing to participate, he said.
Spegman is running for city council to listen carefully, to tap into the energy and resources here, to help capitalize on our many community assets. In a town with so many interesting and informed voices wanting to be heard, it will be hard to please everyone. But we can do better than we did between the Pine Grove meeting and the vote last November, he said.