Thursday, November 13, 2014

Board of Clatsop County Commissioners Meeting, Nov 12, 2014

Clatsop County Board of Commissioners  Highlights  Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 regular meeting

Setback variance hearing
The board of commissioners voted to overturn a decision of the county Planning Commission denying a request from Ellen and Jerry Walsh for a variance from the 50-foot setback around wetlands for the construction of a dwelling in Arch Cape. The decision was based on a legal analysis from county land-use counsel Chris Crean, who determined that the setback rule only applies to wetlands located in estuaries, sloughs and streams or in the county’s designated Shoreland Overlay District. The Walsh property does not meet either criterion.
Chair Scott Lee and commissioners Dirk Rohne and Matt Samuelson voted yes; commissioners Peter Huhtala and Sarah Nebeker voted no.

Ballot error report
County Manager Scott Somers briefed the board on the cause of the ballot error that affected the Nov. 4 General Election. Somers said the Clerk and Elections Department did not follow its procedures for proofreading the draft ballot before it was printed and sent to voters, resulting in typos on the Measure 4-176 Clatsop Community College bond and Cannon Beach City Council race that resulted in the issuing of supplemental ballots. Somers identified steps to ensure the procedures are followed in the future.

Juvenile detention contract
The board approved a two-year extension of the county’s agreement with Cowlitz County, Wash. for the rental of juvenile detention beds. The arrangement began in January following the closure of the county’s detention center in Warrenton. Cost of the contract is $94,900 per year for two beds.

Wave energy presentation
The board heard a presentation from officials from the Oregon Military Department and wave energy developers about a test project being conducted off the shore of Camp Rilea Armed Forces Training Center.

Other Business
In other business the board:
-Approved a resolution opposing the U.S. Coast Guard’s planned closure of its helicopter rescue facility in Newport later this year.
-Appointed John Ciminello to the Human Services Advisory Council.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Unofficial Election Returns, Top Contested Races, Nov 4, 2014

Updated Nov 5, 8am

Clatsop County
Race                                                                          Votes               Percentage
Astoria Mayor
Larry Taylor                                                             1,235                     41
Arline LaMear                                                         1,730                     58

Astoria City Council Ward 1
Zetty Nemlowill                                                         472                    65
George McCartin                                                      251                    35

Astoria City Council Ward 3 (Uncontested)
Cindy Price                                                                484                     93

Cannon Beach City Council
Councilor, At Large
George Vetter                                                            347                       49
Mike Benefield                                                          337                       46

Gearhart City Council Position 1
Albert Carder                                                            200                        47
Kerry Smith                                                              275                        56

Gearhart City Council Position 3
John Duncan                                                              286                        41
Kevin Willett                                                             129                        46

Seaside Mayor
John Dunzer                                                                104                    6
Angela Nicole Fairless                                                 537                   31
Don Larson                                                                1,072                 62

Seaside City Council Ward 4
Seth Morrisey                                                              247                 61
Greg Boat                                                                    159                39

Warrenton Mayor
Mark Kujala                                                                  1,111                 76
Mark Baldwin                                                                   159                39

Warrenton City Commission Position 4
Rick Newton                                                                     581              42
Pam Ackley                                                                      518              37
David M. Goldthorpe                                                        147               11
Richard Frisbee                                                                 123               9

County Measures

4-174  Rescind Moratorium on medical marijuana facilites
Yes                                                                                    6,053            51
No                                                                                     5,901            49

4-175   Shall the City of Cannon Beach join the Clatsop 4-H and Extension Special District?
Yes                                                                                      322              55
No                                                                                       266             45

4-176  Redevelopment of Clatsop Community College Patriot Hall
Yes                                                                                     5,710            57
No                                                                                      4,308            42

4-173  Warrenton Rural Fire Protection District General Operations
Yes                                                                                        286             70
No                                                                                         122             30

Tillamook County

Race                                                          Votes                 Percentage

PUD Subdivision 2
Patti Tippelt                                                612
Edwin Jenkins                                            648
David Burt                                                 595

Bay City Council  (Vote for 3)
David W. Olson                                           245
Robert Pollock                                             213
David Pace                                                   221
Kathleen Baker                                            269

Manzanita City Council (Vote for 2)
Linda Kozlowsk                                           252
Leila N. Salmon                                            243

City of Wheeler City Council
Candace Nelson                                         110
Bob Harlow                                                106

Columbia County       

  Race                                                                                         Votes        Percentage
Columbia County Commission Position 2
Wayne Mayo                                                                             8,172        45
Henry B. Heimuller                                                                     9,941        54

Columbia County Clerk
Elizabeth Huser                                                                           13,092         76
Brady N. Preheim                                                                        4,114         24

Clatskanie Mayor
Diane L. Pohl                                                                                  309         52
Robert M. Brajcich                                                                          259        47

Clatskanie City Council (Vote for 3)
Neil C. Christensen                                                                         310         21
Travis E. Zea                                                                                    304        21
V David True                                                                                   373        26
Toby D. Harris                                                                                438         30

Pacific County
Race                                                                    Votes                   Percentage

Pacific County Commission Position 3
Lisa Ayers (D)                                                      3,642                   64
Michael Hess (D)                                                  2,066                  36

Prosecuting Attorney 
Mark McClain  (No Party Pref.)                          3,746                   59
David Burke     (D)                                               2,591                   41

South County District Court Judge
Nancy R. McAllister                                             1,439                  43
Douglas Goelz                                                       1,916                  57 

Emergency Medical Services Proposition 1
Ambulance and EMS Funding $460,000.00
Yes                                                                        1,825                  62
No                                                                         1,134                  38

PUD Dist 2 Commissioner 1
Joe Basil                                                                 2,308                 39
Michael 'Mike' Swanson                                        3,543                  61

Wahkiakum County
 Race                                                                     Votes                  Percentage

Wahkiakum County Assessor
Bill Coons                                                             1,044                  77
Sam Valdez                                                              314                   23

Wahkiakum County Commission Position 3
Blair Brady                                                              837                  61
Eugene Strong                                                         546                  40

Prosecuting Attorney
Dan Bigelow                                                           725                   53
Heidi Heywood                                                       656                   48

Mark Howie                                                            964                    67
Mike Balch                                                              475                    33

School Technology and Security Levy
Yes                                                                           582                     51
No                                                                            567                     49

Friday, October 31, 2014


   Time is running out to return ballots for the Nov. 4 General Election.
Ballots for the election must be returned by 8 p.m. Tuesday in order to be counted. To ensure their ballots arrive on time, voters are advised to bring completed ballots to one of the approved drop sites. Ballots placed in the mail before the deadline but not delivered until after will not be counted.
Voters are also reminded to complete and return both their original ballots as well as their supplemental ballots. The supplemental ballots were sent out Oct. 24 to correct errors to two issues on the original ballot – Measure 4-176, the Clatsop Community College bond measure, and the Cannon Beach city council race between Mike Benefield and George Vetter. Votes cast for either issue on the original ballot will not be tallied – only votes marked on the supplemental ballot will be counted.
Completed ballots can be dropped at the following sites by 8 p.m. on Election Day:
·   Clatsop County Clerk’s Office, Public Services Building, 820 Exchange St., Astoria -or- 24-hour drop box in front of office.
·   Cannon Beach City Hall, 163 Gower St., Cannon Beach
·   Seaside City Hall, 989 Broadway, Seaside
·   Warrenton City Hall, 225 S. Main Ave., Warrenton
·   Knappa High School, 41535 Old Highway 30, Knappa
·   Gearhart City Hall, 698 Pacific Way, Gearhart
·   Mist-Birkenfeld Fire Hall, 12525 Oregon Highway 202
·   Clatskanie Library, 11 Lillich St., Clatskanie
For more information contact the Clerk and Elections Office at (503) 325-8511 or go to the Clatsop County website,
Election returns will be posted on the county website beginning at 8 p.m. Election Day.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Warrenton City Candidates Speak at Warrenton Business Association Forum

Candidates for Warrenton city positions answered voter questions in a Warrenton Business Association Candidates Forum last (Wednesday) night at Warrenton  City Hall.  Two candidates are running for Mayor: incumbent Mark Kujala and current position 4 commissioner Mark Baldwin.  The candidates for the now open city commission position 4 are Pamela Ackley, David Goldthorpe, Richard Newton and Richard Frisbee.

Last year, Warrenton voters overwhelmingly approved a measure to make the Mayor elected at large by the voters directly instead of by appointment to the office by the city commission.

An audience of about 50 packed the City Commission chamber. Their questions focused on livability and economic vitality of the city.  

Both mayoral candidates stated Public Safety as the first priority of the city commission.  Incumbent Mayor Mark Kujala summarized the current status of police officer staffing.

“We were looking at the true possibility that we might only have eight police officers in 2014.  We had a levy that was on the ballot in November in order to extend one position, we also made a decision during the budget that year to take away from the police vehicle replacement policy and take money from patrol cars and put it into personnel, take money from the WBA (Warrenton Business Association) which was so generous, to give money toward funding a new position in the police department, and then we just received money from the federal government from the Department of Justice to fund three quarters of another position in the police department.  So we’re actually looking at eleven officers in 2015.  That is three officers more than we were looking at about sixteen months ago, so that’s a tremendous improvement.”  

Kujala added the next focus should be on the fire department, and the addition of a ladder truck.

Candidate Mark Baldwin also said public safety is the number one goal, and illustrated the needs of the fire department:

Baldwin.wav:   “With working class families, which the vast majority of us are, comes children, and schools, and in a small community lots of kids walking to and from school, and at the parks and so on and so forth, and I think it’s probably our largest goal is to protect those children.  The fire: I’ll touch a little on that.  I was down on Warrenton Mills property, Hampton Mills property, when that fire started, and that could have been so much worse without a ladder truck.  If it hadn’t have been for the ladder truck coming and the efforts of Hampton Mill employees turning on their pumps at their water pond and hooking up almost all of the hoses if not all of them – I believe was five hoses coming off of that pond and that pump, who knows what could have happened.  That mill could be gone today.  So with the additions we’ve made in the police department I believe we’re moving in the right direction, but we do need to work a little harder on the fire department. I think we’re going to lose our rating if we don’t make some infrastructure improvements and some position improvements.”

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


   The Clatsop County Clerk’s Office will issue supplemental ballots to county voters as a result of errors in the Nov. 4 mail-in election ballot affecting a Clatsop Community College bond measure and a Cannon Beach City Council race.
For Ballot Measure 4-176, the Clatsop Community College bond, the ballot incorrectly lists the amount of the bond as “not exceeding $8,200,00.” The correct figure is $8,200,000.
In the Cannon Beach race, the ballot instructs voters to vote for one candidate in the contest between George Vetter and Mike Benefield for an at-large position on the city council. The instruction should have read “Vote for Two.”
On Monday the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office issued a directive requiring the county to issue supplemental ballots for both issues.
Supplemental ballots, including an explanatory letter, will be sent to the approximately 21,000 voters in the county later this week. The ballots will contain the Clatsop Community College bond measure question; ballots for the approximately 970 Cannon Beach voters will also include the city councilor race with the corrected instructions.
Voters are asked to vote their original ballot as well as the supplemental ballot when received.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

City Council and Mayoral Candidates Speak at AAUW Forum

Candidates for Astoria city offices took the stage last (Tuesday) night at a forum sponsored by the Astoria chapter of the American Association of University Women.
Candidates for wards 1 and 3 plus the two mayoral candidates spoke to an audience of about 200 people, answering questions ranging from how to recruit young people to participate in city politics and planning to how the city council should work with the Port of Astoria commission.
George McCartin and Zetty Nemlowill are competing for the Ward 1 position on the council.  Cindy Price is running unopposed for the Ward 3 seat.

Citing a lack of parking spaces downtown, the first audience question sought the candidates takes on what to do with the former Safeway site – now the site of the proposed Heritage Square.  George McCartin said some environmental evaluation would have to take place before any plans could be implemented, and that further development should be prioritized against other city projects according to need.  Zetty Nemlowill and Cindy Price both stressed the need for affordable housing downtown.  Nemlowill said an earlier public input process called for a mixed use space.  She suggested such a space could include rental housing.

            “Lets look at student housing for the college.  If people live downtown, they’re going to shop downtown.  They’re not going to need to get in their cars and drive.” (:08)

Cindy Price added positive comments about mixed use for the site, and referenced a downtown improvement study done by consultant Michele Reeves for the Astoria Downtown Historic District Association

            “The biggest driver of downtown vitality is housing, and this is a really perfect place where we don’t have to worry about blocking other people’s views...” (:10)

Price added more public input should be sought before further design and fundraising plans. 

Friday, September 26, 2014


The Sunset Empire Transportation District, Board of Commissioners, announced today their appointment of Jeff Hazen as the new Executive Director for the District. Mr. Hazen brings many years of experience in financial and operational management, marketing and customer service to the District. Mr. Hazen has served in local government as a Clatsop County Commissioner and Warrenton Mayor and is an active member of several community organizations. Mr. Hazen lives in the Hammond area and will start work at the District on September 29th.