About a year ago some residents became concerned that the direction of the Manzanita City Council towards the building of a too big, too expensive new city hall did not reflect the input or the will of the residents. This led to the resounding defeat of the council’s proposed bond measure. Door to door discussions with voters revealed a decided distrust of the council including suspicions business was being conducted beneath the table.
Suspicions continued when it was discovered the council was approving questionable transfers of funds from the water fund for general fund purposes. Budgeted amounts for city manager and assistant city manager activities which bear little resemblance to their actual work are be paid by the water fund, meaning you will likely be asked to fund future water system repairs and improvements through additional taxes.
Your council is at it again. The council is determined to impose their idea of a city hall on your city no matter what others think or desire. Without full consideration of remodeling alternatives, council is determined to tear down Underhill Plaza except the Quonset hut, and design and build a new city hall to their liking. They’ve gone in cahoots with a project manager and firm “at no cost” to plan the way forward and advise the council. As we are becoming accustomed with this council, this falls short of the truth. The project manager is funded by a grant to help local communities.
Of course nothing is free, except as in free, wink, wink, nudge, nudge. If the project manager truly wants to donate services to the city, he should recuse his firm from the actual project. Otherwise, I suspect the council will trade advice for the project they want for looking favorably on the project manager and his firm when the project is awarded. It stinks, but that’s nothing new with this council.
City council has already lost the trust of the people who can’t wait to vote for other candidates for council in November, who will not assume taxes are too low, and who won’t pull sneaky budget maneuvers and conduct business under the table.
The current council members have been on a power grab for years, imposing their ideas without regard for citizens’ questions and comments. The time has come to vote them out. It’s too bad we have to wait until November to do it.